Friday, 26 May 2017

An Altered Book - The Castaways

Welcome back to my blog! things have been a bit quiet around here.
A word of warning before we continue - yes, an old book was altered, glued, torn and ripped in the making of this blogpost. Viewer discretion is advised. 

I have a lot of old books - some up to 100 years old - that I have collected over the years. Some I bought at garage sales, some of them once belonged to my grandfather and some were given to me by my crafty BFF, Nicole.

For this project I chose a book that came from my grandfather - The Castaways.
To begin I took the largest die from a rectangle nesting die set and traced out the shape on the front of the book, making sure to leave the title.
I took my x-acto knife and carefully cut out the traced shape from the cover. I made sure to a cutting pad under the cover before doing this.  Next I took my x-acto knife and trimmed a smaller sized rectangle shape through the first 50 pages or so.

To curl the pages - first I put my cutting pad in the book to protect the uncut pages; then i took my mister bottle and sprayed the pages a couple of times; next I took my fingers and gently starting curling the pages outwards. This took some time and required some additional sprays of water but I loved the results. while the paper was still wet I ran my Walnut Stain Ink pad over the curled pages and then let them dry.
My happy castaway couple is a card from the Found Relatives pack that I coloured with Distress Markers before adhering into my book behind the curled pages. Once I had this done I starting gluing these curled pages together along with the page with my castaways. Then I glue the lot to the front over. The remaining pages of the book were glued together in groups of 50 pages or so.

These became my journal pages - although I didn't actually journal as this was meant as a decorative piece. I did gesso the pages, add some Distress Oxide Ink, some stamping and then added some pieces that stick out the top and side edges.

Some of these pieces are die cuts, paper, vintage postcards and half of a stereoscope card. I happen to have a few of these and the palm tree one was perfect.

This is how the finished book looks and how it will be displayed. I just love all the bits and bobs peaking out of the pages.

To finish off the front cover I added a few of the wood starfish pieces from Southern Ridge Trading Co. They take paint very well and I love that they have a bit of dimension to them.


  1. So much awesomeness here! Loving the torn and peeled back pages.

  2. I love this project! May I please copy this for a class I am going to teach. I will be using elementary dictionaries. I absolutely adore old books and this is soooo great!!

  3. Whoa! That is incredible. I love it when people reuse books, especially "castaway" books. All the pages are incredible.


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