We had so much fun making these scary books for Halloween, inspired by Lindsey at Better After. After making my first batch, I’ve already done a few more rounds so I could give them to my mom and siblings- we can’t get enough of these!
- old books (I got mine from the 50-cent rack at the library bookstore)
- paper towels (make sure they are two-ply- you will need to separate them)
- small plastic Halloween objects like snakes, spiders, skeletons, etc. (available at the dollar store or craft store)
- decorative items, like large rhinestones, to add accents to the design
- letters (I used scrapbooking letters, available at the craft store)
- hot glue gun
- Mod Podge
- paint: black, brown and a metallic color of your choice (gold or bronze would probably work best)
To create your book:
Hot glue your items and letters in place, then spread one-ply of a dampened paper towel over everything and Mod Podge over it all. You can also use the hot glue to create a pattern, like a tree or a spider web.
It’s easiest if you start to Mod Podge in the middle and move outward, so it’s easier to press the paper towel into all of the little crevices created by the letters and objects and get out the air bubbles that inevitably show up under the paper towel.
You can also add some paper towel/Mod Podge to the spine of the books. If the area you’re covering requires more than one paper towel to cover the area, I recommend ripping the edge of the paper towel before layering it on top of another so it blends better (rather than having the straight edge from the perforated tear.)
*Alternately, you can Mod Podge the dampened paper towel over the book first (make sure to create a bunch of creases with your brush). After it dries, you can then add the objects and letters. I found this method to be much easier, but I think the first method looks a little creepier (see photos below for comparison). If you do it this way, it helps to Mod Podge over the plastic objects and letters once they’re glued on so the paint will adhere more easily. Here are the two finished examples (Mod Podge over everything on the left, and adding items over the Mod Podge on the right):
Once everything is dry, paint the entire book with the black and brown paint (I added brown to the black to give it a more weathered look- you could use just black if you prefer.) Don’t forget to paint the spine and the edges of the cover.
Now, take a dry brush (or use your finger) and paint over the raised areas with the metallic paint. This is the fun part and really makes your work pop! Don’t worry if you get a little crazy with the metallic paint, you can always go back in with the dark paint for touch-ups.
You can also do this with old bottles or wooden boxes- whatever you want to use to decorate. These definitely inspired me to amp up my Halloween decor!