Monday, May 24, 2010

Elina Koutsouradi: Make a Spring-themed Altered Book

I have prepared for you a super easy way to alter an old book and transform it into a new small piece of your art in your bookshelf!

Get an old book, open the first two pages to the left side (we do not want to play with them right now) and draw a rectangle with your pencil to the right page.

With your craft knife and a metal ruler start cutting the rectangle along the lines until you get the desired depth, almost the 2/3rds of your book (don't cut all the way through!)

So you end up having something like this...

Put a grease proof paper (like the one you are using in your kitchen) between the two pages you left uncut and the main book body and another grease proof paper at the end of the book and the book cover. The grease proof paper doesn't allow the glue to go into places you do not want (like the book covers!). With a flat brush, apply a generous amount of glue to the main book body all three sides). Put a weight on top of your book (a stack of magazines or books would do) and leave it to dry completely. Depending on the thickness of your book you might need to apply a second coating.

After it is completely dry open the book and turn the first uncut page you left to the left side and glue it down to your book cover (in my photo i have accidentaly cut that page, please ignore the hole in mine!).

Turn the second uncut page you left to the right and glue it over the hole you have made. The with a craft knife cut the same rectangle. This will give a crisp cut of your shape and will cover any uneven cuts of your whole.

Paint with any medium you want both sides and the hole! Here I have used acrylic paints and glimmer mists.

Cut patterned paper and glue down as desired and start decorating your inner pages. It is really interesting to give dimension to your hole by glueing down in different levels your embellishments. It is easy to lift slightly some of the inner pages in the hole and create a 3D feeling out of it like I did here with the clouds and the grass.

After you are satisfied with your inside, it is time to decorate your book covers. Do not forget to attach a funky bookmark too or leave some bling bling hanging like I did here!

And my book is ready for Spring (ΑΝΟΙΞΗ in Greek)!!

I hope you'll try to alter a book with this super easy technique!


  1. This is wonderful!!! So beautiful! This is going to be one of my first projects!!!


  2. I have long wanted to do an altered book, this is just lovely!

  3. Wow, brilliant tutorial, I just got a pile of old books to alter so thanks for the inspiration
    Claire xx

  4. Wow, this is beautiful!!! I've wanted to do an altered book forever, but have been intimidated--thank you for making it look so easy! Will definitely be trying soon!!

  5. So gorgeous! Thanks for the wonderful inspiration. Kim

  6. I Love making altered books, thanks for sharing your great tutorial!

  7. WOW, utterly gorgeous book Elina, thanks for the tut hun.. brilliant work xx

  8. Wow Elina this is gorgeous! You all are such a talented group! I learn so much from you!

  9. What inspiration! I have always wanted to alter a book and I find myself getting VERY motivated! Thank you!

  10. Your book is lovely and the directions so very well written. Thanks.

  11. What a beautiful spring art project, and fab tutorial! Thanks, Elina!

  12. Great tutorial! I think your steps will take away a lot of the intimidation people feel when playing with altered books - you make it look very easy!!

  13. Thank you so much for the ideas!!!
    Your book is lovely!!!
    Makes me want to do a book with pressed flowers!!!


Thanks for your wonderful words!

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