How to Make an Altered Book
What is an altered book? Wikipedia’s definition is “An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into a different form, altering its appearance and/or meaning.” Altering a book lets you use your creative expression. You can put anything into your altered book; let your imagination soar! Let us start with the book. When you think of altering a book, the first thing that pops into your mind is that you are going to destroy a book. Not so! You are going to turn an overly used, unloved book into a work of art. Hard covered books are typically used, and the spines most looked for are those that are stitched, not glued. Stitched spines hold up to a lot of handling and the pages do not fall out. If you do not know the difference between stitched pages and glued pages, here is a simple trick to see the difference. Take a book and check the edge of the book where the pages end. You should see sections of “signatures” (small bundles of stacked papers). These are sewn in. If you see all the pages at the end of the book glued, keep searching for a sewn spine. Once you have a book, now it is time to create! Altered books are something we create for ourselves. If your book has many pages, you will want to reduce that amount by 50% because decorative pages add a lot of bulk to your book. You can start tearing pages out while watching your favorite show on television or if you are angry, tearing pages out of a book is a good stress reducer. Now that you have your pages reduced, start gluing about six to eight pages together using a PVA glue or gel medium. You will want quite a few of these pages; they will strengthen your page that your art will be on, especially if you plan to add many items to your pages. While you are organizing your pages, think about what you would like to include in your book. Maybe add a few pockets, or a niche, (a shallow recess), a shaker box, or even drawers that you...
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