Making book blocks

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Part two of the making of the practical magic style spellbook. Creating book blocks.

Some tools you will need.

Awl

I am not going to walk you through step-by-step how to make your book blocks for your books because there is a great video on YouTube by sea lemon that walks you through that step by step.

Kettle stitching

Book Binding

I will tell you this; she puts several sheets in each signature but once you tea stain all your pages I have found it works best at three sheets per signature.

The big book block for main section of the Practical Magic style spellbook

Making book blocks may look a little difficult even with Sea Lemons easy-to-follow tutorial but trust me once you get going and get that technique down it will be so easy, the sewing will go so fast you’ll be amazed. My first book block I did curse a bit, especially when the needle stabbed a finger badly. Yes I am blaming the poor defenseless needle and not my hand sewing skills.

Sea lemon also has a video on how to make a book press.

Book Press

She makes a small press and you will be amazed at how simple it is to make. My husband and I went to Home Depot, I found the piece of wood I liked and they actually cut it in half at the store for me. We came home, drilled holes, and put in the screws. That was it. The trip to Home Depot, getting the wood cut, me drilling the holes all took less than thirty minutes total.

I did make a much bigger size press than Sea Lemon because some of the spell books I am making are going to be huge. 18×24 is the finished size of the press.

My book press. Not pretty but functional.

Once the book blocks are complete the next step is to make the cover and spine for the book. I will post that in a few days.

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Tea Staining Paper

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The end result

Part one of the making of my Practical Magic style book.

I wanted the pages of the book to look aged at the beginning with the pages appearing newer as you get towards the end. Like a grimoire that has been passed down generations and each generation having added to the book.

Tea staining is a great way to age paper. With some trial and error on my part I finally found a technique I like.

My first try I just took wet tea bags and rubbed them on both sides of paper. It worked but not like I wanted. I even tried hibiscus tea to give the paper a pink tent. The dark red tea dried to a blue on the paper.

Bag rubbing technique

My second technique was to just soak each sheet of paper in a bath of tea. Some sheets I soaked a few minutes some up to thirty. I laid them around the house to dry. It was a slow process but well worth the wait.

Soaking technique

I did try to dry some sheets in the oven but this summer heat was just too much for that craziness.

You can also stain paper with print on it. The tes won’t affect the print. I did get some pink tinted sheets by adding red food color to the tea.

Printed pages that have been stained

Some pages I gave the coffee cup ring

The paper I used was 70 pound cover in natural white. I work at a print company so I do have access to huge sheets of paper which I can get cut to any size. 15×10.5 is the size of the paper which when folded gave me 7.5×10.5 sheets.

After the paper dried I put them in signatures of three. Next post will cover the sewing of the signatures.

Not red or pink spots.

Triple Moon Spellbook

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Triple Moon book of shadows

For this project you will need a hardcover Journal. The paper inside can be lined or blank, the book can be big or small.

A sheet of chipboard. Some thin cardboard would work also.

A pack of gift bag tissue or cheap paper towels.

Modge Podge.

Some craft glue.

Craft paints. Black and up to three other colors of your choice.

First thing you want to do is get the chipboard and draw three shapes on it the circle and the two half half moons draw two sets of each so you can stack them on top of each other to get you a little thickness. cut them out.

I drew and cut out one set and then traced them to get the second set once you cut those out take two of your half moons and glue them on top of each other so you have a thicker piece do to the same to the other half moon and then your full moon.

Set them to the side to dry.

Now the fun part, on the front of your book take a paintbrush dip it in your mod podge and go all over the front of the book.

If you’re using the tissue paper like you put in gift bags just lay one big piece down press down over the glue and do a little crinkling so you get a good amount of wrinkles.

A little side note if you do want a lot of wrinkles on your cover, before you begin anything on this project take your tissue and ball up into balls. That will help you to get a lot more crinkling.

Now your first layer you should have some overhang on all four sides leave that alone for now now,take your mod podge again and go over the tissue.

Let that dry for a few minutes Open up your book take your modge podge and go around the outer three edges on the inside book cover. If that makes sense.

Take that tissue that’s overhang in the front and press it into the inside go over that with a layer of modge podge.

At this point I found something to stick in the book to prop up the front cover so it can dry.

Now using some glue, glue your triple moon symbol on your front cover where you would like it to be.

Go over that with another layer of the modge podge and tissue just be sure to press around the triple Moon symbols so they stick out.

If you do want more texture then take your Modge Podge put another layer of glue down and then another layer of tissue, go over again with Modge Podge let dry. Just don’t forget to press the paper down around your triple moon symbols.

Flip book and repeat the mod podge tissue on the backside, you can also do the spine of the book when you do the back or when you do the front it doesn’t matter.

Let it dry completely now take your black paint and with the paint brush paint over the whole front of the book.

Base coat

Let it dry and then paint the back of the book you can also open up the covers and paint that little section of Modge podging you did on the inside just make sure to let everything dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Now that everything’s dry you want to take a dry paintbrush and using the dry brush technique take a color of your choice go over the front of the book let dry, do the spine and the back. I used a different color for the dry brushing on the back of my book.

Back

If you find you went to heavy with the dry brush color just dip your finger in your black paint and just go over some areas where you think the other color is too heavy.

Now you can leave that as is or you can take another color and lightly go over the triple moon symbol, once all that is completely dry and I would give it a few hours, paint on a layer of Modge Podge if you want a glossy look. If not just skip the Mod Podge.

The inside of you front cover is going to be looking a little bit messy so you can take a sheet of paper. It can have a design on it or it could be blank and cut it to the size of the inner book cover and glue it on. I used a road map of North Carolina.

Inside front cover.

Now your book is done.

Witches book of shadows

Hidden Compartment Book

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I have been on a book making kick here recently, I guess you could say not only making books but taking old books and giving them a new life. One of the books I’ve recently finished is a hidden compartment book. I got this book when I was a preteen and lost it several years later. When my dad passed away last year I found it in one of his many boxes of books, it just seemed like the perfect book to convert to a hidden compartment book.

So about 20 pages into the book I decided that’s where I’m going to start cutting the book for the hidden compartment. The hole size was determined by my deck of Tarot cards.

I drew the size out on the page where the hole would begin. Using a exacto knife with a fresh blade cut as deep as the blade will allowed. Cut out that section, then another section and so on. This is a slow process but keep cutting out pages till you get to the depth you want.

I put a piece of chipboard on first whole page underneath the hole. Glued it down to the whole page then glued the last cut page to the top part of chipboard.

Hold the section that has the cut out, with glue and a paintbrush apply glue to the edges as you hold all the holed pages together.


Apply the glue to all three edges. Let it dry. Now all that’s left to do is hide your treasure in the book.

I did do some designs on the book cover but that is optional.

Bibbity Bobbity Boo, a Wand How-to

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Bibbity Bobbity Boo, a Wand How-to

So my evil spawn aka the daughter has a birthday coming up. She’s married, has children, works and has a house to maintain. I could get her something practical that could help lighten the load but where’s the fun in that. I making her two fun gifts. A Wand and a Witches Grimore.

Today I made the wand. My oak tree looses limbs during every storm. I pulled off a good size stick from one of the fallen to become the magical instrument. The wand I made was super long, normally wand size is determined by the length from your elbow to wrist.

I used sanding fabric to smooth out most of the lumps and remove the rougher bark.

Sanding the wand.

You can leave the wand natural but I chose to paint it using a metallic craft paint. I just dipped my finger in the paint and rubbed it all over the stick. I didn’t have a paint brush.

Paint is optional.

Once the paint dried I used a little tack glue along with jewelry wrapping wire to attach a selenite wand to the handle end. This will help with getting a good grip during those magic duels.

Attach the selenite wand.

I wrapped a piece of amber further up the wand where the wand had some rough bumps. I used a thick grey thread to attach an amethyst point not far from the amber.

I also used the thread and tack glue to attach another piece of amber for the wand tip. I took a knife and cut a small notch around just below the wand tip to give the thread something to grab onto.

I had several charms I added to the tip also. I just tied them on below the amber.

Last I got out my trusty side kick, the wood burning tool. I burnt into different areas on the wand rune symbols. Research whatever symbols you use. You don’t want to accidentally summon a demon. That would be rude, imagine you’re demon going about your business doing demony things when blam! You’re in a bedroom of some crafter who is wearing pajamas, hair not brushed.

When summoning a demon one should dress up! If you don’t take it seriously how do you expect the demon to?

You can draw the symbols on the wand then burn them into the wood or live life dangerously like me and just free hand burn the symbols.

DIY Spell Book

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Items:

Hardback sketchbook (Michaels)

2 small journals (Dollar Tree)

Craft Paint: 1 metallic copper (Michaels)

1 grape (Michaels)

1 metallic glorious gold (Michaels)

Plastic spiders (Dollar tree)

Mod podge (Michaels)

Wood burning tool

Scrap tissue paper. I used the kind you put in gift bags.

Scrapbook paper (assorted designs) (Michaels)

Paint brushes

Assorted jewelry charms/pendants (Michaels and Hobby Lobby)

Spray bottle of water.

Eye of Newt (optional)

Dead man’s toe (again optional)

How-to or Make Magic!

Using water bottle spray corners of paper. Fan/flip through paper till dry. Open book to random pages, lightly spritz entire page. Dont soak the paper. Let dry. Do this to several pages. You will not need to do this to the smaller books.

Ball up the tissue paper to get some wrinkling going. Set aside. Glue a spider on front of each book. Once that sets up put a layer of mod podge down on first book. Unball the paper and apply to book. You should have some tissue over hang. You want wrinkles, lots of them. Cover spider also, push paper down between the legs so you can keep some of the spider shape. Brush a layer of mod podge over the paper. Let dry. Now open front of book, mod podge the inner edges and press down the tissue. Apply another coat of mod podge over that. Take something and prop under the book cover to let the inner part dry. I did second layer of tissue on the bigger book. The smaller books did fine with just one layer.

Now as you do the spine on the bigger book here’s where you will put the chain (I used several inches of an old necklace). Put down a line of glue halfway down spine. Press chain into glue. Now tissue paper/Glue the spine. Let dry. The smaller books I added the chain to the book back. Now paper/glue the back cover of books.

Paint on a solid coat of the metallic copper. Let dry. Next a layer of grape. Go over some parts heavier than others. Let dry. Dry brush lightly with gold. Let dry. Sounds simple, it is but the drying time is what is the most bothersome. I don’t like the wait, but did I use the time to decide on ‘spells’ and print out items to go inside books. Curses and hexes are optional. *if you find you went to heavy on the gold in some areas just put some grape paint on your finger and rub over the gold. It might take more than one layer.*

Heat up your wood burning tool. Burn edges of paper. This will take a long time. Don’t give up it is worth it. If you burn yourself feel free to drop the F bomb. I did, a few times. Glue on a pendant to the book cover.

Now you are ready to fill up your book with spells, recipes, whatever floats your boat. I mean you can have a casserole recipe on one page and the next page a nice demon summoning. That will give you something to do to pass the time while the casserole bakes. If you’re single: make casserole, summon demon. BAM date night with a demon.

I made this book for the daughter. She grew up watching Buffy, Charmed, Supernatural, and Hocus Pocus. So I made up some pages using those shows as inspiration. I left most of book blank so she can add her own spells.