Friday, 15 February 2013

Altered book pages

In those long, empty days before children I used to enjoy having a go at altered books. You can combine all sorts of crafts, and in particular two that I enjoy - collage and painting. I completed one small board book, lots of pages in a larger hardback book, and bought a third hardback book to make a new, themed one.

Then the children came along, and it has taken me until now to pick the craft up again. The book that I am using is called "Three" (purchased from the "Withdrawn for sale" shelf at the library) and I quite like the idea of theming some pages around the number three and things that come in threes. I'd been putting off working on the book for a long time as I was a bit stuck for inspiration, so I did a bit of searching on Pinterest, and found loads of ideas to get me started. I chose two altered book page designs that I really liked, and had a go at them myself.

I couldn't find anywhere to credit the original images so I haven't linked them here, but you can see them on my growing Altered Books pinboard. The first is an outline tree and the second is a cartoon sketch of a little girl, outlined in white. They are both very different to anything that I've painted or drawn before.

altered book page outline tree on green background

I might add something to the tree as I think it's a bit bare, perhaps add some writing in and turn it into a family tree or story.

altered book page little girl with white outline

I wanted the little girl to resemble Mia, but she came out looking a bit older than I intended. She is also a bit more bright and cheerful than the original, she also appears to have been unintentionally inspired by illustrator Nick Sharratt! I used watercolour to paint her and then outlined with slightly diluted white acrylic paint. I quite like the fact that the name Angelique has ended up above her head, it wasn't intentional, but it's nice that she has a name!

I loved working with the watercolours, and even better I actually managed to complete some of the painting while I had small children about, either occupied elsewhere or doing some painting of their own. Both pages were very quick and satisfying to finish.

Now I'm going to carry on with the book, but start to incorporate some of my own ideas. I really like the idea of drawing another girl, so I might try her out again on a different page, and maybe put a little boy in there somewhere too. I'd like to have a go with some collage too.


  1. What a lovely way to bring life back to an unwanted book. I have never heard of Altered Books before - going to check it out now!

    1. Thank you, hope that you have fun looking into it, there are some very creative people out there!

  2. oh wow! I've never heard of altered books before, but as an avid book junkie - I think this is a fabulous idea!! Thanks for entering the PinAddicts Challenge too! Kerry x

    1. Thank you! I'd recommend it as a crafty activity, if you can see past the horror of destroying a book!


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