With Halloween creeping upon us, I wanted to try and make a spell book and decorate it using a mixed media art technique. Thanks in part to Harry Potter spell books have become very popular. And who would not want a cool spell book as part of their Halloween decorations?
The cool thing about this tutorial is that most crafters will already have most of these supplies at home. So no big expense to make one of these spellbooks.
How to make a spell book
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Prepare the book
Because you are not decorating the outside of the spell book any book with a hardcover book will work. The design of this spell book was created to stay open all the time. You can paint the outside of the book with black gesso or acrylic paint to start.
To create the effect of the open book you can use mod podge and some bobby pins.
Start by dividing the pages into groups. Books are made up of groups of pages bound together, you can use this as a guide. Place the bobby pins on the book to keep the pages together while the mod podge dries. Start at the bottom and add a thick layer of mod podge to the surface. Slightly lift the next layer and add more mod podge, repeat this until you have added mod podge to all the pages.
I found the pages kept falling flat again instead of standing up as I wanted. To hold them in place while the glue dried I used some Suran wrap over the pages. This worked great. Once the mod podge was dry I added more mod podge over all the sides of the book. Once all the glue is dry you will no longer be able to close the book.
To add some more character to the pages on the front you can curl up the corners. I added some more mod podge to the corners of the pages and wrapped them around a straw to get a curled shape.
Paint the book
Once all the mod podge is dry you paint the whole book black. I used black gesso but acrylic paint should work just fine.
When you are painting the book you will notice that the papers will become all wrinkled, this will add to the effect.
Making the spell book eye
To make the eye you can use a clear glass bead and some clay. To add the detail to the eye I tried sharpie pens first but this did not work very well. Next, I tried nail polish and it worked perfectly.
You can have some fun at this stage. I played around with the clay for a while before I was happy with the shape. The great thing about polymer clay is you can keep reworking it until you are happy. I rolled the clay out using a rolling pin, and cut it into long strips. The eye was made up of long strips just shaped together around the glass bead. The hole shape around the eye was made using the end of a retractable pen. So you don’t need to buy any tools. To add some “stitches” to the eye I used some jewellery wire cut to size.
The snake was also polymer clay just rolled and shaped. It does look a little naff, but it will do.
Once you are happy with the designs you made with the polymer clay you have to bake it. Mine had to be baked in the oven for 30 minutes. To get the yellow colour on the glass bead you can add some mod podge and yellow alcohol ink.
To make the skulls and hands to decorate the book you can use silicone moulds. If you don’t want to buy resin to use in the moulds hot glue works just as good.
Add the spells
I cheated on this step and bought the printables from Etsy for a few dollars. I printed them out and glued them to the pages.
Decorating the spell book
You can be creative here using the products you have available at home. I used some metallic gold wax paste to highlight the black paint. Dip your finger into the wax and rub it randomly over some of the surfaces.
When you add the gold wax try not to cover all the black or the effect will be lost. All the embellishments were glued in place using some hot glue.
To add some extra creepiness to your Halloween decor you can add some of these skeleton characters. I ordered these from China last year but they were a lot bigger than I expected but they go great with the spellbook.
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MarielleAugust 25, 2020 at 8:33 am
I saw your link at the Over the Moon link up. This is such a creative idea! Perfect for Halloween. I think my oldest would love making it with me. Thanks for sharing!
Anita HollandAugust 27, 2020 at 11:55 am
Thank you so much, it was lots of fun to make.
Karen, the next best thing to mummyAugust 26, 2020 at 8:25 pm
I love this fantastic idea #,alittlebitofeverything@_karendennis
Anita HollandAugust 27, 2020 at 11:58 am
Thank you so much. That is very kind of you to say.
MichelleAugust 26, 2020 at 10:09 pm
What a creative idea! I love how it turned out. You did an amazing job!
Anita HollandAugust 27, 2020 at 11:58 am
Than k you so much Michelle, just in time for Halloween.
Marie-Interior FrugalistaAugust 27, 2020 at 4:44 am
I’ve said it before, you are a DIY steampunk rock star, Anta! This spellbook is AMAZING! Pinned 🙂
Jasmine GoodwinAugust 28, 2020 at 10:30 pm
What a great idea and great job you did on this spell book. WOW, it looks really amazing and is great for Halloween decorations.
Anita HollandAugust 29, 2020 at 11:40 am
Thank you so much Jasmine. These spellbooks are popular all year round now thanks to Harry Potter.
CeciliaAugust 31, 2020 at 7:17 am
What a eerie transformation! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!
Anita HollandSeptember 1, 2020 at 12:27 am
Thank you, that was the look I was going for.
LeannaAugust 31, 2020 at 9:04 am
Your so talented at mixed media art. Your book would be much creepier than the purchased ones because it is actually a book. That eye seriously creeped me out lol. Great idea.
Anita HollandSeptember 1, 2020 at 12:30 am
Thank you, only just discovered mixed media this year and I am totally hooked. It is such a fun craft technique. The eye was my first attempt at clay, it was really easy to use.
Waste Not Wednesday-221 - Raggedy BitsSeptember 2, 2020 at 10:58 am
[…] How To Make A Spell Book |Unique Creations By Anita […]
Anita HollandSeptember 2, 2020 at 7:07 pm
Thank you so much for the feature.
Laura WaltersSeptember 2, 2020 at 4:35 pm
We are so excited that you participated! Thank you for sharing your creativity! This is so cute!
Anita HollandSeptember 3, 2020 at 3:37 pm
Thank you so much Laura.
Beth WatsonSeptember 2, 2020 at 4:35 pm
What a great addition to our linky party! We are so happy to have you!
Anita HollandSeptember 3, 2020 at 3:33 pm
Thank you for hosting each week.
Meg DavesSeptember 2, 2020 at 4:36 pm
Thank you for participating in our linky party!
Anita HollandSeptember 3, 2020 at 3:34 pm
Thank you so much Meg, see you next week.
Ann ButlerSeptember 2, 2020 at 4:36 pm
Thank you so much for sharing! Your project is absolutely darling!
Anita HollandSeptember 3, 2020 at 3:35 pm
Thank you so much, that is very kind of you to say.
MichelleSeptember 2, 2020 at 4:50 pm
This spellbook is totally fabulous, Anita! I will be featuring it in this week’s Creative Compulsions.
Anita HollandSeptember 3, 2020 at 3:36 pm
Thank you so much Michelle. I really do appreciate the feature.
LizSeptember 3, 2020 at 11:16 pm
Wow, that really looks amazing!
Anita HollandSeptember 5, 2020 at 9:29 am
Thank you so much, Liz, that is very sweet on you to say.
CarolSeptember 4, 2020 at 1:20 am
This is so fabulous! You hit every detail! Featuring when my link party opens up tonight!
Anita HollandSeptember 5, 2020 at 9:30 am
Thank you so much Carol, I never know where to stop with these types of projects. lol
Creative Compulsions Linky Party #75 - My Bijou LifeSeptember 4, 2020 at 2:25 am
[…] of Unique Creations by Anita made this awesome spellbook! What a wonderful Halloween decoration! If you’re feeling like you […]
Anita HollandSeptember 5, 2020 at 9:31 am
Thank you so much for the feature on my spellbook, I really do appreciate it.
Michelle @ The Painted HingeSeptember 4, 2020 at 4:48 am
Wow this is so stinkin’ cool! I love altered book art and this is one of the best I’ve ever seen! Thanks so much for sharing it at Farmhouse Friday!
Anita HollandSeptember 5, 2020 at 9:33 am
AWW!! Thank you so much, Michelle, you have made my day. Thank you so much for the feature.
CatSeptember 4, 2020 at 6:04 pm
As a librarian I strongly approve of having your own spellbook for Hallowe’en! 😉
It looks really cool, well done!!
Anita HollandSeptember 5, 2020 at 9:34 am
Thank you so much Cat, it can be a sensitive issue. I prefer to re-love them in a different way than throwing them away.
Naush SamamaSeptember 6, 2020 at 12:43 am
Anita, the details in your work are outstanding. I really appreciate the time and creativity you put into a project. Love this one too.
Anita HollandSeptember 6, 2020 at 9:50 am
Thank you so much.
T'onna | Sew Crafty CrochetSeptember 6, 2020 at 8:29 pm
You’re so creative! I love this book! I especially love the eye and hands! This creation really makes me ready for Halloween! I featured your lovely creation at this week’s Snickerdoodle Create Bake Make Link Party!
Anita HollandSeptember 7, 2020 at 12:06 pm
Thank you so much for the lovely comment and for the feature on my spellbook.
Anita HollandSeptember 8, 2020 at 11:32 am
Thank you so much for the great comment and for the feature.
Rebecca ElliottSeptember 9, 2020 at 1:40 pm
I LOVE THIS! And I have a couple of old books, in very sad shape, that could use a new lease on life! One question…I spent some time trying to find the downloads you used from Etsy without any luck! Can you possibly provide a link for me?
Anita HollandSeptember 9, 2020 at 3:42 pm
Thank you so much Rebecca. I will send the link to your Email.
Anita HollandSeptember 9, 2020 at 3:45 pm
Hi Rebecca, the email keeps failing but here is the link I got it from. https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/635973988/halloween-potions-spell-book-page-set?ref=hp_rv-1
Debbie-DabbleSeptember 12, 2020 at 11:41 pm
LOVE this!! I made a Spell book several years ago but now I think I need to add a few things to it!! Thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting!!
Kay CranorSeptember 13, 2020 at 2:33 am
WOW! Just WOW! I Love the Spell Book and I really want to try to make one myself. I’m sure you made it look easier than it is lol. Your work is AMAZING and I want to Thank You for sharing. I also Love the Candles so I’ll try my luck with those as well. Wish me luck lol. And God Bless You Always and Keep Up the Great Work, Thanx Again!!!
Anita HollandSeptember 15, 2020 at 7:09 am
Thank you so much Kay, I did the tutorial so others can see how easy it really is.
TinaSeptember 13, 2020 at 11:20 am
Love it, I enjoy a darker Halloween theme..Not into the cute Halloween..You are very talented & I love all of the beautiful creations you’ve made. Thank you for sharing them..
Anita HollandSeptember 15, 2020 at 7:11 am
Thank you Tina, I am with you on the Halloween theme. I just cant come up with the cute ideas, I prefer the creepy.
EucharismaSeptember 14, 2020 at 1:56 am
Really clever! I wish small children didn’t prevent me from making cool “adult” Halloween projects like this LOL. Maybe I can slow them down enough to make drippy bottles or even pencils with those silly plastic rings with the glue and rub off stuff for their friends. Thanks for the inspiration!! Even if it is watered down.
Anita HollandSeptember 15, 2020 at 7:13 am
Thank you so much, I prefer doing the creepy Halloween to the cute.
9 Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Home - Making Time for MemoriesSeptember 19, 2020 at 4:44 am
[…] Spellbook by Unique Creations by Anita […]
Michelle LeslieSeptember 22, 2020 at 10:54 pm
That eye!!!!!!1 Wow Anita, the whole spell book looks amazing, and I had to laugh when you said the snake looks naff. I haven’t heard that it such a long time 😀
Anita HollandSeptember 23, 2020 at 12:37 pm
LOL Thank you Michelle, it is a word I use a lot here and people ask me what naff is.
MariaSeptember 24, 2020 at 7:19 am
Your pretty creative! Perfect for Halloween
Anita HollandSeptember 25, 2020 at 7:24 am
Thank you so much Maria.
MikeOctober 29, 2020 at 3:37 pm
I am so making this book, and a few other things I have seen
Anita HollandOctober 31, 2020 at 12:57 pm
Thank you so for the great comment and for visiting my website.
SusanAugust 16, 2021 at 9:25 pm
Your Halloween decorations are awesome!!
Anita HollandAugust 18, 2021 at 8:16 am
Thank you so much Susan.
SaraAugust 16, 2021 at 10:10 pm
Great idea; I must make one! I’d love to cast a few spells to make my clutter disappear – lol
Anita HollandAugust 18, 2021 at 8:16 am
Thanks Sara, I wish it could do that. lol
Rosemary PalmerAugust 16, 2021 at 10:30 pm
If I ever decorate for Halloween again, this will be made. I have a friend though I think will love this. Will share.
Anita HollandAugust 18, 2021 at 8:17 am
Thanks, We dont do Halloween anymore our kids are all grown up. I make them for my niece.
Laura L WALKERAugust 17, 2021 at 12:50 am
I love this. I will share it with my daughter. Laura
Anita HollandAugust 18, 2021 at 8:18 am
Thank you so much.
Vicki and Jenn 2 Bees in a PodAugust 17, 2021 at 5:55 am
Anita – you are so talented. We especially love the eye! Thanks for sharing another great idea!
Anita HollandAugust 18, 2021 at 8:18 am
Thank you so much, that was my first time using polymer clay.
Kippi OhernAugust 17, 2021 at 9:04 am
What a groovy way to upcycle an old book. Since I love Halloween, I am on the hunt for an old book for a Spellbook.
Anita HollandAugust 18, 2021 at 8:19 am
Thank you Kippi.
MeeganAugust 20, 2021 at 9:43 pm
I just love how much detail and creativity you added to this book. From the polymer clay to the curled pages, this is a perfect Halloween decoration. Always inspired when visiting your blog, Anita.
Anita HollandAugust 21, 2021 at 6:39 pm
Thank you so much Meegan, that is truly a lovely compliment.
SylSeptember 30, 2021 at 1:57 am
This is off the chain. So much skill and attention given to detail. I didn’t read your background but if you haven’t gotten your experience from set and prop design you are genius. Those colors are just right. Your creativity in making the eyes. I’m getting a Halloween Steampunk vibe from the tea kettle. Brilliant!
Anita HollandOctober 2, 2021 at 3:55 pm
Thank you so much Syl, I wish I had that sort of just. I am self taught, and try and use new techniques every project.