Altered Book Project Update


The weekend before my birthday back in June I attended a workshop hosted by Sabrina Ward Harrison. It was awesome. We started these wonderful altered books that weekend and I have continued to work on mine since. Here is an update on how it’s progressing.


We chose our books at random. It was about 40 pages long and was the thickest book in the bunch. Little did I know at the time, but I had my work cut out for me.


Front cover

This book originally started out as a children’s board book about dolphin’s. Though I’m not really a dolphin person, this book did have some lovely shades of blue and images of sea life and had potential.


We were instructed to grab some sandpaper and start roughing up each page. EACH AND EVERY PAGE. This is where page count becomes important. Everyone else finished before me and at halfway through I was frantically sanding away while waiting for my arm to fall off.


I used copper leaf on this spread. Oooh shiny!

Once sanded we started adding color. Some of my pages accidentally stuck together and that’s when I got the brilliant idea to glue every other page together and cut the page count in half.


I flipped the book upside down to obscure any text that may show through the paper and paint.


Because it’s a three dimensional object I really can only work on one spread at a time. This makes for slow going, but it’s good to step away from it while it dries for a day or two.


I have to keep telling myself that better is the enemy of good when it comes to adding things. It’s hard to know when to stop.


Most pages I am happy with, and will likely tweak a few a little more. I started adding scraps of fabric here just to see if I could get them to stick.


These two pages don’t really flow well together in my opinion, but maybe they don’t have to?


I used bubble wrap covered in paint to get this polka dot texture.


Watercolor inks were used heavily here.


The spine of the book has started to split in places so I’ve been reinforcing it with torn tissue paper embedded with strands of silk. This seems to be working.

Back cover

Back cover


Full cover

The outer spine took a beating and tore on both sides. More reinforcing was done here. A few more sessions decorating the pages and it may just be time to start writing things in it. Or maybe not. I haven’t really decided yet and if I do decide to write in it, what should I say? We did some free writing using prompts during the workshop… maybe I should incorporate some of those? This is a work in progress so we’ll see.


These are just quick and dirty phone shots of each page. I intend to photograph it properly soon. Thanks for looking!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s