Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Wednesday Extra: Altered Keepsake Book by Nic Booth

It's been a long term crafty goal of mine to make something in which I can store those precious, irreplaceable keepsakes of my son's early years - the tags he wore when first born, a lock of his baby hair etc... 

I recently came across a book called Altered Book Workshop by Bev Brazelton which details lots of amazing ideas about altering and adapting books.  The book inspired me to have a go at making my own version of an altered book, a keepsake book made for the purpose of storing my treasured items:

I had loads of fun altering my book and found it really easy to make - it's very adaptable - you can use whatever techniques you like, and it's a great way to use up all those little scraps of stash left over from other projects. 

The supplies you will need for this project are:
A hardback book - I bought mine from the sale shelf at my local library for 25p
Wet Glue - I used paper mod podge
Acrylic paints
An empty matchbox
Script Stamp - I used a wooden stamp called manuscript background from Hero Arts
Craft knife, ruler and cutting mat
Papers and embellishments for decoration.  I used a scrap of cream fabric, paper scraps from kaisercraft - duchess line, My Minds eye, Bobunny and Crate Paper, brads from My Minds Eye and a Maya Road chipboard tag from the ScrapaGoGo May kit and a Martha Stewart punch.

My book started out life as this:

I prepared the book by taking the jacket off and covering the outside with several layers of acrylic paint - I then inked up and stamped my script stamp and then dry brushed another thin layer of white paint over the top.

I then prepared the inside of my book - you can make as many or few inside pages as you like - I decided that I wanted very few inside pages, instead designed my book to open directly onto the section storing the matchbox tray which incorporates a pocket to store my tags.  I glued the inside cover page to the front hardback cover and glued the first ten pages of the book together. 

I placed my matchbox on the last page of the book and measured around the outside - do not cut this page as the matchbox will be glued onto this.  I then placed the matchbox in the same position on a page higher up in the book and began to cut around it until the stack of cut papers is the same height as your match box.

I took the tray out of the matchbox and applied glue around the box and slid the box only into the cut out which should be a tight fit.  I then glued a set of 10 pages over the top.

You may need to remove some page sections from the rest of the book at this stage to prevent the book from being too thick when finished.  I removed about 100 pages from the centre.  To make sure everything remained held together I applied glue around the outside edges of my pages and once dry my book was ready to decorate.

I began by applying acrylic paint to all my glued sections and when dry, stamping the script stamp.  The inside pocket was created by cutting the ten pages I'd glued and painted at the front of the book in half horizontally, attaching my patterned paper and gluing the outside edges to the main inside section.

The outside cover was decorated by using scraps of papers covered in a thin layer of dry brushed paint and a chipboard tag which I covered with fabric and embossed using a embossing folder.  For the inside cover, I printed out this poem I found on the net:
From a child so fair, A miracle from above, Placed gently in my care, This child is growing up so fast, Tomorrow's the future, Today is the past.  Walking, Talking, fading riddles and rhymes, This lock of hair and tags remain, A keepsake of past times.

I added a few embellishments and finished by decorating the front of my matchbox, fixing a small tab of ribbon for easy opening with a brad.

Thanks for looking :-)


  1. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! This is AMAZING!! I just love it! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  2. Looking good Nic - can't wait to have a closer look in June :D

  3. This is amazing! Inspiring work!!! One day I want to make it to :)

  4. That's a really cool book, I love the matchbox cut into it. It's something really special to keep forever. x

  5. I love the hidden drawer...a place to tuck surprises!


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