I’ve had an overwhelming response to this project and everyone wants to know how to make it, so here is my shape book tutorial. You can create a shape book out of any number of shapes. I’ve made apples, pumpkins, and even butterflies.
First off, gather your supplies:
– book for dismembering, paperbacks are great
– template (I made half an apple out of a thick piece of chipboard)
– exacto knife with a very sharp blade
– glue stick
– snot dots
– ink or paint for coloring and something to apply it with
– decoration and embellishments.
My paperback book was too thick so I split it in half using my blade. Try and make a clean break or you will end up sacrificing some pages. Remove the cover.
Lay the template down on the book and cut the pages around the template. Be careful not to cut in to the template and try to cut only a few pages down at a time to start. Try and make one smooth cut if you want to avoid rough edges. I personally like the distressed look.
Remove the cut paper leaving the template in place. Cut and repeat. Cut and repeat. I found that I was cutting about four pages at first and then ended up cutting a lot more at a time once I got the hang of it.
Once the book is cut, trim any rough edges you don’t want. Especially those that are hanging off. This will help for the next step: inking.
For color, I used ink refill and diluted it a bit because I wanted it to soak in to the paper. I applied it with a cotton ball to the edge of the book. (I have not tried paint so I’m not sure what technique you will need to keep the pages from sticking together.)
Once the edges were done, I applied the ink/water mixture to the inside of the pages by using a “flip and wipe” method. I turned the book over and then did the same thing on the other side. I did not try and get every page but rather a sampling of pages for a worn effect. Let it dry or cheat and use a heat gun to lightly dry the edges. Which method do you think I used?
Once the book is dry you will need to stretch the spine so it opens. The book I used was not terribly worn so it did not fan well on it’s own. I stretched it at random to loosen it up.
I chose to use a stick with a little leaf for my decoration. On the pumpkin I used wired ribbon, wire, and lace. I covered the stick with snot dots and layed it in the top of the apple. It’s starting to look like an apple now, isn’t it?
Apply a good craft glue stick to one side of the book making sure you go all the way to the edges. Carefully close book and clamp it tight on the glued pages. I think that paperclips would work for this, too. Let it dry.
Add any additional decorations at this point. Fan the book a couple of times to get an even shape. You are done.