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Altered Books: Book Boxes

Lesson 5 of 9

Basics of Collage

Molly Meng

Altered Books: Book Boxes

Molly Meng

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Lesson Info

5. Basics of Collage

Lesson Info

Basics of Collage

The next thing we're going to do is talk about some basics of collage ing now, if you've never collage before it's a good idea, tio kind of a few things in your mind about it, which is there are no mistakes whatsoever in collage ing and layering is a great way to approach ca lodging, layering with anything you want, so in our case, we have the guts of this book still left over, so I like to use a couple pages from the book always maybe it's, a line that you really like from the book, but it's a great idea just as a way to keep the book together, kind of some other fabulous things to use in particular for this book, we're going to use letters because there's, a woman on the endpaper holding up a letter and this three girls running for the letter we're going to use some vintage letters to collage the walls of this book along with the letters I've got some great old stamps, and so what will probably end up doing along the walls is will cover the walls in the letter and then maybe put a st...

amp or two on there just to keep within the theme of letter writing, but you could include anything in the collage you could find some other paper that you really love handwriting that you want cut out words, images, anything like that is is a great concept in collage ing, and then, as I mentioned, layering in your collages a super way to go about it because you can include maybe a personal letter as well as an old photograph or a picture of your dog. Anything you want that could be adhered down is great. Another thing in the basics of collage ing that I want him make sure I make clear it's really fun to use the originals. I know that could be hard to do when it's your family photos or your original letters, you can always xerox everything color or black and white, and that works just a cz well, but if you can manage to use the original of something, it keeps that amazing feel and gives an age to whatever project you're doing. So for this particular project, we're going to use this great old letter, which has a letterhead that used to be siegfried and it was crossed out because hugo actually wrote the letter so it's a really neat needled letter, I bought a whole big collection of vintage letters and the state sale, and I don't know these people and they're not personal to me, but they work really well for the paper, so it's kind of a green vintage paper with some really beautiful handwriting on it and we're going to take our first wall our longest wall and we're gonna lay it down on the paper and in order to get a complete coverage of the wall we're going to start at one end and then fold the paper over like that so we'll have one side that has no paper on it and we'll have an entirely covered other side so you want to use your adhesives in this case I like to use a double stick tape because it's really strong and it works instantly if you have a little more time you could use something that takes a little bit longer to dry. One of the things you also want to remember in the basics of collage ing is the material you're using along with which adhesive you're using and he sits like an elmer's glue or even a glue stick those air water based adhesives and those like to suck up the paper so the moment you would hear that adhesive to a paper it's instantly accepting the paper and so the paper could ripple and it's really difficult to get that ripple out unless you have a bone folder and can really press it out or a soft sided ruler and then you compress it out but you want to be really careful anytime you're using a liquid basic he sieve like an elmer's glue or an elmer's glue stick that you go really lightly I say lightly I mean, really light in terms of the elmer's glue if you decide to use that you want to put a little bit on your glue paper and use something like a popsicle stick or a toothpick to apply it for this, we're going to use a double stick tape because it goes quickly, but any of these other pieces khun b used you just want to make sure you're careful about the application to the paper when you're using a double stick tape if you're using vintage paper, you don't want to put it directly on the vintage paper, which can rip you want to put it on the phone core, which is a sturdy, really sturdy object and there's no way that you're gonna rip the paper up from that, get all the corners, make sure you have good coverage and double stick tape doesn't have to be in a runner. It could be on a on a bolt could be any other way you like, but it's a great one to use, and then I'm going to bring my wall all the way up to the edge of the paper. So I make sure that I'm gonna have one clean edge like this, I'm going to double sick double stick tape the other side and I'm gonna fold the paper over with double stick tape on a roll you don't get quite as much noise I'm gonna use my blade because I want my two ends of my paper as well to be covered, so in order to do that, I need a little room for that paper to bend both this two sides of the paper like this are going to come around so you can see I'm going to need a little adhesive on those two ends. I'll use my glue stick because it's old paper and it is softer on the paper, so put a little adhesive on both ends, wrap those two ends around and then fold your wall onto the paper this way you get a complete coverage of that wall and you can see if you cut here and here you can see I've got full coverage of this wall, so because this talk is going to be showing and this side is going to be showing and this side is going to be showing you want full coverage on all of those sides taking my exacto knife, I can cut away the rest of the paper again really carefully with this vintage paper you want to just be is careful is possible if for any reason you weren't able to end up covering the entire wall, you can go back over it with other parts of other letters, newspapers, maybe it's a photograph you end up wanting to put on there, so I'm I'm cutting away the rest of the paper, so I'm going to have a single wall that's covered and that's going to be one side of my book box. I need to do that to all four sides you can change the paper. Having four different walls of paper is really fun, you can keep the same paper in line. I am going to end up using the same letter for all four walls. I like the color I like how it has the writing on it it's going to be a complete box of all four walls, so now you want to take one of your smaller walls and do a similar thing, but he adhesive on one sign again, I'm using the double stick tape because it goes quickly doesn't need to take time to dry, and as long as you keep it off your fingers, you're good to go and I bring that little wall right up to the edge. Now I'm not going to need to cover my two ends because these two ends will be inside these two ends, so I'm not going to need to get the paper all the way around if you want to, if that's how you want it to look and you wanted to be completely covered that's fine, you just want to make sure remembering that you've cut these exactly besides to fit if you have too much paper around the edges, it could get too tight, and you have a little frustration there at the end when you're trying to fit them all in, so I like to keep these two edges blank, but cover the whole rest of the paper, so I have to do it, he said on the back side, and then I'm gonna fold into the paper like this, and I get an exact coverage that way, using your exacto or any other blade that you're comfortable with, you cut off the ends and you cut off down below, and then you have an end wall to your box, so you should have two short walls that are covered in paper and too long walls that are covered in paper and again, the short walls don't have to be covered on the very end bits, but they do have to be covered all the way around. So when you see the wall from much up top like that, they're completely covered do that four times until you have a complete box set, I'm gonna add a little something because I really like the letter, but I also have room, it says here this whole letter was written in german, which is kind of fun, I have no idea what it says, but someday somebody's going to come along and be able to translate it for me, but it looks like there's a little a little cheerio here at the end. So I'm going to go along and take one of my old stamps and put one of my old stamps there at the end a swell and when you're putting your box together, you'll end up deciding if you want that on the outside or if you end up one ended on the inside, and those are all things that won't happen until we get to the actual construction part because this is old, I'm going to use something real soft on it. I'm not going to put the double stick tape, I'm going to use the rial soft glue stick that's your safest bet whenever you're using vintage paper is a glue stick it's soft, you don't have to worry about ripping the paper, and you want to be careful with other kind of pieces there, so I'm gonna layer in that and I will probably end up layering in a few other stamps to that matched the color of the book just fine where things fit and again nothing's perfect or in perfect, and you have your four walls of collage thie next thing we're going to do is actually construct the box if the box into the book

Class Description

Book boxes are a classic way to store small treasures, and making boxes is great way to upcycle old books. In Altered Books: Book Boxes with Molly Meng, you’ll learn how to collect, convert, and add, you’ll learn how to collect, convert, and add new functions to hardbound tomes. 

Molly is an artist, teacher, and storyteller. She owns and designs cards for the hand-crafted greeting card company 8mm Ideas. In this class she’ll share her expertise in repurposing antiquated books. 

You’ll learn how to: 

  • Select the perfect book to convert  
  • Gut the book, break the spine, and create a simple box frame  
  • Use collage to create color and story  
  • Create both simple and more complex book boxes  

You’ll also learn about the tools that will make the job easier and Molly will share future project ideas for the paper you remove.  

Book boxes are infused with an air of mystery – learn how to make your own magical repository in Altered Books: Book Boxes with Molly Meng. 

Ratings and Reviews

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I learned so many things by watching this class that I always wanted to know. Molly gives great detailed instructions and fascinating suggestions for what you can do with these boxes. I got the sense that she is incredibly excited about doing this and it makes me want to do it to. It sparked a lot of ideas for me even though I doubt I will do exactly what she demonstrates.

Elizabeth Haen

This is such a fun project, can't wait to try it all out! I love Molly's calm and professional manner and upbeat approach to teaching as well.

Mia Reeves

I love the clear step by step directions. I also love the fact that she uses pretty basic tools and materials. The possibilities for creating some very unique book boxes all start here!