Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gee, Gosh & Golly Alice! How to Add 75 Years to a Book.

Here's another project from the ocean of work...

The second book prop for the film (see yesterday's post for details) was a copy of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The book needed to look vintage, have John Tenniel's illustrations and to have an extra page added into the book which corresponds with the film. 

My first task was to find a copy of the book that had a few blank pages in it. These are usually found in hard back books at the very back. I flipped through a few copies of paperbacks but they rarely have them. I thought I hit gold when I found a great used version on Amazon only to receive an e-mail two days later explaining that the copy of the book they sold me is no longer available- blast. That sent me on a hunt around town. Oddly enough I actually found what I needed at Barnes and Noble. The sales guys were even nice enough to open the cellophane cover so I could confirm that there were empty pages. However, the pink and gold embossed leather cover didn't scream early edition to me. 

So, I pulled out my magic vintage wand and turned the book into this!

Wand aside, here's how I did it....

I knew I was going to need book cloth for the cover but I had a hard time sourcing the right color  so I had to make my own. There was A LOT of trial and error in this one. First I started with a muslin that had a double sided adhesive that I picked up at the fabric store, no go. The adhesive only mildly stuck and pulled the paper backing away from the fabric. So, a run to a part of Queens I've never been to before and the craft store AC Moore to get heat n' bond ultra hold. Now that ought to stick! 

Step 1. iron a heavy tissue paper, no, I'm not OCD, you have to get the wrinkles out otherwise they show up on the fabric! Make sure it's heavy too. I tried the regular gift wrapping version and it was too flimsy.

2. Cut a piece of the heat and bond to the size you need and adhere it to the paper. Then peal the paper backing off to expose the other side of adhesive.

3. Lay your cloth, I used a light cotton, (which should have already been ironed and washed if possible) on top of the adhesive. Press with the iron for about 8 sec. in each spot. I still had a little trouble with the heat n' bond pulling the tissue paper backing and creating wrinkles, but I think if I had used a heavier fabric this wouldn't have happened.

4. Voila' you have book cloth. Now comes the hard part, covering the book!

P.S. Sorry I don't have photos for all these steps. 

I worked on this in stages so that I didn't have odd globs of YES! paste getting into areas where they were forbidden. Wax paper is also a life saver when you do this type of thing.

Back to the project, I cut my book cloth down to be about 1" larger than the book on all sides when it laid open. I pasted one cover at a time and let it dry for a bit. Then, I mitered the corners and pasted them in  place. Lastly I tackled the spine. My nerves were a bit raw with this one. If I screwed this part up I'd have to start all over.

I cut small slits at the edges of my cloth on either side of the spine. I tested the depth of the cut by tucking the flap into the spine to see if it would stick up. Once I thought I had the cut right, I pasted, and then used a plethora of skinny tools to shove it down around the spine as neatly as possible.

Here's the end of that part.

Now, the extra page. Good thing I found a book with some empty pages because I used up every last one trying to get this right and then still had to utilize a page that only had text on one side.

After first trying to use a photocopy and transfer pen with the text, and not getting good results (the paper was too thin and kept causing the transfer to bleed) I then had the not so difficult idea of just putting it through my printer... what do you know, the most basic and simple version worked. Too bad I didn't think of that first. Oh well, it worked out.

The last part was the front graphic. This took even more experimenting, but seeing as I don't have many photos to illustrate what worked and what didn't we'll go with the short version. I used an iron on transfer for light colored fabrics. I printed out the graphic in a mirror version on the transfer paper and then cut the page size down to fit the cover. Usually you don't want to have any extra transfer around your image area but it worked out okay this time because it gave the cover a slight gloss, which worked with the vintage feel.

The last step was to beat it up a bit. I sanded off a lot of the gold edging on the pages and then went after the edges of the cover to give them a look of having been dragged along shelves for many years.

There you have it. Instead of a face lift- it got beat up. Poor book. 

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