These babies are my favorite project to date. Not a quick process but well worth the time involved.This idea came from a post from Dave Lowe Designs. For these books I used standard Composition notebooks. I got mine at the local dollar store for a buck each. The first one is a book I have made for my oldest grandson Ryan. I cut out corrugated cardboard in my shape & glued it onto the front of the book. I used some extra for added dimension. Once I was happy with my design I added the raised area for the book label. My printer is down so the lettering was done by hand. The paper is regular printer paper that I soaked for ten minutes or so in a hot tea bath to give it the antique look.
After the shapes were in place I used a left over party napkin and fit it to the book cover with a wash made of water, my chosen paint color & white craft glue. You do not want this smooth as that would be impossible with the cardboard shapes underneath. Plus when it is dried you end up with an old weathered leather look. Now my grandson has a journal he can write in. You can also do this technique on old books to use for fill in decor for Halloween.
These last two books are done without using a focal raised cardboard design on a smaller type journal style book. The compass came from the dollar store & was in a bag of Pirate themed party favors. Six in a bag for $1.00. I used paper mache clay to hold it to the front of the book. It also gives it a cool look. The back of the compass was not even & glue was just not an option. This one will be labeled as a Guide to Pirate Treasure Hunting for my grandson Bradley. The glittery skull cross bones came from a key chain. This book is for my granddaughter Jessica & is titled Pirate Princess Etiquette.