My First Altered Art Book

My first altered art book was pretty simple. If I had known about adding pockets to tuck photos and keepsakes into, I would have added some, but I didn’t know about them then.

I started with an old children’s board book and sanded the pages down. You can buy them at the dollar store, thrift store, or yard sale.

For the backgrounds, I used acrylic paint on some spreads and scrapbooking paper on others.

The background used for the cover page is a base coat of paint, then embellished with another shade of paint sponged on for a faux finish look.

The ribbon flowers were a deal at the dollar store.  The picture I used is the wedding invitation.

If you lift the flap, you can see two of the couple’s engagement photos glued onto the reverse side. (The personal info is blurred out for privacy reasons.)

More engagement photos were used on the various spreads. I also used scrapbook embellishments, ribbon, a strand of craft pearls, fake gemstones, and glitter glue to help hold the gemstones in place.

It was tricky punching the holes around the edges of the front and back covers. My cheap hole puncher pretty much died from punching holes in a board book.  The effect was worth it, though, to be able to weave ribbon and pearls around the edges.

After this altered art book, I was excited to try new things. You can see more advanced techniques in these posts:

Homemade Gifts – Altered Art Scrapbooking

Altered Art Book Wedding Gift

Altered Art Photo Box – Homemade Gifts

More Altered Art Photo Boxes – Homemade Gifts

Do you like to do crafts projects? What’s your favorite art or craft? I’d love to hear what interests you. Please share in the comment section.

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24 Responses to My First Altered Art Book

  1. Wow bestie. You’re ULTRA talented on top of everything else. (Martha Stewart move on over!) That is beautiful. Wow!

    I have LOADS of board books. I’m going to try this with Ivy. She turned 16 in Dec. She’ll be gone in two and a half years. I’d better make the most of it. Right?


    • Wow, Bestie, you must have set a record as far as comment a split second after this post was published! I’m impressed!

      Yes, you and Ivy will have a blast doing this craft. You can find things from around the house – buttons, zippers from old clothes, keepsakes from special occasions, ticket stubs from a show you loved, all kinds of stuff. Bottle caps, old jewelry. A six-inch ruler for a school theme. Part of a tape measure for a sewing theme. Guitar pick for a music them. You get my drift! Nothing is off limits. And alter, alter, alter. And when I make mistakes, I just embellish more to cover it up and discover a whole new look. It’s actually therapeutic and they make the coolest, personal gifts for special people in your life. So have at it, and be sure and play some good music to groove out while you’re creating your masterpieces! XO

  2. Yvette Carol says:

    I think you did an absolutely stellar job. Wow! Good on you. My nephew marries his sweetheart this Friday actually. The whole family’s in a giddy uproar of nerves, and tension, and last-minute things to be done. I wish I’d made them something as beautiful as this for them, now that I can see how special it is!

    • Thank you, Yvette. How exciting that your nephew is getting married this week. Family weddings and celebrations are the best of times. You can make them an altered art book anytime! That’s if you have time to do crafts. Maybe when the boys are out of school, you can all do this together and let each of them create their own style of altered art book or box or decoration to hang on the wall. The sky’s the limit!

  3. What a beautiful book! I’m definitely impressed – it surprises people, given my graphic design background, but I’m not very creative when it comes to crafts.

    • Thanks, Jennette! Yes, I’m surprised you’t not creative as far as crafts since you’re uber talented with graphics. I wish I was better with technology because I love graphic designs, too.

  4. They are adorable, Lynn! Doing crafts is so much fun. I miss scrapbooking, but not enough to give up painting time 🙂

    • Thank you, Catherine. I’d probably paint more if I was any good at it! Same with drawing, just doesn’t turn out the way I see things in my mind. Good for you keeping up with the writing, blogging and other social media, and painting and illustrating, too. Plus keeping up with your kids. You’re amazing!

  5. You are so mega talented, Lynn. Do you have trouble deciding which of your many gifts to explore at one time.?About the only craft I still dabble in is flower arranging or wreath making. I used to decoupage, I’ve made candlestick holders. Have several keepsake things I “kept” that way. I’ve done cross stitch and crewel, and latch-hook rug making. There were times I acted and directed, but now it’s just writing and social media. LOL Love me some blogging time. And playing Mimi to 3 grands. I’ll FB and Tweet. The book is really special.

  6. Aw, thanks, Marsha. Sounds like you have many talents, too. Wow! I haven’t had time to do any altered art projects since I’ve been caring for two of my four grands. Mimi is such a cute name for your grandkids to call you! I love me some blogging time, too. Finally back into it after taking four months off from it!

  7. Patricia says:

    I love crafting and every once in a while I get all crazy and invent my own things. This past Christmas I made all of the table decorations for my writer’s group’s annual Christmas Tea. It was fun, time-consuming, frustrating at times, but well worth it. They turned out lovely.

    I really like your book. I hope it was well appreciated.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Wow, Patricia, your table decorations for your writer’s Christmas Tea sound great. Did you do a blog post about that? I’d love to see the pictures. Yes, definitely worth it when you put that much time and effort into something, which makes it all the more special. Yes, the altered art book was very much appreciated, and I was so glad I had discovered altered art and was able to make a nice homemade gift. I think homemade gifts are extra-special.

  8. Diana Beebe says:

    That is gorgeous! What a thoughtful and loving keepsake! I never would have thought to repurpose old board books like that. You are amazing!

    • Thank you, Diana. I can’t take credit for the idea of using an old board book. A friend told me about altered art and she showed me pics on her cell phone that she took at a writing conference. Some of the writers were doing this and brought their beautiful altered art books. One was made out of fabric and others out of board books. I fell in love with the idea as soon as I saw those pics, and I wanted to learn how to do it, too.

      There are some altered art books made with paper bags. I guess we can use anything to make an altered art book or a single piece to hang on the wall. One of my friends has been using old game boards and has come up with some pretty cool looks!

  9. Beautiful, Lynn!! I love artsy stuff. Right now I’m big time into doodling (like zendoodle). 🙂

  10. Wow, look at you! Such creative & talented art. Love it, Lynn. 🙂

  11. Loved seeing your altered art books. Great to have a craft that you can enjoy like this. I’m a farmer at heart (thanks grandma), so my garden is my craft and my wheelbarrow my best friend.

    • Thank you, Lee. I love to garden, too, but we don’t have a yard now. I love that your wheelbarrow is your best friend! My husband had a hard time giving up our wheelbarrow when we moved into our apartment. He wanted to keep it and store it on the patio!

  12. Susie Lindau says:

    This is so amazing! It reminds me of the craft posts you created when I first met you. What a beautiful and sentimental gift! They will cherish it forever!

  13. Gorgeous, Lynn. This is something my Mum also loves to do…there’s something special about handmade cards and books. A priceless gift.

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