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Altered books: waiting for the lightning to strike!

Cut, glue, and paint! Why would anyone want to treat a book that way? Didn’t we get punished for doing that when we were children?

Come and see what can be done with books that were destined for the landfill…

Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how many books end up in landfills each year. As long as you are not altering a priceless one-of-a-kind, you will not be struck by lightning…well, probably not anyway.

One of the hardest things about altered books as an art form is that there are no rules. That can also be very freeing, but not if you are bothered by a big blank canvas. So here’s what I suggest:

1. Pick a book to alter. You probably want one with sewn pages instead of glued and with a good strong spine.

2. Rip out a few pages. Scribble on a few pages. Glue a few pages together. Wait for the lightning. Be surprised that it doesn’t come.

3. Start to add pictures, paint, sew, write, draw…do whatever you want. Since you have solved the problem of the blank canvas (see #2 above), you may find this is easier than you thought it would be!

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Limar said…
That's so cool! I just started my first altered book. I've gessoed (?) all the pages and am trying to figure out how to continue. I guess it's better to not think to much, just do it. Right? =)
Limar said…
Ps. I have not been strucken yet =)
Cyndi L said…
The first mark is the hardest to make, probably because until you make it there are endless possibilities. I'm a planner, so doing books this way doesn't come naturally to me. I tend to have two going at any with "plans" and one for "free play".

I think whatever ends up working best for you is what you should do, Limar!
Cyndi L said…
LOL!! I missed your P.S. Don't hold your breathe's not going to happen!
Sherri Osborn said…
What a fun altered art project. Inspiring! :-)
Cyndi L said…
Thank you, Sherri!
My only altered book was a secret box book which doesn't require a lot of creativity except in the cover design. It came out beautifully and will likely do more when my sore fingers recover from all the craft knife cutting. lol.

I love the symbolism of your praying hands book, Cyndi. Prayers of supplication when open as in the photo and prayers of praise or meditation when closed. At least that what occurs to me. Beautiful and inspirational!
Cyndi L said…
Eileen, you've hit the nail on the head exactly, so to speak! It's an a-b-c and prayer book: adoration, beauty, confession, delight, exalt, and Father. Wish it had more pages :-)
Amanda Trought said…
Thanks for sharing, love altering books.