ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make an Altered Book with a Drawer

Updated on October 31, 2014
Romantic Themed Altered Book with Open Drawer
Romantic Themed Altered Book with Open Drawer

Make A Romantic Era Altered Book for Your Loved One

Using pictures, text and a video demonstration, this article shows you how to make a romantic themed altered book with a drawer in which you can tuck romantic items and poetry.

Why not make that special someone a romantic altered book for a Valentine's Day gift or a birthday gift, or as a gift just because you feel sentimental? Beautiful, hand made works of art are bound to please and bring a smile to the face of your loved one.

This article shows you, step by step, how to make an altered book similar to the one in the picture. For those who prefer video, I have included a video demonstrating how I put this book together.

This altered book's theme is "Romantic Era", and it contains a pull-out drawer into which you can tuck a love letter or other treasure.

The drawer in this book contains a love poem, How do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Of course, you would write your own poem or love letter if you are so inclined.

Photo Credits: June Campbell

Poll: What would YOU put in the Drawer?

See results

Pictures of the Front and Back

The first two pictures show the front cover of this altered book.

The third picture is the back of the book. It has a strip of brown lace, and a romantic image cut from Graphic 45 paper. The image is bordered with brown edging.

Cover of a Romantic Themed Altered Book
Cover of a Romantic Themed Altered Book

Romantic Altered Book with Drawer Open

Romantic Altered Book with Drawer Open
Romantic Altered Book with Drawer Open

Back of Romantic Altered Book

Altered Book, Back Cover
Altered Book, Back Cover

Amazon: Liquidex Medium and Varnish - A Good Choice

Liquitex Gloss Acrylic Fluid Medium and Varnish, 8-oz
Liquitex Gloss Acrylic Fluid Medium and Varnish, 8-oz

This product is a good choice for gluing pages together in altered books. Since it is a medium, you can use it for other purposes as well. Gold's medium is also excellent, although more costly than Liquidex.

 

Supply List

This is what you will need.

  • 1 hard cover book with a strong spine
  • 1 or 2 craft knives or Xacto knives
  • Box top, box, tin or other item that you will use for the drawer. Alternatively, you can use a template to create a box to use for this purpose.
  • Pencil or pen for marking your cutting area
  • Acrylic medium such as Liquidex to use a glue
  • Acrylic paint, black
  • Paintbrush or sponge brush
  • Clamps, optional
  • Scrapbook paper or other paper with romantic theme
  • Bead or brad to use as knob on drawer (optional)
  • Miscellaneous items to use as embellishments. On my book, I used wedding favor shoes, fabric flowers, a plastic bird, lace, pearl beads, pearl earrings, a hatpin, ribbon and a strip of black lace.
  • Vellum for printing the love poem or love letter.

Book to be Used for Altered Book
Book to be Used for Altered Book

Choosing a Book

Step 1

First, select a suitable hard cover book to use. Your ideal book will be the size you want, and thick enough to hold a drawer. Be sure to choose a book with a strong spine.

Tip: Many people find that Reader's Digest books are not hardy enough, despite being an ideal size and shape for many altered book projects.

You can find old books in used book stores, yard sales, library sales, flea markets or by asking your friends and family to give you old books that are being discarded.

Cutting a Drawer in an Altered Book
Cutting a Drawer in an Altered Book

Mark the Cutting Area for your Drawer

Step 2

Choose a box, tin, or lid of a box that you want to use for a drawer. Obviously, this item must be small enough to fit in the book. Plan to leave some space on both sides and the back, or your book is likely to fall to pieces when you glue things together.

Opening the book to the pages where you want the drawer to begin, and using your chosen box or tin as a guide, draw lines that you will use for cutting. Refer to the picture for guidance.

Cutting Pages Out of an Altered Book to Make a Drawer
Cutting Pages Out of an Altered Book to Make a Drawer

Cut the Drawer Shape

Step 3

Using craft knives or Xacto blades, cut away the pages where you want the drawers to be. This can take some time, depending on the size of the niche that you are cutting. You may need to change blades or knives as this work will dull your blades quickly.

The cut edges do not need to be perfect in this project, since they will be invisible in the finished project.

Fitting a Box into an Altered Book to Form a Drawer
Fitting a Box into an Altered Book to Form a Drawer

Fit the Drawer

Step 4

Before you begin to glue the pages in place, try fitting your drawer shape in the opening. Make any adjustments necessary. It may be wise to cut the niche a little larger than the drawer to allow for shrinkage during drying and to to allow space for papers or paints that you may want to add for decoration.

Important to Remember!

Allow your glue or adhesive to dry thoroughly when you are gluing pages together. This can take a day or two, so plan ahead!

Altered Book Clamped Shut While Glue Dries
Altered Book Clamped Shut While Glue Dries

Glue and Clamp

Step 5

Choosing the right glue is key to success. Water based glues will cause unattractive buckling. For best results, choose an acrylic medium such as liquid Liquidex or liquid Gold medium. Apply this to the pages, gluing everything in place. You do not have to glue every page individually. By applying glue to the sides and ends, you can often glue down blocks of pages.

For best results,clamp the glued pages in place, as shown in the picture. Alternatively, weight the book down with a heavy object and let the glue dry thoroughly. This may take a day or two, so be patient. Rushing this step will be disastrous!

Check in a day or so, and add additional glue as needed.

Painting The Cover of an Altered Book
Painting The Cover of an Altered Book

Paint the Book and Drawer

Step 6

When the glue is thoroughly dry, paint the book and drawer black. I used black acrylic craft paint. Of course, you could paint it any color you want.

Apply as many coats as necessary.

Front Cover of Romantic Altered Book
Front Cover of Romantic Altered Book

Decorate with Romantic Papers and Embellishments

Step 7

When the paint is dried, decorate your book as desired. I used Graphic 45 papers. Other embellishments on the top included light brown fabric edging, light brown lace, an altered wedding favor shoe, fabric flowers, pearl beads, a pear earring and a small plastic bird.

I put strips of scrapbook paper along the back of the spine.

As for the the drawer, I lined it with light brown lace. I printed a love poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning onto a piece of white vellum. I rolled the vellum into a roll, and bound it with a strip of black lace. I used white ribbon and a pearl tipped hatpin to close the poem.

I also punched a small hole in the front of the drawer, and put a long brad through a bead to use as a "knob".

Video Demonstration: Making this Altered Book

The Glass Slipper for the Top of the Book

I placed an altered wedding favor shoe on top of my book. These little shoes make wonderful little gifts by themselves, or they lend themselves to be included in various mixed media art projects.

They are sold in packages of twelve. I decorate all 12 of them at once and use them as I feel inspired to.

They are clear plastic. Simply cover them with a few colours of alcohol inks. When the ink is dry, add ribbon, fibers, flowers, beads or anything you want as decoration. I like attaching flounces of ribbon or fiber at the heels.

If giving them as gifts, you can place small baggies of microbeads, potpourri or other material inside the shoe.


Photos of Other Altered Books

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Garden Themed Altered Book Made from Board BookGarden.Garden Themed Altered Book, CoversBack of Altered Book,Themed Where in the World is DorothyDorothy's Red Slippers on Altered BookDouble Page Spread. Theme, Motherhood.Altered Child's Board Book, Theme St. Patrick's DayDouble Page Spread Themed Body ImageRing of Fire Circle Book
Garden Themed Altered Book Made from Board BookGarden.
Garden Themed Altered Book Made from Board BookGarden.
Garden Themed Altered Book, Covers
Garden Themed Altered Book, Covers
Back of Altered Book,Themed Where in the World is Dorothy
Back of Altered Book,Themed Where in the World is Dorothy
Dorothy's Red Slippers on Altered Book
Dorothy's Red Slippers on Altered Book
Double Page Spread. Theme, Motherhood.
Double Page Spread. Theme, Motherhood.
Altered Child's Board Book, Theme St. Patrick's Day
Altered Child's Board Book, Theme St. Patrick's Day
Double Page Spread Themed Body Image
Double Page Spread Themed Body Image
Ring of Fire Circle Book
Ring of Fire Circle Book

© 2013 June Campbell

Please Leave a Comment

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      ChroniclesofaWa 

      5 years ago

      This is a very nice idea. Though I am most likely to do this on my old school books. :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)