Every time I hit a thrift store I head straight to the book section to look for vintage books to alter. I have found so many just by scanning thru all the sections. I look for a spine that is tattered and torn or a little frayed, something with wear and tear.
Today I was specifically looking for children’s books. Fortunately most thrift stores have a section for them (although I have found many in other areas too, so don’t overlook scanning thru them also). This book immediately caught my eye, the blue and yellow was very vivid. I pulled it out and looked at the copyright date: 1943! Whoa! Score!
In my hand was one of the CUTEST books I have seen in quite a while. Chatterduck was this adorable little guys name. I knew I was going to make an altered book with this.
Chatterduck was in pretty bad shape. The spine was taped together with masking tape. The papers were brittle and some where ripped. This was a going to be challenge for me.
Once I got it home, I had to figure out how to take apart the book without doing any more damage to the pages while at the same time keep the story intact. This issue was because of how the book was bound together. There were no signatures, subsequently when I took the book apart, I was left with only single pages.
I wanted to keep the turquoise and yellow color theme with black accents going throughout the book, so I pulled together papers, doilies, ribbon and fabric that had those colors. In addition I grabbed some neutral colored lace. Since the book was definitely vintage, the fabric and papers I used all had that a similar pattern to them and a vintage look. One of the fabric patterns had a small amount of green in it. I took that as an opportunity to add some of that color throughout the book.
As I previously mentioned, the book pages were very brittle. I decided to use Mod Podge matte and coated each book page on both sides. This helped tremendously to strengthen the pages.
Now that I had all my papers chosen and prepped, I had to figure out how to attach the single story pages to other papers. First, I numbered each page with a small sticky to keep the story in order – Very Important! In the beginning, I thought I could just remember. That did not work out too well!
After cutting my papers down to the same size of the single pages, (6″ x 8″) I made hinges in order to attach the single pages together (there are many tutorials on YouTube for creating hinges). That way, I could create signatures with the pages when I folded them in half. After gluing the hinges onto my pages, I did a zig-zag stitch along the edges to reinforce them.
Also included with the pages are vintage duck images, phonics cards with farm animals, envelopes and music sheets, as seen in the photos below.
I ended up with two rather thick signatures, each with about 12 pages folded in half for 24 pages per signature. The two signatures were attached to the spine using a 3 hold pamplet stitch. Continuing on with the decorating of the pages, I added additional washi tape and lace that I glued on, I wanted to make sure this book was secure!
Final embellishments and cover
Lots of stamping and fabric paper snippets, altered paperclips, cards and tuck spots completed the cohesive color scheme throughout the book as shown below.
The book closes with a grommet on each side threaded with blue silk ribbon, the outside spine stitching is covered by a snippet roll using the same fabric as throughout the book. Gold stars were glued on to the front cover to add some sparkle and black lace side trim attached along both sides of the book.
Chatterduck makes me smile everytime I look at it, I hope it does for you too!
Happy New Year and glitter on!