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Altered Children’s Book – The Classic Story of Heidi

I loved the classic story of Heidi as a girl. I was beyond excited when I found a version of this book at my local thrift store. The illustration on the cover was beautiful, it instantly caught my eye. Perfect for an altered children’s book.

My inspiration

As you can see the cover was gorgeous and the book was in good shape. I did not want to take away from the beauty of the cover by adding a lot of embellishments (which I tend to do).

Journal Construction and Page Layout

The are a total of about 240 pages in this book. I could not wrap my head around how to deconstruct this book and leave the story intact. I removed the story pages from the spine using an exacto knife and was able to see how this was going to come together.

After thinking this through for awhile, I came up with a solution. A midori style book where the story can be removed and the junk journal/altered section used as the covering. The complete story was reinforced with fabric and tied with a tulle ribbon as seen below.

First, I created a new 3 inch spine using a piece of sturdy cardboard to hold not only the story, but my additional journal pages/ephemera etc. Because the illustrations were mostly in the front and back of the book, I was able to remove them easily without damaging the story pages. The images were going to be interspersed with scrapbook, vintage fabric, tea dyed papers etc., creating the junk journal/altered part of the book. Below are some of the pictures, along with my junk journal pages.

I made hinges for the single pages and attached them to another piece of scrapbook paper so I could have a fold in the center. You can see the hinged pages in a few of the above photos.

Color choices, fabrics and ephemera

Sticking with the colors on the cover, I chose a variety of pastels with accents of navy blue. I have quite a stash of ribbons and fabric with these colors. In one of my recent thrift store trips I found a grab bag full of what I thought were laces and fabric. To my surprise, after opening the package when I got home, I realized it was all Barbie clothes! Well, there is no one I know who plays with Barbies so I didn’t feel too bad about cutting them up to use in this journal. My daughter is 28 years old and I don’t have any grandchildren. Here are a couple pages that I used light blue and pink lace from a Barbie dress.

There are 2 signatures in this book with a 1 inch space in between to hold the story. Sewing on my pockets, trim and embellishments was the next step. After that, I attached each of the signatures to the spine with a 3 hole pamphlet stitch. For me, it is easiest to sew most of my pockets and trim on before I attach the pages to the spine. The photos below show my pages tend to be heavily decorated.

Additional ephemera and final touches

I created a few tags to use in the journal with free images I found on the internet. There are so many different variations and illustrations of Heidi, it was difficult to decide which ones to use. The tags shown below are some of these images.

An embellished business mail envelope, a vintage paper doll tucked in a scalloped quilt scrap and postcard stamp flap with mini envelopes add additional interest.

I made the closure using my grommet kit, adding a gold eyelet in the middle of the front and back cover, then threading a blue silk ribbon thru each side. On the upper left hand corner of the cover is a cluster made of fabric, ribbon and tulle with a flower from a Christmas ornament and a vintage earring. The spine is decorated with a fabric, lace, tulle and ribbon snippet.

It makes me so happy to think that this altered children’s book will be enjoyed by many in the future. I hope this inspires you to create your own altered children’s book.

Glitter on friends,

I am a self proclaimed junk journal fanatic and creative crafter. If it is vintage, I am in! I recently retired from the corporate world and now have more time to devote to my love of creating one of a kind treasures. Besides junk journals my hobbies include thrifting, flea market outings, fashion, cooking, hanging with my girlfriends and daughter and golf with my husband. I currently live in the mountains of beautiful Colorado.