Thursday, October 7, 2010

Altering a Book - by Lea Cioci

Altered Pages Altering Books
Lea Cioci CPD CPT

Sheets Used:
1724 Time Collage Background
155 Silver Screen
836 D Art Faux Postage

Books make the perfect canvas(es) with the work bound within one cover. Altering books is just what it sounds like, taking a used book and altering it into artwork. Book pages make the ideal surface for stamping, inks, paint, collage, scrapbooking, and mixed-media techniques. This is a type of recycling of sorts, creating something new out of something old. Some people cringe at changing a book structure, but I’d rather recycle an old book into art than to see it going into a landfill. One library in Rockford, IL, did just that; it took old books that didn’t sell in a sale and threw them out! I love to find old books at the Goodwill, flea markets, libraries, and book sales. Most books cost me 25 cents and no more than one dollar!

There is no right or wrong way to create new AB (altered book) art. In some cases, many like to cover the whole page with new art, while some just use ink and leave words or parts of words exposed – if it matches a theme or a sentiment that the artist is trying to convey. AB’s can be started with a theme to follow as the art is created or a number of people just like to create as they go a long, seeing how the colors, textures, and images draw out their expression.

Collage images are fun to play with to communicate a certain feeling or theme within AB’s. I LOVE using Altered Pages images to add various elements as I work on an AB. Along with images, a variety of 3D components such as beads, fibers, charms can be added for enhancement. Mixed media techniques like pockets made with pages, niches cut into the book, and other interesting renderings can totally change a look of the book.

Books have been altered since the time of medieval monks who reused book parchment, a precious commodity. In 1996 Tom Phillips created the current art form with his classic altered book, “Hummunent.”

Many artists like to share creating art by doing what is called “round robins,” where within the originator’s book; various other artists craft art in the pages. Once all the people who have signed up for the round robin are finished, the book is returned to the originator. The book is basically passed around until all the art is completed. Non-artists ask, “What do you do with an altered book?” An altered book is a complete structure filled with art that can be displayed on a table or shelf for others to view or as a d├ęcor accent.

You do not need many tools to start your discovery of altered book design. Take your Altered Pages images, maybe some pigment ink, a glue stick and begin to create!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beautiful Post by Evelyn Spikes

Evelyn has used one of the images from Altered Pages in her blog Beyond Jut Black and White - Evelyn says "A beauty from the "Les Femmes" sheet of Altered Pages is framed by varied patterned papers in the challenge colors, accented by green pearls and flower."

Friday, July 16, 2010

End of Summer Sale at Altered Pages

See the 35% off coupon below!


Receive a free collage sheet with any purchase of $20 or more - this week's free collage sheet is Halloween Postcards


End of Clearance Kits - All the kits at Clearance will be
gone after this week! Time to order now! Order in an email - discounts do not apply but can be combined with a regular order to save on postage. Email me at to order


BOGO Findings - If you haven't checked out the Findings in
a while, you're in for a real treat! For four days only, buy one finding and get the identical item free (while supplies last, we
reserve the right to substitute equal value finding if quantities run out).

This discount CAN be combined with other discounts - just add the code FINDINGS to your order in the Notes section, or drop me an email to when placing your order.


Save 35% off your order at Altered Pages - it's time to celebrate the end of summer! Back to school, back to cooler weather, and Christmas will be here before you know it!

Use the coupon code ENDOFSUMMER (no spaces please) to receive the discount. This discount cannot be combined with any other discount and is good through Friday August 20..

Offer Expires: Friday, August 20

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How To Start An Altered Book - Deb Silva

There are few things in life quite as satisfying as a completed Altered Book. But to finish one, you have to start it, so that’s exactly what we’re going to do. The first step seems simple, but there is a bit of method to it, we’ll need to be a bit choosy. First, we need a book with matte pages; shiny pages don’t take glue or paint well. Secondly, shape and size are important, the right feel, you want the book to be one you are comfortable working in, not too thick, not too tiny, and not too big, just right, as Goldilocks said. A Hardcover is preferable, one that can withstand what you’re going to do to it, no falling out pages or broken spine. It’s also fun to have the title give a clue as to the book’s theme, but it’s not necessary. So now we've picked a book – on to the second step.

Book preparation. We need to remove some pages, we can do this neatly with ruler and razor knife, or scissors, or we can simply rip some pages out. The purpose here is to remove bulk and create room for all those great embellishments you’ll be adding to your book. As you glue in collage elements the outer edges of your book are going to spread, if you want your book to come anywhere near to closing, we need to lighten the page load a bit. You’ll know as you go along exactly how many pages to take out, but this will get us started. One of the advantages to removing pages with scissors is that you’ll have a ready-made flap for inclusions or envelopes; of course you can use your deckle edge scissors to make things more interesting. And ripping pages out leaves flaps for making pockets – simply glue the edges together and stick something cool in there.

Now – page prep – there are many, many background preparation techniques, my favorites are watercolor washes, acrylic paint, especially Lumieres, Portfolios, and Direct to Paper. If you want to totally cover the text on a given page, you might start with a coat of gesso, then use whatever technique strikes your fancy over the top. Experiment; see what you come up with. Some of the Lumieres are very opaque as well, particularly the green. Watercolor Gouache is an opaque type of paint that covers a bit more than the regular transparent watercolor. Portfolios are a brand of water-soluble oil pastel and are one of my favorites – you can just scribble them on, brush on a little water, or paint, and smoosh your pages together for great effects. You’re familiar with Direct to Paper, I’m sure; try some of these techniques on your pages. After you have a few pages prepped, you’re ready to begin altering your book. So, that’s it for this article!

What you’ll find is that Altered Books aren’t all that different than Scrapbooks. Actually, I’ve used quite a bit of scrapbook paper in my Altered Books. The most important thing to take away from this article is there is no right way to alter a book. It’s about the process, about you creating something you love, and as the saying goes, it’s all good! So go get your stuff and play!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Inchies from Trisha Neal, design team member

Aren't these inchies adorable! They were created by Trisha Neal for two swaps from Altered Pages images - visit her blog at Easily Amused, Hard to Offend at

Monday, June 21, 2010

Treasure 3x3 Art Project

Altered Pages collage sheet - Flappers AP148
black cardstock
fine mist spritzer
torn piece of sheet music
stickers - fish and sea plant
word treasure
pencil crayons - purple and yellow
glue stick
scissors and paper trimmer
distress ink - Frayed Burlap
small piece of sponge for adding distress to piece

-using fine mist spritzer, spray black cardstock with bleach. **do in well-ventilated area and use protection to avoid getting bleach on hands, clothes, unwanted areas (best done outside)
-once paper is dry, cut piece 3 inches x 3 inches
-glue torn piece of sheet music onto piece and sponge on distress ink to add color
-trim collage image. using pencil crayons, add yellow to hair and purple to starfish and ladies clothing
-glue collage image to 3 x 3 piece
-add the word treasure as shown
-add fish sticker and sea plant sticker as shown