“Too many good books and not enough time to read them all” is what inspired this wicked little Halloween vignette.
Note: Items in bold yellow are what are needed for this project.
The base is a simple 5”x7” wood picture frame. If the frame you choose has an easel on the back piece try to pull if off and if that doesn’t work replace the back piece with a piece of chipboard or matboard. I aged the dark wood of my frame with a black wash (¼ water to ¾ black acrylic paint). You may also choose to lightly sand back some of the stain on the frame for a vintage look.
Glue four wooden beads or blocks, which match or compliment the frame, to the fours corners of the bottom.
Cover over the glass in the frame with a faux, darkish Oriental carpet, using glue stick for adhesion. Create one of your own or print out the one given here which is 4.5” x 6.5”. I printed my carpet onto a piece of all-over textured, full-sized wallpaper but you may find a similar paper in scrapbooking supplies. Print out the carpet given using your best printer settings.
SKIRTED SIDE TABLE
The base for the table is a plastic lid from a spray can of glass cleaner that measures 2-1/8”H with a 2 ½” diam. Check your spray cans for similar sizes.
Measure the height and diameter of your lid (or what ever you choose for a base) and using a compass draw a circle on a piece of scrap paper that has the diameter of twice the height plus the diameter. of the lid. For instance, in my case the lid was 2 1/8”+2 1/8” +2 ½” for diam. total of 6 ¾”.
Use your pattern to cut a circle of lightweight cotton fabric with a plain or very small print for a table cloth. Hint: For fine prints on fine fabrics check out baby clothing in 2nd hand stores. Treat the inside edge of the table cloth with a tacky glue to prevent fraying. Spread a thin layer of a tacky glue to the top of the lid base and center the table cloth smoothly over it. Now lift the underside of the cloth up and using a toothpick draw 4 fine lines of glue down the side of the lid base from top to bottom, spaced evenly around the lid base. Press the cloth down onto the lines of glue. Reaching up under the tablecloth again, draw four lines down the lid, this time centered between the previous ones and press the cloth into these lines. Repeat this for eight lines of glue, each between the last glued lines, pressing the fabric neatly into them. This will result in a neat and tidy gathered table cover. Cut a piece of lightweight cotton fabric in a coordinating color 3 1/8” square. Hint: You may simply paint your table cloth fabric with acrylics in your choice of colors. Lightly fringe out the four edges. Glue this table topper centered over the table cloth. Lightly glue the underside of it here and there to the table cloth.
CHAIR and OTTOMAN
I choose a very inexpensive upholstered wooden arm chair and ottoman for this project because I wanted to bash it a bit. I lightly sanded and scraped off the shiny finish on the wood and painted it with a medium black wash (half and half water and black acrylic paint). The velvet upholstery was painted with black acrylic.
This 5 ½” tall skeleton is part of an 8 piece SCARY SKELETON GARLAND purchased at Michaels Crafts http://www.michaels.com . I have also seen them sold separately. The arms, legs and hands have been repositioned to sit in the chair and hold a book. To do this, simply heat the parts you want to bend/shape with a heat gun, candle, etc. being very careful to hold them away from the heat source and not to burn yourself or melt the plastic. Snippets were cut from gray faux fur and glued to the back of the head. After cutting back the toes a bit (ouch) leather slippers were glued to the feet. You may choose to dress your skeleton a bit more, maybe with a smoking jacket?
Click on the
pattern sheet to enlarge it and then save to your computer. Make a color copy of the sheet on bright white paper using your printers best setting and setting the size to 3.03”W x 1.59”H or use the Key to Scale given for a 1”+1’ scale. Tombstone
Lay pattern sheet over a piece of medium-fine grade sandpaper and using a colored pencil in a shade darker than the gray of the pieces lightly color over the pieces to add texture.
Cut out pattern pieces and using a tombstone and a base as patterns cut out two of each from white matboard or similar board that is approx. 3/32” thick.
Glue the pattern cutouts logically to both sides of their corresponding matboard pieces, using a quality glue stick (Avery’s Permanent Acid-Free preferred). Cut the long gray strip in half lengthwise and use it to cover the edges (but not the bottom) of the tombstones and to cover the edges of front and side edges (but not the back edge) of the bases; trim to fit. After the glue has set touch up the edges with the colored pencil if needed.
Glue the back edge of the base evenly to the face of the tombstone, bottom edges flush, making sure the two pieces are squared up.
Leave as is or add a small, approx. 3/8” (9.5mm), skull, pony bead
( http://www.beadsandsupplies.com/ is one source) to the base.
Click on pattern above to copy and paste to your computer. Set printer size to 3.03"W x 1.59"H.
Use best printer setting.
SKULL CANDLE HOLDER
Use a 7/8” skull bead or cut a skull free from a skeleton (see skeleton garland above). Glue the skull to a book (see book instructions below) so that the top of the skull sits upright, using softened candle wax as a “base”. Cut a yellow birthday candle to approx.
½ “ high with a 1/8” of wick extending out the top. Carve candle to approx 1/8” thickness. Light the wick until it darkens and blow out. Light another yellow birthday candle and use its warm wax to hold your prepared candle on the top of the skull and then to drip down the sides of the prepared candle for a natural used look. Remember to be safe when “playing with fire”.
Print out copies of book covers and pages, at sizes given, onto bright
white paper (I use Epson brand http://www.Epson.com ) using your printer’s best setting. Use glue stick for adhesion (Avery acid-free is a good choice http://www.avery.com/ )
Click on photo & copy and save to your printer. Set your printer to print at 7.44"W x 5.05"H and at its Best setting.
For cover, score on lines and clip the 4 spine lines as marked. Fold inward on all scored lines and glue in place, making sure none of the white is showing in the corners. Note: If you wish to age the cover: Before you glue back the sides,
gently but firmly scrunch up the piece several times until it is covered with very fine wrinkles. Open it up and gently flatten the piece as smooth as possible. Glue back the 4 sides. Set the cover aside.
Cut out the 2 page strips and glue-stick them together, the last page on the 1st set, evenly over the first page of the 2nd set. Let glue set.
You are going to fold the page strip accordion-style. Start with the first page (the first and last pages of the strips are actually the end papers and will be glued to the inside of the cover) by folding it so the crease is away from you , the next fold will be towards you and so on, until the whole strip is folded. Make sure all is squared-up and make any adjustments if needed.
Turn the strip back side up and place on a non-stick surface such as wax paper (Amazon and Costco sell boxes of 500, 10”x10 ¾” Kabnet-Wax paper sheets from Dixie, that are perfect for crafting). Apply glue stick to all pages except the fist and last ones…keep them free of glue. Lift up page strip and carefully press the backs of the page sets together. Make sure all is squared up and be careful not get glue where is shouldn’t be. Put the pages on a flat surface and press flat with something until the glue sets, checking to see that all pages will still open.
Apply glue-stick to the backs of the non-glued end pages and carefully and evenly place them over the inside of the book cover while pushing the whole book evenly into cover. When all is squared up, press the book flat again until the glue has set. Lightly score across the corners and spine edges to add dimension.
You now have a miniature book that can be displayed open or closed.
-You can make a faux page-block from chipboard, using a page as pattern for the correct size. Hint: Covers of full-size wallpaper books, with the covering paper pulled off, are this thickness chipboard and are handy for many projects.
-If you would like your book/s to have actual pages (but blank), use the book pattern to cut your pages from a tablet, with the tablet’s spine becoming the spine of your book. Glue into cover.
-For an aged/antique look color the edges of the pages with a gold metallic pen. It is easy to do this after the pages are glued together but before they are glued into the cover. Simply squeeze them together in your fingertips while coloring.
-If you want a more modern, shiny looking book you can cover the outside of the book with clear packing tape
Copy and paste to your computer and set to print at 7.74" W x 7.84"H. Use best printer setting.
-Rats are from Lemax Spooky Town Collection # 74683, Rats and Snakes. I used a Dremel Moto Tool to carefully carve off the bases the rats sit on.
-Goblet is a pewter charm filled with green acrylic craft paint that had been globed onto waxed paper and left to set until sticky but not wet. It was then piled into the goblet with some “dripped” on to the base.
-The brass hour glass is from my collection. It was weathered with a black acrylic wash.
ASSORTED BOOK COVERS TO PLAY WITH: Copy & paste to computer; set printer to
7.57" W x 3.98"H; set printer to best setting.
Have fun playing with this project and let me know how everything worked for you.
As always, "let imagination be your guide",