Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Altering Board Books

I am working on making a few altered board books, "just" for myself--don't you like how we (well, at least
I) say that something is "just" for you... like making something for yourself is somehow less than making something to sell, or making something for someone else? No! It's awesome to make stuff by and for your own sweet self!

So I bought a few board books (small books, usually for children, that can usually fit in your hand, whose pages are made with chipboard aka Bristol board, I think some call it, maybe in England, although I could be making that up) at a used book store. The price was right: just about a dollar each.

I had learned that in order to alter them, you needed to distress the surface. So I scrubbed each one with a dry brillo pad. It took away some of the shininess, but left it still smooth.

I love Lumiere paints, especially Halo Pink Gold (shown here). I covered a few page "spreads" one at a time with the paint. The surface of the board books was still really smooth, though, almost too smooth. The paint just glided on instead of really sinking in. When dry, the paint was adhered, but a lot of brush strokes showed, and the background of the actual book still showed. With another coat of Lumiere paint, this still happened.

I tore up a bit of the shiny surface of one page of the book--that is shown in the bottom corner of this photo:

This left a craggy cardboard surface that had a "tooth" to it--it seemed to grip the paint instead of letting it slide all over. But, that part of the page is thinner, now. Also it's pretty smooth, but not as sleek as I'd like it. Hmm. Will keep experimenting and post back! (Anyone have any suggestions for preparing a board book to "take" paint and other media? Comments welcome!)

1 comment:

Christy said...

Hi Sarah...I love your blog & what you write about...You've probably already worked this out by now, but here are a few ideas for prepping these books. One way is to lightly sand with fine sandpaper, paint with gesso, then lightly sand again before applying regular paint. You don't necessarily have to sand, but it can help keep the gesso from chipping off the sometimes glossy board. Or, you can skip the sanding and go right to painting on the gesso, lightly sand, then glue on tissue paper. After the tissue dries you can apply your regular paint. You can glue on solid sheets of tissue and trim off the excess after it dries, or cover the pages by overlapping individual pieces. You can use smooth or wrinkled tissue (wrinkle the tissue by scrunching it up and very gently smoothing it back out again). These are just a few ideas; I hope they help. Have fun, Christy
OH! One More Tip...If you find you need a lot of gesso and can't stand the expense of artists gesso, go to your local home store and look for a gallon of a cheap brand of wall primer/sealer/stainblocker. Personally I use "Kilz" brand because it's the cheapest here, but there are other brands that work just as well. This primer is very thick so you could (possibly/maybe) thin it out a little bit, but on a project by project basis only. In the case of the boardbooks you'd want to be careful as to not warp the pages. (I'm sooo sorry for such a long comment - didn't intend it to be) :D