Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Novel Keepsake Box

Turn a vintage book into a beautiful memory box perfect for your tiny treasures.

Materials & Embellishments:
Vintage book, at least 1½" thick.
Black velvet, approximately the size of the book's cover.
Gold leaf sheets.
Upholstery tacks, four.
Black craft paper.
Gold photo corners, four.
Heirloom photograph.
Satin ribbon, 1½" wide, 4 feet long.
Embellishments, such as decorative papers, old maps, postage stamps, antique watch faces, skeleton keys, foreign coins, broken jewelry, and old buttons.

Tools & Supplies:
Mod Podge decoupage medium.
Small paintbrush.
Large binder clips, three.
Craft knife.
White chalk.
Double-stick tape.
Gold leaf liquid adhesive.
Gold leaf seal.
Rubber cement.
Hot glue gun and sticks.
Decorative edge scissors.
Adhesive foam squares.

1. To glue all the pages of the book together, open the front cover and press down on the book's pages, creating a tight stack. Paint a coat of Mod Podge on the outside edge of the stack of pages. Clamp the stack of pages to the back of the book with binder clips and let dry.

2. To create a niche inside the book, use the ruler and pencil to draw a rectangle on the first page of the book, 1" from the sides. Using the craft knife and ruler, cut through several pages of the book along the guidelines. Remove the cutouts, then cut through the next layer of pages. Repeat until you reach the back of the book.

3. Coat the insides of the niche with Mod Podge and let dry. Press the velvet into the niche face-side-down and mark where to trim it using white chalk. Cut the velvet along the chalk lines. To make the velvet fit neatly into the corners, cut a square the depth of the niche off each corner. Use double-stick tape to line the inside of the niche with the velvet.

4. Remove the binder clips and close the book's cover. To gold leaf the edges of the block of pages, coat with gold leaf adhesive (be careful not to get the adhesive on the book's back or front covers). Let the adhesive dry until it is tacky (about 60 minutes), then tear off a piece of gold leaf and lay it on the page edges. Use a dry paintbrush to push the gold leaf onto the adhesive. Continue until all the edges are covered in gold leaf. Seal with gold leaf sealer.

5. To add feet to the bottom of the box, turn the book face-down and place one upholstery tack at each corner, ½" from the edge. Hammer into place.

6. Embellish the inside by cutting decorative papers to cover the first page around the niche. Adhere with rubber cement. Use hot glue and ribbon to hide the rough edges. To add a featured photograph to the inside of the lid, attach the photo to black craft paper with gold photo corners. Trim the black paper with decorative edge scissors, leaving ½" around the photo. Glue it to the center of the lid with rubber cement.

7. To embellish the outside of the book, cut out a piece of a map ½" smaller than the book cover, and attach it to the center of the book cover with rubber cement. Cover the edge with silk ribbon using hot glue. Add a smaller piece of decorative paper, such as an old postcard or pretty wrapping paper, to the center of the map with rubber cement. Continue adding embellishments such as postage stamps, foreign coins, broken jewelry, and old buttons. Find the center of the wide satin ribbon and glue it to the back of the book with hot glue. Finally, place your precious mementoes inside and tie your Novel Keepsake Box closed with the ribbon.

*For just a few dollars on eBay, you can buy interesting postage stamps ranging from Guinea's lovely orchids to Tanzania's colorful butterflies.
*For decorative papers and metal embellishments, check out your local scrapbooking store.
*The flea market is a great place to find old books, watch faces, and skeleton keys. And, if you don't have an old family photo for the lid, the flea market has those too, by the hundreds. Meet your new Aunt Gertrude!

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