If you'd like to craft some itty bitty spellbooks just like these, follow the steps I've detailed in this album.
Making the cover: cut a strip of thin cardstock (I used an old ceral box) as wide as you want your books tall. These are 1cm tall and the length is not important as it will be cut down in the next few steps. You can make your books taller or shorter, but it's best to do batches all the same size because it makes fitting the pages much easier.
Here I'm folding over the cardstock, but leaving a bit at the end, sort of a loop. This will become the spine. I am really crimping down hard with smooth face pliers. I fold the slick side to the inside of the book because I thin kthe more rough side emparts better texture when dry brushing.
Now the spine takes shape after squishing the bend down. I just press it against a hard surface and then use my finger nail to sort of etch lines across the spine.
Your spines should look something like this right now.
Trim one side to whatever looks proportional or will fit on your already made shelves. I have literally never measured for this step, just cut it to what looks good.
Now cut the back cover to match the front.
And now you have some empty naked books. If you aren't making a Tome with straps or bolts you can skip ahead to base painting your books.
When I want to make a Tome or locked book, I cut a strip from the same ceral box. It is just wide enough to not curl. Any skinnier and it becomes too fragile in the next step. I think it's between 1 and 2 mm wide.
Here I've pulled back the slick face of the cardstock, just to make the strap a little less thick than the rest of the book.
Now I've cut a point into the strap, just for extra detail.
Glue the pointed end down to one cover.
Making bolts, or adornments, whatever you want to call these. I have sort of imagined that maybe they are emergency tie-downs for a book that otherwise only needs a single strap. Like, maybe the owner of the book knows that occasionaly the book needs to be put on lockdown and these points can be used to lash the book shut.
Bolts cut and glued onto the front and back cover corners.
After the glue has time to set on the strap and bolts, I go back over those bits with a 50/50 glue & water wash to reinforce the bond. I find tiny pieces like this have a tendency to split and flake off. Don't be surprised if your little bolts shed a layer or two of paper.
Now's the time to decide how full or expanded you want your Tome to look. I like the semi-spread open look, so I have the book positioned as such. Now I bend the strap in the correct points to suit a book that is open to this degree.
Here I've marked the excess end of the strap where it needs to be cut.
After cutting the strap, the Tome is ready to move on.
I see brown cardstock and want it painted black. No colors anymore, I want them to turn black. :D The slick surface will need a couple coats, but the rough side should take the paint really well.
I cast Darkness on the books. A couple coats should be plenty.
Highlight the edges of your book.
Dry-brush your books.
Add shiny details to your books.
Ok, the party is over. This is where the fun stops. However tall you cut your cardstock for the books, cut some basic copy/print paper into strips about 1mm shorter than the covers. Like the covers, the pages should be excessively long at this stage. These strips are about 9mm by 3.5cm, but they could have been longer at this stage. The width of the strip is the important factor.
Soak the pages in coffee. Maybe drink some coffee. I try to space the strips of paper so they aren't touching. Leave them in there long enough (5-15 minutes) that they are stained when you GENTLY remove them. I use a small wet paint brush to pick them up and transfer them into a glass cassarole baking dish. Anything like tweezers will tear them at this stage.
Bake the wet paper strips in your oven until every strip has curled. I use a glass cassarole dish. I baked these at 350f and I think it took less than 10 minutes. After they've been in the oven for 3-5 minutes, just sit there and watch. It's fun! Maybe don't use the convection setting or the little strips will start flying around inside the oven.
Now our pages have some color, they're more rigid, the edges are darker, and they smell yummy.
Stack the strips up and cut them right down the middle. The cut ends won't have the darkened rough edge, so keep track of which end is the 'show' end.
The arrows are pointing toward the edges I want to show.
I've bundled a number of cut pages together with the 'show' ends even with each other. You need to decide how thick the book is at this point by adding more or fewer pages to the bundle.
The next step calls for my secret sauce again, the 50/50 water & glue mix. I use this often enough for various things that I just keep a pre-mixed bottle on-hand. The bottle cap containts a pool of the water-glue.
Dip the still excessively long pages into the water-glue. I hold them here long enough to let the paper absorb some of the solution.
That's about right. Just let it dwell a bit.
Squeeze out the excess water when you think the pages are tacky and not so much 'wet' anymore. The bundle will still feel sticky, like fresh glue, but it has been disperse through the paper. Now leave it in the clothespin to dry.
When the pages dry they should look something like this.
Fitting the pages to the book, the 'show' ends are inserted and a line marked to indicate where I need to cut.
I don't cut right on the line, becase I want the pages to be a tiny bit recessed.
The end with the pencil marks is trash.
Gather up the pages that are now cut to finished size. The previous gluing may keep them together, but some or all could be loose now. Square them up again and smooth some glue along the spine side (opposite the 'show' edge).
Place a strip of colored paper along the spine, cut to the page height. I try to pick a color that contrasts or compliments the book cover's color.
After the glue has a chance to set a bit you can start wrapping the binding around the sides. I tack it down with 50/50 glue that I believe soaks into a bit of the paper for a better bond.
Binding paper stiff and dry, things should look like this by now.
When the glue has fully set, it's safe to flair the pages. Even if you want a locked-closed Tome, it's good to flair the pages excessively so they sort of push back against the covers.
Put a little 50/50 glue inside the book to anchor the pages.
Push the bundle of pages into the book cover. The slow setting time should allow you to make sure it's positioned correctly.
Now's the time to lock up those nasty spells if you need a secured Tome. Just put a point of glue on the loose end of the strap, then lock it down.
I use a toothpick to add drops of 50/50 glue to the pages near the spine to both better secure them from falling out, and to add more strength and stiffness to the book.
After adding the 50/50 glue to the pages in the previous step, the book will have a tendency to swell open (if not already locked closed with a strap). I try to find just the right balance of weight to squish them closed while they dry so they are splayed open how I like.
And you're done! That was slightly fewer than 50 steps. Please forgive me.