Saturday, September 17, 2011

Christmas Tree Altered Book

Altered Book

Technique:  Papercraft

Pens & Inks:
Versacolor metallic gold ink

Bo Bunny "Father Christmas Holly"
Paisley Park "Father Christmas Around The World"

Tiny Tabs & Tags by Tim Holtz

hard cover book to be altered
gold mica spray (ie Glimmermist)
gold glitter
gold cord
gold brads
red and gold ribbon
hot glue gun

This is my first altered book, and whilst I don't consider it to be "arty" I was pleased with the result, and it suit's me as it's function is a practical one.  The tree in the centre is not just decorative, it's a Christmas card holder.

I started with a book called Quartets for Men, which is a book of gospel hymns.  I picked this up at the Salvation Army thrift shop for a song (I made a punny!).  I removed the first and last page because this was a thicker sheet and would have created issues when folded. 


This left a small gap in some places between the meat of the book and the covers, which I sealed up with tissue tape.

Altered Book

Then the hours of folding started, well not really but it did take longer than I expected! 

To create the fold for the tree take the top right hand corner and fold it down to the spine.

Altered Book

Take that folded edge and carry it in toward the spine once more.

Altered Book

Tuck up the bottom flap.

Altered Book

Repeat that for all the pages.  My book was some 200 pages or thereabouts, and I removed around 20 sheets to ease out some bulk.  This was necessary otherwise the bulk of the folded pages would force the covers to extend beyond the flat 180 degrees that I wanted. 

Altered Book

Once all the pages were folded I lined the inside of both covers with the Bo Bunny patterened papper and then misted the entire surface with a gold mica spray, if you do this less is more, you don't want the pages to wrinkle.

When dry I squeezed the pages of the book together and ran a glue stick along the folded edges, not too hard though, you don't want to force glue between the folds so that the pages stick together, and gave a dusting of gold glitter.

The four little ornaments are made using the Tiny Tags die, which just happens to be the same size as the circles on the Paisley Park paper.  Cut out four tags, and four images of Santa.  Glue the images to the tags and trim any overhang.  Ink around the tag using the Versa metallic gold ink.

Altered Book

The tags are "attached" with a gold brad - what I did there was remove the prongs from the brad and hot glued it into position, that way nothing was sticking through the other side.  The final touch was a red bow atop the tree.

The cover of the book is a faux green leather, and the title of the book is imprinted with gold ink.  I decided not to cover it with paper and just give it a spritz of gold mica.

Here's the tree holding a few Christmas cards.  If you prefer it could be purely decorative and then you could adorn the tree with all manner of bling.

Altered Book

This is being entered into (and was inspired by) the first LESS-ology challenge which is to alter a book.  I am so excited about this challenge, as I love altering and upcycling and that is more within my comfort zone than card making.


  1. wow morgan what a lott of work but your book is become gorgeous.
    and you have decorated beautifully.
    I love it, it looks like a old fashion vintage christmas book.

    grretings karin

  2. What a SUPER idea!!!!!! I love what you've done with that book! Thanks soooo much for playing with us at LESSology!

  3. Such a clever idea, i love what you've done with this book!

  4. brilliant idea and beautiful execution! i've seen these trees before, but just as decor items, never so cleverly put to a practical use - i really love this!

  5. This is oh so very creative. I love how you folded the pages to make a tree. Very clever. Thank you so much for playing with us at LESSology. :)

  6. Wow! This is super cool! :)

    Thanks for playing with us at LESSology! :)

  7. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! This is AMAZING!! You have truly inspired me to try something like this!! WOW! Thanks soooooooooooooo much for playing along with LESSology! :):):):):):):):):):):)

  8. WoW....this is great and very inspirational!
    thanks for playing!

  9. Another stunner! You are so talented Morgan xx

  10. Very beautiful! Thank you especially for describing the technique.

  11. Ditto all the great comments. I have been looking for ideas for my first attempts at altered books and this one will be great. Old music books are on my garage sale shopping list!

    Thanks so much


  12. we used to use old readers digest books for this purpose

  13. My mom did these with Reader's Digest also. She spray painted them silver, gold, green and/or red and then sprinkled glitter on them. They were beautiful. As a child I was in awe of her and the trees she made.

  14. Great Idea for some of Those Books that you don't want to part with but you really have no use for any more. Thus way, they become part of your heritage and are used for more than collecting dust.

  15. In the States, we call this "artsy"... and that it is, and you are! A really great project! A ++++ !

  16. today I saw this great idea that came out of your hands ,this is something that I gone do in our neighbourhood for Christmas . Thanks for it

  17. I used to make these when I was a kid. Spray painted them green, gold or silver. I used reader's digest magazines. I've used books that make a whole tree around in a circle. Thanks for the memories.