Instructables

Harry Potter Trunk and Books

Picture of Harry Potter Trunk and Books
Books Front.jpg
Books Standing.jpg
Books Open.jpg
Monster Book.jpg
Trunk.jpg
I was not intending to make an instructable on this so I don't have process photos but there are lots of tutorials on book-making on the internet which I will reference and I will do my best to explain my process as clearly as possible.  A description of each item in the set is shown below the description of the process I used.

Book contents: 

Three of the books have content written and published by JK Rowling which I typed in and formatted.  These are The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through The Ages. 

The content of "Charm Your Own Cheese" is recipes that I found by searching the internet for Harry Potter Recipes. 

The content of the remaining books was developed using several websites and several books about the Harry Potter series.  Some of the book are primarily "dictionaries" of some subject area of the books - spells, potions, plants, monsters, etc.  Others, like History of Magic and Magical Theory are more like short essays on various subjects such as communication and transportation in the wizarding world, types of magic like divination or transformation, and timelines of both the history of the wizarding world and the book series.  I combined info from various sources, found or developed illustrations where possible and formatted the text with various fonts.

Printing the books:

I printed the books using a program called "Clickbooks" which does the "imposition" for you so that the pages print correctly for binding.  For a description of imposition see http://tinyurl.com/636ebu6

Binding the books:

The bindings were made with mostly recycled materials.   The "boards" or cover and spine materials were recycled from the covers of discarded books or from game boards rescued from dead games.  The leathers were from old garments, mostly coats or skirts.

The hardback books were made by sewing the book block on tapes and using a "cased in" method to attach the book block to the cover.  Many tutorials on that method are available on the internet, for example  http://tinyurl.com/9j8uf  Videos can be found on youtube by searching on "bookbinding casing in". 

The pink "Charm Your Own Cheese" and the green suede "Herbology" are "single signature" or "pamphlet" bindings which are very quick and easy to make.  First the leather was glued to a decorative paper using PVA glue and then cut to size and the paper signature was then sewn into the cover.  A tutorial on this type of binding is available at http://tinyurl.com/42j7z7 The green binding was made to wrap around in an envelope style and close using a button while the pink one has ribbon simply laced through cuts in the leather so that the book can be tied shut.

The burgundy leather binding with a wrap-around thong and gold decoration was made by sewing the signatures through the leather and adding beads along the spine.  A tutorial for this type of binding is available here:  http://tinyurl.com/6z5pxca

The off-white book with brown leather straps across the spine and brown leather toggle closure was based on a medieval "ledger" binding type.  I could not find any tutorials on that type of binding.

The Monster Book of Monsters was constructed the same way as the other hardback bindings using a heavy, durable paper for the covering instead of leather.  The teeth, tongue, eyes and tentacles were made from polymer clay using the "flex" type for the tongue and tentacles.  The teeth were made and cured first, then the gums were added to the teeth and attached to the cover using white glue and cured.  The tentacles were then made and attached to the cover using PVA glue and the book was again "cooked" to cure the clay.  The tongue was made separately and glued to the inside of the back cover.  After all of the polymer clay work was done, the cover was attached to the book block.  Finally, the eyes were glued to the cover of the book and a rabbit skin was fitted to the book and cut to size with a slit being cut where the eyes were located.  The rabbit skin was glued to the cover.  Hair was snipped off of scraps of the rabbit skin and glued to the backs of the tentacles to give them a furry appearance.  I recommend that all work done with the rabbit skin be done outside because you wind up with hair on everything!  The lettering of the Monster Book of Monsters was worked out in photoshop from a screen capture of the book in the movie which I found on the internet.   It was then printed on heavy paper and the letters were painting using a gold metallic paint.  The area around the letters was painted with a grey paint to give the same appearance as the book in the movies.  The pieces of the book title were cut out and the hair of the rabbit skin was cut as close to the skin as possible in the areas where the title pieces were to be placed, frequently checking the placement and being careful not to cut away too much of the hair.  The book labels were then glued into place using PVA glue.  The belt was made by cutting a strip from a piece of new heavy tooling leather and a buckle recycled from a thrift shop belt.

Book cover decorations:

Most of the books were covered in leather. Potion Making and History of Magic were covered in paper on which I printed designs I had worked up in Photoshop. The Dark Arts book cover was made by embossing a thin metal, filling the back of the embossing with spackle and then gluing it to the leather cover after the spackle dried. The label of Magical Theory was simply written with a marker as was the decoration of Charm Your Own Cheese and the gold decorations on the burgundy spell book. The cover of The Tales of Beedle The Bard was made by printing out the cover design on paper, gluing it to the cover and then gluing the leather on with a window cut out of it to show the printed design. The two books with round white labels were created by simply printing the labels on white label paper, cutting them out and sticking them to the book covers.

Making the Trunk:

A box with a curved top and appropriate hardware was purchased from a craft store.  The hardware was removed.  Trim was removed and pieces of bookboard and wood filler was used to make the trunk as smooth as possible.  A pattern was made for each section of the box so that pieces could be cut from a leather coat for covering.  Some areas of the trunk required more than one piece of leather and these were planned so that the trim would cover seams between the pieces of leather.  The leather was glued to the trunk pieces using PVA glue.  The trim for the trunk was made from round foam insulation strips purchased at a hardware store.  A razor blade for a snap-off type razor case was clamped in a vise at an angle of 30 degrees or so with the cutting edge on the side closest to the vise.  Pieces of the round foam cut to a length that would wrap all the way around the trunk + a little more were then pulled carefully across the blade to cut them into half-round lengths of foam.  These were tacked to a wall with bulletin board tacks for the next several steps.  In order to provide a surface that paint would adhere to, several coats of PVA glue were applied to the foam by using a brush a bit wider than the foam and holding a scrap of cardboard behind the foam with one hand while painting on the glue with the other hand.  Then the foam was painted with a creamy-tan acrylic craft paint.  A coat of brown glaze was then applied and wiped off with a scrap from an old sweatshirt (inside surface against the foam) to give a wood-like look.  Early attempts showed me that the paint wanted to flake off the foam when curved around the edges of the trunk or when the foam was pressed hard enough.   I found that the best way to deal with this was to add several more coats of PVA glue to the foam before attaching it to the trunk but not enough that all of the flexibility of the foam was gone.  The foam was then attached to the trunk using PVA glue and weighing it in place with ankle weights while it dried on each side of the trunk.  Some flaking of the paint did occur, mainly at the corners of the trunk.  To fix this, I rubbed off any loose paint, then covered those areas with the creamy-tan paint and a coat of the glaze.  Then I painted all of the foam with another coat of glaze so that the touch ups blended in nicely and the foam took on a somewhat darker and more realistic wood look.   When I was happy with the look of the foam, I applied more coats of PVA glue to the foam until the foam was hard and inflexible so that pressing on the foam would no longer cause any flaking.   The foam strips were applied all the way around the trunk as though it was one piece and when all of the steps were complete, the foam was cut where the top and bottom of the trunk met and the ends of the foam thus exposed were painted.  The hardware was reattached to the trunk.  Strips of leather were cut and the outer edges were brought together on the back of the strip of leather to make smooth edges along the long sides of the strips and these were attached to the ends of the trunk to make the "handles" using tiny brass brads.  I painted the interior of the trunk with black paint but lining it with fabric would be a nice touch.

Trunk
11 ¾ wide 7 ¾ high 7 ¾ deep
Covered with brown leather with faux wood half-round trim, constructed to appear like Harry Potter’s trunk as shown in several of the movies.

The Monster Book of Monsters
7 ¾ tall 6 ½ wide 2 spine 228 pages
BINDING: Hardback of Rabbit Skin with teeth and tentacles made of Polymer Clay
CONTENTS: Magizoology, Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, Ministry of Magic Classification of Beasts, Hogwarts Care of Magical Creatures Class, Dictionary of Beasts

Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them
4 7/8 x 4 x 5/8 87 pages
BINDING: Hardback of Black Leather
CONTENTS: What is a Beast?, A Brief History of Muggle Awareness of Fantastic Beasts, Magical Beasts in Hiding, Why Magizoology Matters, Ministry of Magic Classifications, An A-Z of Fantastic Beasts

A Study of Recent Developments in Wizardry
4 ½ x 3 11/16 x 7/8 228 pages
BINDING: Hardback with covering of silver metallic material
CONTENTS: Many chapters on various aspects of wizarding life such as government, communication, transportation and food, and a dictionary of magical objects

Advanced Potion Making
4 3/8 x 3 5/8 x ½ 91 pages
BINDING: Hardback with paper covering matching appearance of the book in the movie Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
CONTENTS: Potions at Hogwarts, Encyclopedia of Potions

Magical Theory
4 3/8 x 3 7/16 x ¾ 108 pages
BINDING: Hardback of tan deerskin
CONTENTS: Descriptions of various types of magic such as Arithmancy, Legilimency, Occlumency, Transfiguration and Divination

A History of Magic
3 ½ x 4 1/8 x 11/16 163 pages
BINDING: Hardback with paper covering with red and gold design
CONTENTS: History of the wizarding world including a timeline of magical history

The Standard Book of Spells
4 x 4 1/8 x 5/8 176 pages
BINDING: Soft cover of burgundy leather with designs in gold ink designed from the book Lucius Malfoy took from Ginny Weasley’s cauldron in the bookstore near the beginning of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
CONTENTS: Spell Definitions, Spellbooks, Charms Classes At Hogwarts, Encyclopedia of Spells

The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection
3 7/8 x 3 3/16 x ¾ 99 pages
BINDING: Hardback of black leather with embossed and antiqued aluminum skull design on the cover
CONTENTS: Defence Against the Dark Arts Class at Hogwarts, The Dark Arts, Dark Magic spells, Dark Magic Objects, Dark creatures, Lord Voldemort, Death Eaters, Aurors, Dumbledore's Army, The Order of the Phoenix
The Tales of Beedle The Bard
4 1/16 x 3 ½ x 5/8 105 pages
BINDING: Hardback of brown leather with insert of paper
CONTENTS: The Wizard and The Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock’s Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump, The Tale of the Three Brothers

Quidditch Through The Ages
4 x 3 3/8 x 7/16 92 pages
BINDING: Binding of real leather parchment in medieval ledger binding with brown leather straps and toggle closure
CONTENTS: The Evolution of the Flying Broomstick, Ancient Broom Games, The Game from Queerditch Marsh, The Arrival of the Golden Snitch, Anti-Muggle Precautions, Changes in Quidditch since the Fourteenth Century, Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland, The Spread of Quidditch Worldwide, The Development of the Racing Broom, Quidditch Today

One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi
4 x 3 ½ x ¼ 50 pages
BINDING: Soft green leather cover with button closure
CONTENTS: Herbology At Hogwarts, Introduction to Herbology, Five Steps to Proper Plant Care, Equipment, Compost, Medicinal Plants, Growing Wand Wood, Wand Woods and Their Properties, Books About Herbology, Dictionary of Plants

Charm Your Own Cheese
4 ¼ x 3 ½ x ¼ 42 pages
BINDING: Soft pink leather cover with cover design in white ink and white leather tie closure
CONTENTS: Recipes (and in many cases multiple recipes) for Acid Pops, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, Butterbeer, Cauldron Cakes, Chocolate Frogs, Cockroach Clusters, Jelly Slugs, Licorice Wands, Peppermint Toads, Pumpkin Juice, Pumpkin Pasties, Rock Cakes, Spotted Dick, Ton Tongue Toffee, Toothflossing Stringmints, Treacle Fudge and Treacle Tart
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guyaltman1 month ago

I found a really cool site that has about 40 recipes for potions. so i bond theme together the link for the Site is hare

http://www.snitchseeker.com/term-25-may-july-2010/potions-recipe-book-74836/

billbillt4 months ago

great

thehbird6 months ago

OMG WOW U R AMAZING

robotman97 months ago
me too
cudlybear200510 months ago
This is awesome! Do you by chance still have the files you used for the books? It would make my day if you did! :)
Nikadi1 year ago
This is absolutely amazing :)
bookcrazzzy (author) 1 year ago
Most public libraries have some good basic bookbinding books that will teach you the fundamentals. There are also tutorials on the internet and on youtube.
I think this is fantastic and I am looking forward to trying to make it. The only thing I am nervous about making is the bindings parts of the books as very unsure about about and would love some more guidance on it.
This is really cool, but unfortunately I live in the middle of the pacific ocean on a small little holiday get-a-way called fiji. ... we do not have rabbits for the spider looking book, but i do have some old sheep skin, do you think it might work ? Do you still make any more of these now days???
Oh and about the book measurements, is it in inches? centimeters? and the lengths and stuff, is the first one height? second length? last width? im not that good with the measuring.... please help.
bookcrazzzy (author)  penguin_tuxedo1 year ago
The measurements are in inches. The first in height, second is width and third is thickness.
bookcrazzzy (author)  penguin_tuxedo1 year ago
Yes, I think sheep skin would work although I got the rabbit skin on ebay. I don't make these any more because I had a second shoulder joint replacement surgery and long term damage makes it impossible for me to make these.
Where would I be able to buy one of these sets from you, I think this is amazing and I would never be able to do this by myself. Also, this would be one of the things that would complete my HP collection
I'd also be interested in buying one for my brother's 11th birthday. : )
juicymoose2 years ago
Amazin I soo wish I had the talent to do this
cowgirl20152 years ago
What websites and books did you use to make this?
bookcrazzzy (author)  cowgirl20152 years ago
I used a bunch of different websites as well as some books and I did it nearly a year ago and no longer have the links and such. It is easy enough to find the info through Google as there are tons of Harry Potter websites out there.

Frankly, it took me as long to develop the content of the books as it did to make 4 sets of the books with trunks. I would suggest that you start with the book you would most like to have, develop the content and make the book. Then you can decide if you want to try making more of them.

If you haven't made books before, I would suggest that you make at least one of each type of book using cheap paper and recycled materials so that you know what is involved.

This is truly amazing! I can't even imagine the time and effort you used to make this collection!!
Do you think you could post some closeups of each book? That would be so cool.
bookcrazzzy (author)  Junebugbanjo3 years ago
I gave it away as a gift but I'll see if I can get some pics and post them in the next few days.
you gave it away? you're really a nice person... no way would i give it away if i took the time and effort to make it. but you're a true potterhead (as am I). They look really great and the Monster Book of Monsters is just how I imagined it when I was reading the books!
dannacatan2 years ago
you create it very clean and too tidy...... gonna be hard for me....
ntorch2 years ago
Oh my god i would buy these off you! I literally would. please make some more and sell them!
bookcrazzzy (author)  ntorch2 years ago
I am selling a few sets on ebay right now. My username on ebay is peachie397. I'm glad you like the books!
oooh yay! thank you. owh but you're from america - i'll have all the shipping costs and fees which are like $60 i think :/ sad times.
Janipun2 years ago
Every time I see this tutorial I'm firstly blown away at how brilliant it is, then I desperately want to make it, then I get scared of how amazing and difficult it is, then I leave it a few months then come back and repeat the cycle. Oh well, maybe one day...

The only thing I don't like is using a real rabbit to cover the book. Seems a tad unfair to kill something for a craft project. Maybe it was previously eaten.

Otherwise, it's completely brilliant!
bookcrazzzy (author)  Janipun2 years ago
I did look into faux fur options for the Monster Book but couldn't find anything that came anywhere close to the rabbit skins for looking like the book in the movie or for being so soft. I bought the skins on ebay so I don't know if the rabbits were eaten or not. The other leathers that I used on the books and to cover the trunk were recycled from used leather clothing.

I'm glad you like the books. I wrote a lot more about how to make them in the comments so maybe that will help. It is a big project, that's for sure!

Thanks for the compliments!
I wish I could send you my ugly old white and brown rabbit purse from 1971!Sadly after 3 mov, I can't find it myself...
Bwaaaa this is so cool!
I love the whole project! you are a true potter fan :D but i was wondering maybe if it would be possible to make a step by step on a few of the books and the trunk. i love the whole idea and i'm currently trying to back a little notepad with leather and try to make it look like an actual spell book. ive only wrote the spells and descriptions but its gonna look good touchwood. cheers
bookcrazzzy (author)  Abus Dumbledore2 years ago
If you read through my description, you will find links to step-by-step tutorials for each type of binding that I made. I can't see putting together step-by-steps on those when there are lots of tutorials available on the web.

When it comes to decorating the covers, there are lots of ways to do them and you could go with whatever type of craft you are already familiar with. The metal embossing that I did on the dark arts books was done using a cut up pop can and you can use a ballpoint ink pen without ink in it to do the embossing itself. Again, you can find videos on how to do this on youtube.

If you aren't familiar with polymer clay, you could use paper clay or paper mache to make the monster book of monsters, it just wouldn't be as durable. I have made more of that book since then with just the eyes and teeth made from polymer clay. For the mouth and tentacles, I have used a DIY type of SUGRU made from silicone and cornstarch. It cures to a rubbery, flexible state that is more durable than the polymer clay. I learned how to do it from another instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Sugru-Substitute/

When it comes to the trunk, I gave the best instructions that I could. I'll try to give you some more information here, though. Buy a trunk that has the right shape from a craft store (I got mine at Hobby Lobby). Remove the hardware and decorations from it. Cover it with leather using a white glue (I used Mod Podge). You want the leather on the ends to wrap around to the front or top of the box just a little bit, maybe 1/4" so that the edge will be under the "wood" strips. Then cover the front, top and back so that the edges of the leather come close to the edges from covering the sides. If you don't have large enough pieces of leather to cover it in one piece, make sure to size them so that any seams will be under the "wood" strips. When I covered it with leather, I did it in stages as follows: side 1, side 2, front, top, back. Each time I glued on the leather and then weighted it down using wrist and ankle weights but you could use anything that will hold the leather down until it dries. Then I went on to the next area, weighed it down and let it dry, etc.

The hardest part by far was the "wood" strips. The material that I used is a weatherstripping foam available at any hardware store. Here is a link to show you what it is: http://tinyurl.com// As you can see, it is round and what you need is for it to be half-round. I explained how I cut it in my description. The main thing is that I secured a long razor blade (a replacement blade for the kind of knife that has places you can break off to get a sharp edge) in a woodworking vise so that it was at a low angle, maybe 30 degrees. Then I very carefully and gently, began to cut the weatherstrip by pushing it against the blade until it was cut far enough in that I could grasp the cut ends past the blade. Then I pulled on the cut ends with my right hand while guiding the uncut part of the foam into the blade with my left hand. I pulled very slowly and carefully. I cut the round weatherstrip into pieces that would go all the way around the trunk before I cut them down the middle to make it a little easier.

I described the painting and attachment in my description. I attached the strips with mod podge glue by applying it to the foam strip, waiting until it got tacky and then placing it on the trunk and weighting it with the ankle and wrist weights. I had to do each side of the trunk, weight it and wait for it to dry before turning the trunk to do the next side. It took a long time.

I have made a few sets of these books and trunks to sell and if you are interested, just email me and I'll give you the details. They are expensive but believe me, I don't get anywhere near minimum wage on them! I won't be making any more because I'm pretty sick of making them now although I did enjoy it until close to the end.

I hope this helps. The only way I could do a step-by-step would be to make another set and I'm just burnt out on doing them. Good luck to you in making your own set!

ayer2 years ago
This inspired me!! truly!
I'm definitely making my own Potter library!!
This is beautiful! You are a true Harry Potter fan.. I wish I had the patience to put together something as wonderful as this :')
animavitae3 years ago
Would you consider selling these? If not the books themselves, maybe the art you created for the covers? I'd be interested in buying a digital download of your Advanced Potion Making.
kiwi168773 years ago
So Cute! I just made a picturebook of Harry Potter creatures and made a potion book. It turned out so cool!
I agree with Cruz08, it would be super appreciated if you could put some of the book content up for download... Even some samples please :)
cruz083 years ago
This is absolutely fantastic! Is there any way you'd consider making the content of the books available for download? Whoever got this present is very lucky!!
juicymoose3 years ago
awsome!!
This is amazing! Would you consider making another set and selling it on Etsy? (Namely to me!) You really should think about it. I know fans would go absolutely wild for it. Bravo!
This is absolutely amazing! Would you consider making another set and selling it on Etsy? (Namely to me!) You really should think about. I know fans would go wild over this!
SageMinto3 years ago
Very cute and innovative! :D
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