I recently found a huge collection of ruined old books at the local dump and immediatly thought of Harry Potter the Hogwarts library.
This is a tutorial to show how I converted these old encyclopeadias into Hogwarts style spellbooks.
These books are a great way to display your Harry Potter wands or other collactables, and are very cheap and pretty quick to do, all you need is and old book some easily avaliable supplies and a fair ammount of patience!
Step 1: Choosing a Book
In short be VERY careful that you're not going to destroy a first edition copy of "Peter Pan" or "The Count of Monte Cristo"
Below is a pic of the book as I found it
Step 2: Picking the New Title
It's a list of the fictional books that J.K Rowling invented for her Potter series.
Then I typed the title into Word and then Photoshop and played with the fonts and styles until the text looked appropriate. I was basing the style of my book on the "Advanced Potion Making" book pictured on the cover of the adult version of "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"
Once your happy with the way the title looks, print it out and tape it to the cover of your old book.
Step 3: Cutting the Title Into the Book's Cover. Careful!
First thing to do its put a new blade onto your scalpel. As soon as you feel the blade becoming blunt, change it, a blunt blade only makes the process harder and more dangerous!
Put some music on and get comfortable. Cut round the outlines of all the letters in your title. Take your time and be patient! This is not something you can rush, the more careful you are the more successful the outcome, and the less likely you'll slice through your finger.
Once you've cut all the letters out from the printout, remove it and your cover should look like the third pic below. The title cut into the cover of your book.
Step 4: Revealing the New Title
Carefully use your scalpel to lift up the cut sections. You may need to finish some cuts at this stage, if they don't meet at the corners for example.
Step 5: Gold Leaf
Use a small brush to carefully paint the size into the letter depressions you have just finished.
Try to keep the size into the holes you have cut, but don't worry too much if it overflows, you can fix that later.
Do the whole title and wait until it's "dry". It will be tacky if you touch it but it won't come off on your finger.
Step 6: Gold Leaf 2
Cover each letter with a section of leaf.
Step 7: Gold Leaf 3
The edges will be a bit messy because of the size overflowing the letters edges in places. All you have to do to clear this up is scrape your scalpel blade over the edges of the letters to clear them of unwanted gold.
The second pic below is of the cleaned up title.
Step 8: Weathering
At this stage, you can stop being careful!
You can go as far as you want at this stage, either keep the book looking fairly tidy, or you can really go to town and make it look like hundereds of careless Hogwarts students have trashed it over the years.
I started the weathering by ripping up the cover on the corners of the book, as well as bending the corners up to add some creases. Then I scraped an old metal ruler over the cover and edges of the book to remove the top layer of paint and reveal the weave of the cover.
I then used a combination of water and PVA glue, combined with sawdust collected from behind my table saw to really dirty up the book.
Use a stiff brush to really work the grime and dirt into the creases and cracks. The important thing to remember here is to not let it completely dry at this stage! Use an old cloth to wipe away the excess grime to leave a nice aged thin layer of dust and watermarks.
I think liquid stains are particularly appropriate for Potions books. use coffee dregs or watered down paints to make "potion" spills. My wife genuinly spilled a cup of tea over one of these while I was working on it, she rushed to clean it up but I told her to leave it as it looked perfect!
Step 9: Staining and Waxing
The last thing to do is to wax the cover. This is the final touch that really makes the book look used. Use a regular furniture style wax and work it into the cover with an old cloth. Let it dry, then buff it with another cloth.
This gives the impression of sleevs polishing the book while it's been under the arm of hundereds of Hogwarts sudents.
The two last pics below show the cover before and after the waxing.