Instructables
Picture of Harry Potter style Hogwarts Library Spellbooks

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!
 

 
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Step 1: Choosing a book

Picture of Choosing a book
There are two VERY important disclaimers to note at this point, the first is that this is really and adults only project (or adult supervision STRONGLY recommended!) as you'll need to use a very sharp scalpel to cut the new title into the cover of the book. The second point is to be careful what book you use! The olny reason I could bear to de-face these books is because they had been left in the damp and rain for months so they were ruined before I started.
 
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

Picture of Picking the new title
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To find one of the titles from the Potter universe I used this site...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_books#R

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!

Picture of Cutting the title into the book's cover. Careful!
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OK, this is the tricky bit. You have to cut through the printout and into the first layer of the book's cover. You are aiming to remove the top layer of the cover where the letters are, so that the title looks as it it's been stamped into the cover.

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

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Now your ready to peel away the top layer of the cover where you've cut the letters.

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

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Now we need to apply some gold leaf. The first stage of this process is to paint a layer of leafing "size" into the letters of the title. "Size" is a water based glue, similar to PVA but it stays "open" which means it doesn't completely dry.

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

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Now apply sections of gold leaf over the letters. I use a scalpel and a fairly stiff brush for this process. The scalpel to remove the leaf from the backing paper, then the brush to push the leaf into the letter's edges.  The leaf should stick nicely to the "open" size.

Cover each letter with a section of leaf.

Step 7: Gold Leaf 3

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Once all the leaf is in place, you can begin to reveal the title again. Use the brush to clear away any of the leaf that is not glued in place by the size. This should leave you with just the title covered with gold leaf.

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

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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

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Once you have cleared away most of the grime, you may find that the gold lettering still looks a little new. If this is the case you can use a dark wood stain to dull it slightly. Paint the stain over the cover, then wipe it off immediatly, it should darken the cover and the title, but not by much.

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.

Step 10: Finished

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Here are a few photos of the finished books. 

Please let me know if you decide to make your own, and post some pics!


Thanks

Pete

www.standingstonestudios.com
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marionpixie8 months ago
Cool
furby13168 months ago
Eeee :)
Emmely10 months ago
I love this tutorial so much! I want to try it on a new hard cover notebook for a friend to write his poems in :)
jimnecaise10 months ago
Awesome Work... Thanks
Were
Awesome!!! My kids are totally Harry Potter fans and all they didn't have we're the books ... now they do
dpriestner1 year ago
Hi i was wondering if you could use mod podge glue for the gold leaf stage?
MarikeA1 year ago
If you just cut out the letters only on the paper, and then spray paint the book gold, would that look good? Because I only have gold spray paint. (Ofcourse i would protect the book so the cover wont get gold all over it)
raen7141 year ago
This is great! I'm planning on doing this to one of the old encyclopedias I'm trying to get rid of. After making it look like an old spellbook (or maybe another book on the list), I'm going to cut out the pages and turn the inside into a holder for a calculator, pen, pencil, eraser, and lead so I don't have to take my entire bag to a final exam.
Nifro2 years ago
Wow thats a great idea
106555 views nice!!
Heart girl2 years ago
Omg this is amazing just started mine to day keep up the good work
Niongi2 years ago
What font did you use for the Potions book Moste Potente Potions?
cpaxton2 years ago
This is so cool! But could you please tell me how to change what's on the pages inside? I want to make them authentic
you can get info on taking out the pages and putting in new on-line. Basicly, cut out the old pages from the inside of the book. (one good slice at the spine on eather side will do it. Then cheet and get a ream of paper from the office store that has the look you want. (the tea and bake method just take to long) Print what you want. Clamp the pages leaving about 1 1/2 to 2 inches sticking out of the clamp. flex the pages one way painting a non shrinking glue with the bend and then bend it the other way and do it again. Let it dry for a while (an hour or two). Use wax paper, or something that will not stick, against the clamp and shift the glued ends down so that it will dry without warpingor cerving as it dries. Next get 2 inside cover pages for the insides. They should be as tall as the book pages but twice the length. Fold them in half and then glue the edge agains the spine about a 1/4 inch more than the pages where glued. Then take a peice of fabric and use a glue gun to atatch it up the spine of the pages for extra support. Next, use more of that non shrinking pager glue (Any craft store) and attach the other half of the inside cover page to the cover of the book. Paint the glue on the whole back side of that page and smooth it down.Press with heavy book till it all dries adn there you go. (try bing - book binding techniques, videos. That should get you some results to help.)
mrsohtobe3 years ago
As Ron Weasley would say, "This is bloody brilliant!"

Here is my attempt:

http://mrsohtobe.blogspot.com/2011/08/shhhh.html
buddhacat3 years ago
I can't wait to try this! But I think I'll try a Discworld title...
kiwi168773 years ago
Oh my gosh! This is so complicated! You must be so smart to figure out how to do this!
ataraschke3 years ago
This is phenomenal. I can't wait to try it!
dhill63 years ago
Sell these on etsy. I'll buy a couple.
Janipun3 years ago
Just amazing! It's the one item I would buy as it looks authentic and now it may be possible to make it myself, I can hardly believe my luck. Thank you!!!
mslaynie3 years ago
Wow. I am absolutely blown away by this. You took those poor, ruined books and turned them into something worthy of displaying! Such an inspiration...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Now I've got one more task on my list of things to do...
Oh my! I really have to try that! 8D Thanks for the tutorial! ♥
Great! Thumbs up!!
maxiaxie4 years ago
I am only 13 and I use 'very sharp scalpels' regularly in my dissections (best way to learn about the body) and in construction.
i am also 13, and use scalpels for modeling, and half the time unintentionally dissecting myself.
im 14 and i use scapels 2
(YOUR N (YOUR N3 years ago
im 15 now d
I'm a 13 year old girl and I use scapels for modelling, dissection and craft. I can usually NOT dissecting myself, but my mum probably wouldn't let me near either her books or a scapel.
zayin maxiaxie4 years ago
lol
I'm hoping that you are not harming live animals of any sort in order to dissect them. You can get organs of large animals from any real butcher shop - try kidneys, while reading about the transfers of solutes through membranes and the structures of kidneys in a college bio book. Maybe your school has dissecting scopes you can use in your investigations, or you can get an old on on eBay. In summer, I suggest trying dissecting flowers, seed pods, leaves, branches, etc. as well.
corse not, love animals, and i did plant biology over 5 years ago.
Clawdeen3 years ago
I'm definately looking forward to outfitting my Hogwarts outfit with the proper spellbooks!
crsunshine4 years ago
Wow, wow, wow!!! This has been a huge inspirtation.
Shastaw20064 years ago
I love this instructable, but cutting the title out was a bit much for me, so I'm combining it with this craftster tutorial: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=305857.0
amazing! i made 35 of them thanks!
Any suggestions as to where I might find some old big books like that?
Jeronimus4 years ago
Is there a story behind those other books on the last picture? They look interesting as well. Any details? I like making "props", but I can just never put myself to work. This, however, seems like something that's extremely fun and doable. So I've been meaning to try this project or something similar out for a while now... I'm trying to design an interesting cover title at the moment.
 I don't see this as just an adults project because of a xacto knife. I have been using them since I was nine or so. Granted maybe you shouldn't give a knife like that to a child with ADHD, ADD, or Autism, but I think your not giving our younger viewers the credibility they deserve.

Non the less do recommend supervision and give them some safety tips. But this would be a great project for kids if they want to make a harry potter themed bedroom or something.  

Great "Ible" 5.0!
Hey Im 14 and I have ADHD and i find that insulting
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