EDIT: I'm so very glad that this has sparked a discussion about the origins of the Necronomicon and that someone pointed out H.P. Lovecraft. I am a big Lovecraft fan myself. This is, however a prop modeled after specifically Raimi's Evil Dead Necronomicon Ex Mortis. But I do encourage everyone to read up on Lovecraft and his
Make your very own Necronomicon and you can summon the Evil Dead to possess your friends and family. Ok, not really with the possession, but at least you'll have a GROOVY prop.
Watch the Video Tutorial here:
The Necronomicon Ex Mortis also known as the Book Of The Dead from the Evil Dead Movie Trilogy. The trilogy being the movies Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and Army Of Darkness aka Evil Dead 3, or the Medieval Dead. All three movies center around the Book Of The Dead which when read aloud can summon, well, the Evil Dead aka the Deadites. In each movie the Necronomicon had several different looks, so in designing mine I decided to go with kind of a hybrid of all the looks and at the same time stay with the same basic idea. The book is supposed to be made from human flesh and the cover specifically looks like someone's face was stretched over it.
Since noone I know would let me stretch their face out over a book, I decided to go with the next best thing to human flesh. Duct Tape.
OTHER MATERIALS YOU'LL NEED:
WHITE CARD STOCK OR PAPER
COLD BOWL OF WATER
HOT BOWL OF WATER
PAPER TOWELS OR SPONGE
RED ACRYLIC PAINT
YELLOW ACRYLIC PAINT
BLACK ACRYLIC PAINT
Step 1: Backing and Spine
We're going to start with the backing and spine. You're going to need good sturdy corrugated cardboard. These pieces I took from a computer box if you can't tell. Cut it out to your desired size. For me I wanted my Necronomicon to be fairly big. I cut out a piece for the spine and lined it all up. I taped it loosely together with masking tape. Always making sure that it's still able to open and close. I taped up any open gaps, then I reinforced it with duct tape just to give it some sturdiness, but at the same time making sure it wasn't so tight it couldn't open and close.
Step 2: Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
For the eyes, nose and mouth I twisted up some duct tape into a long roll. Then made the desired shapes, placing them on the cardboard. I used several pieces on the mouth to make it a little thicker.
Step 3: Wrinkles
Then I used the duct tape to start making wrinkles in the skin. I took the tape and creased it and wrinkled it as I sealed it into place. I did this several times all around the face. I even made some pieces above the eyes to give a bit of expression ya know like eye brows.
Then I took the masking tape and started sealing down the eyes, nose, and mouth, making it look like it's more a part of the surface as opposed to just wadded up lines of duct tape. I even use the masking tape to make smaller wrinkles around the face. I did the same on the back just using duct tape.
Step 4: Paint
You can use brown acrylic, but I used red and yellow acrylic with a touch of black, I wanted my necronomicon to be a bit more reddish brown. Like it had a hint of blood to it. I painted all around the front and back, making sure to get into all of the cracks and creases of all the wrinkles. You've gotta let that dry for a few hours, or you can cheat like I did and use a fan.
Step 5: Inside Covers
Next start on the inside covers. You'll need glue or rubber cement. You can use white paper, but I used cardstock cuz it's sturdier. Cut it to fit each side, then glue them into place. Let that dry for a few hours.
Step 6: Tea Time
After it's dried, I took a hot bowl of water, and the tea bag and I made small bowl of tea. This is what I used to stain the inside with to make it look old and used. Let the bowl cool a bit, then you can use a sponge or paper towels to start sprinkling tea on the inside covers and dabbing them into the paper.
Step 7: Book Burning
I let that dry over night. I wanted to really make it look like this book had been through hell, so I burned the edges. I took my lighter and started burning the edges of the book one small section at a time. I would blow out the flames and then I used a cold bowl of water to make sure each edge was completely put out. Becareful when doing this you don't want to catch you or your book on fire. That's why I use the water, because blowing out the flames may not put it out completely, using water guarantees it's out, even better use a spray bottle full of water.
Kids, always make sure you get adult supervision when making your own book of the dead.
It's gonna get messy. You'll have burned and wet edges on your book, so you'll get your hands covered in water and black soot. But it does give your necronomicon a nice rugged look, the messier the better. You're gonna wanna let this dry over night, or once again, cut some corners and use a fan.
Step 8: Seal the Deal
Once it's completely dried you can now seal everything down using decoupage sealer. I used Mod Podge. Take your brush and cover the entire book in sealer. Mod Podge paints on white but dries clear, so don't freak out when you first put it on. I covered the front and back, the inside stained cover, and all of the burned edges. I'd do one coat and then let it dry for 20 minutes then go back over it with another coat. When you're letting it dry, you're gonna wanna clean out your brush each time cuz once it dries it's a pain to remove from your brush.
I did about 5 to 6 coats of sealer around the entire book. After it's dried completely all of the paint is protected, the stained parts, each section that was burned and has black pieces to it are now sealed in and hardened. And now you've got yourself a solid prop.
Step 9: It's What's Inside That Counts
As for the inside, it's really up to you what you want to put into your necronomicon. I'm actually going to have an artist make up similar drawing from the Evil Dead trilogy and put them in here as actual pages. I'll be using this as a prop that will be making a 7 second appearance in my short film series for Monster Cops. You could use this as your guest book at a party or event. You could even forgo making your own spine and backing and just decorate a folder for a meeting. Or if you wanted a nifty prop for your haunt or fan film you're ready to go. Or you could turn it into your very own Evil Dead Pop-Up Book.