Introduction: Twilight Tower of Terror Book Prop

This tutorial shows a simple trick how to leather bound a book or other objects using simple things you have at home or to get from your local store.

It is a nice Halloween project to do with kids. The glue used however is not suitable for kids so parents should always be supervising!

For making a candy bowl for example you can use the same technique but the leather needs to be cut in strips.

Step 1: What We Need

1 sheet of Chamois leather (sold for car and window cleaning) It needs to be the real leather kind!

1 Bottle Furniture wax

1 tin of Pattex Transparent glue or similar (the stinky stuff you can repair shoes with)

1 book or notebook

Cutter knife, x-Acto knife and scissors

some string

some plastic letters, emblems, toys, old pieces of leather, whatever you want to have as a relief.

You can 3d print or laser cut custom things but if as most you don´t own a machine you can simply cut out cardboard shapes with scissors. However you would need quite thick cardboard

If like in my case you use a notepad, sometimes it is not possible to fold over the leather afterwards, so in this case i use two pieces of plywood that get glued to the book at the end. (also it avoids glue from dripping inside the book.) But you can of course work directly on the book cover.

Step 2: The Layout

First i need to arange all the decor pieces i want to have on the cover.

Therefore i mark some helping lines with a ruler to find the exact midpoint and borders.

As i am using plywood book covers i let a margin on one edge to fit on another piece of leather or cardboard later in the process as the spine.

Next i cut out two leather pieces, slightly bigger than the playwood or book cover.

The need to be folded and streched over the edge of the book cover later on so make sure they are big enough.

Step 3: Glue and Pieces

Next i start gluing the pieces in place.

In my case i use some 3d printed parts and some string that has a nice pattern that and will nicely come out afterwards.

Don´t use hot glue for this as hot glue itself has a high volume and we don´t want to see this in the end product.

As in the video i added some cardboard leafs i cutted out with scissors.

You can use almost everything you can imagine aslong it will not get dissolved by the glue.

Be careful to use things that are not to highly detailed. For example in the video i have not used the "The Hollywood Tower Hotel" sign as the writing was to small and would not come out later on. Even this chamois leather stretches in 3 dimensions, of course it has its limits.

However for this there is another simple thing we can do later.

Step 4: The Rough Part

I lay out some plastic (packing material) to avoid the glue from getting anywhere.

At this point i am checking that i have a lot of ventilation in the room as this glue smelles pretty strong of solvent.

I cut myself a spatula out of cardboard and start spreading a thick layer of glue over both panels.

Important is to spread out the glue everywhere, in every little crevice!

Pattex Transparent is a contact glue so we need to smar it on bothe parts we want to join together.

Step 5: The Careful Part

This is probably the only step we want to work clean!

So i use a new piece of underlay plastic to make sure there is no glue on it and spread some glue on one side of the leather pieces. Under no circumstances there should be glue coming on the beauty side as the furniture wax we will use later will not stick and the glue stains the material.

You can use a nice amount of glue but don´t get to excessive as it could seep thru.

Step 6: The Magic Moment

After waiting 5 minutes until the glue gets hard to the touch i can now fuse the leather and book cover together.

The glue should not stick to your fingers anymore but should not be completely hardened eighter.

I carefully lay on the leather without pressing it yet. Make sure it is nicely positioned.

Then i start rubbing it onto the plywood starting in the middle slowly moving outwards. The longer you do this, the more detail will come out. I use some cardboard to help pressing down the leather in tight spots to get a maximum of detail.

At this point you see how streachable this leather is. It deforms in any axis and lays on like a skin to the layout.

With a piece of packing foam i press it in even further, i could also tap it with a rubber hammer to get more fine details to come thru.

The more effort you put into this step the more pleasing the result.

Step 7: Getting Messy

Next step is a bit messy. You can use gloves, i use my fingers.

I pour some clear furniture wax and rub it in firmly. This may take a while and we need a lot of it!

Notice how the leather changes texture and how suddenly more and more details shine thru and start to pop out.

After rubbing it in for a while i now decide rather i want to have an old and used or nice and beauty look.

In my case i want it to look old like an old book that lies at the entrance of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, do i carefully rub in some stained furniture wax. Starting carefully to see how dark the color gets. You could also try it first on a piece of leftover leather.

Step 8: Adding a Book Spine

I am using some old leather i recuperated from an old couch. You can use the same technique as shown here, also some simple cardboard may do the trick aswell.

I cut the leather strip to size using the notebook as a template before gluing it in place onto the plywood board.

I used some paint thinner to remove any excess furniture wax from the wood as glue refuses to stick on something waxy.

Additionally i add some decorative upholstery nails to give it an important and expensive look.

Step 9: Higher Details

In my case i have 3d printed the Hotel sign that id to detailed for the leather trick. I am simply using an x-Acto knife cutting arround the sign using it as a template. You could glue it ontop ot the leather but it looks way better sunken into the cover.

Pattex glue is very strong but can be removed with force when still moist. So after cutting out the shape i rip out the excess leather and glue in the sign that i have spraypainted to the matching color.

Step 10: Final Step

Our Prop is DONE!

Final thing to do is to wait SEVERVAL days until the wax dried up and got absorbed into the leather.

After this i polished the book with a rag for an hour and added some more agening effects useing a gold and black dry brush.

This point is one of the most important things as polishing changes the look all over again and makes even more details come thru.

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