My absolute, all time favorite movies are the Evil Dead/ Army of Darkness "trilogy". For a fast and cheap costume this year I used the Book of the Dead, the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, as inspiration. I gave myself one week and $50 to pull this one off.
Step 1: Supplies
Hot wire carving tools
paint brush / old tooth brush
Step 2: Make the Face
I didn't really follow a specific face style for this. In the movies the Necronomicon has many looks, so I loosely based it on the scene in Army of Darkness where the book bites Ash's hand in the graveyard.
I have a set of hot wire carving tools, but I only used one tool for this project. The Freehand Router tool. You can change the wire shape on this tool to accommodate your sculpting.
I had this nice piece of blue foam left over from a older project, it was about the right size to cover most of my torso.
I carved the evil face and sloped out the edges making sure to carve many deep grooves all over the surface. When finished, I spray glued it to the cover of my book. The shell of the book is 3 cardboard panels duct taped together.
Step 3: Skin the Cover
The Necronomicon is bound in human flesh and inked in human blood. I picked up 3 meters of beige vinyl fabric for about 6 bucks a meter. It has a leathery look and feel.
I spray glued the face and the back of the fabric and stretched it over top, making sure to press it into all the valleys and grooves.
I used my blade to cut the fabric away from the eyes, nose and mouth. I also slashed away at it randomly for added texture.
I flipped over the cover to work on the inside. Using my crappy glue gun I attached the skin cover, trying to get a nice fold on the corners. I then spray glued the inside page piece over top of the inside cover piece. The inside page piece is a single piece of cardboard scored down the centre, made smaller than the cover.
Step 4: Make the Body of the Book
The body of the book, is a cardboard box sandwiched between the covers. I made this box from cardboard and duct tape. Cut out the arm and neck holes.
Cut out the arm hole in the spine (I almost forgot to do this). I attached the back of the box to the inside of the back cover. And then I applied my trusty spray adhesive to inside of the second half of the inside page piece of cardboard, and the front of the box. Once they were set, I had my functioning book.
I folded white poster paper accordion style, and taped them to the exposed side of the box to mimic the book pages, working around the arm hole.
Step 5: Painting and Drawing
This is my favorite part. Obviously I had to disguise the blue foam that was exposed through the cut out parts in the cover, as well as add texture and depth. I only used black, brown and white acrylic paint. The eyes and teeth were painted white and the deepest parts of the cover were painted black.
I used a toothbrush to "splatter" paint all over the cover, and then a rag to rub in brown paint to dirty it up.
My husband did the inside page illustrations for me. We used a screen shot for the movie as the basis for these.
Once the illustrations were complete I torn the edges and spray glued them to the inside cardboard.
I also rubbed a steeped tea bag onto the white paper, and used brown paint to dirty up the pages.
Step 6: Warning: Do Not Recite the Candarian Incantations Aloud.
This was a great party costume, people loved being able to open the book up and "read it".
Actually, most people didn't expect that it could open, so it was fun to surprise them!