Necronomicon.. the Book of the Dead!!!

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My take on the immortal Necronomicon!!!

Step 1: In the Beginning..

Hi, even though I am a very creative individual, with a penchant for everything dark, weird and strange.. this is my first Instructable, so please be tolerant lol. So, to my first creation to be shared.. the Necronomicon Book of the Dead, immortalized by the awesome cult Evil Dead films and TV series. Why the Necronomicon? Well I needed something to keep all of my TV and other AV remotes dust free, and in one easily found place.

Step 2: A List of Things Needed.

Being a perfectionist, I wanted a book shaped box to form the base of my creation. I initially started with a papier mache book box, however after initially playing around with it, found it not sturdy enough, especially when it came to adding wet papier mache. So I hunted high and low for a wooden box. Try to find a box with a small hidden neodymium magnet to keep the box shut. Otherwise you will have to find, drill and fit a magnet yourself. Success!.. The Works sold a three box set of ply book shaped boxes. Next I thought out what I would need to make a wooden box look like an ancient tome. I wanted it to have glowing eyes and a mouth, and pages to disguise the box once opened, hiding the electrical components, and the remotes themselves. So here is a list of everything I ended up using;

- A blank wooden plywood box, large enough to accommodate several remote controls,
- Old newspapers for the paper mache,
- Strong PVA to make the paper mache sticky,
- Masking tape for fixing items,
- Thick brown cardboard from a supermarket box, to make the spine of the book,
- Transluscent red acrylic sheet for the eyes and the mouth,
- Red EL panels to backlight the eyes and mouth (eBay),
- 3 Way EL splitter cable to allow the eyes and mouth to work of a single power source (eBay),
- AA Battery inverter for EL panels (eBay),
- White, black, dark brown acrylic paints for the exterior finish of the book,
- Textured white wallpaper sample, to provide the book paper edge effect,
- Plasticard to support the internal page artwork, and hide the components and remotes,
- Adhesive backed felt to line the storage section of the box, and to hide any exposed hinges and wires,
- Custom designed and printed artwork/book pages,
- Copper effect studs for embellishing the book spine,
- Black leather lacing,
- Gorilla glue.

The only tools I used were; a Dremel for drilling holes and cutting the acrylic, various paint brushes for painting and gluing, a metal ruler, some small clamps, and a small hammer to fix the copper studs.

Step 3: Prioritizing the Assembly.

Before I started the paper mache, I needed to get the basic wiring and the acrylic eyes and mouth installed. I did a quick scale sketch of the Necronomicon design I wanted, using some images commonly found on the internet as inspiration. This was then stuck to the face of the box. I then covered all of the boxes visible faces and edges with a white paper, so as to provide a good base for the paper mache later. The sides of the box which would be where the page edges would show, were covered in a pre measured sample of wallpaper, using a strong and sticky PVA. This sample took ages to find in a local DIY store.. it had to be light enough to paint, and be embossed with lines, so as to resemble page edges. Now time to fit the EL panels. I stuck them down with double sided tape, I personally did not want to risk a glue reacting with the back of the plastic EL panels, messing up the lights. You can cut the small EL panels to size, but I again erred on the side of caution and left them whole. The smaller 5cm × 6cm panels were used for the eyes, the larger 10cm × 10cm panel was used for the mouth. Next, using the sketch I made, I measured out the eyes and mouth on the back of the red transluscent acrylic. The acrylic came with a protective film on both sides, so just use a Sharpie to mark them out. I allowed an extra 5mm around the eyes, to allow the paper mache to hold the eyes and mouth in place later on, and provide a raised edge to give the illusion of depth. I did not stick the acrylic eyes and mouth on directly to the EL panels, as this would effect the light source. Simply secure at the edges with masking tape (the paper mache will later cover this and it provides a sound bonding material). The wires that are attached to the panels are quite thin, but the sockets used to attach them to the inverter cable are quite large.. about 6mm, so drill holes about 6mm just below the eye and mouth panels. Push the sockets through to the inner box section, and secure and cover with more masking tape. Finally, to make the spine of the box look more book like, I decided to fit some thin cardboard strips at the top, middle and bottom. Do not cut these to fit to the edge of the spine.. leave a 3mm gap each side, so that when they are covered in paper mache, it provides a more rounded finish which adds to the book illusion. I used two strips of cardboard to add depth, and to provide enough thickness to fix the copper studs later on. With all of the above done, time to get creative with the paper mache.

Step 4: Paper Mache Time.

Now I was ready to start the design of the books face. Use paper mache to start building up the evil looking face, using the already fixed sketch. This is a laborious task which needs to be done carefully. You need to build up the ridges around the eyes and mouth slowly, to allow depth. Also, the wrinkled skin effect is accomplished the same way. Paper mache was roughly formed around the box face and rear thin edges, so as to hide the uniform ply construction. Also the raised cardboard book spine details were paper mached, leaving a natural rounded edge. Leave to dry for a day, then take your time to add more paper mache to hide any rough eges and paper tears. Eventually it will look smooth and natural.

Step 5: Painting

Once the paper mache is dry, it is time to paint. I used a black acrylic paint as an all over undercoat. I found this made the dark brown final finish look more dark and natural, and any exposed black simply adds to the okd skin illusion. Leave some of the black paint exposed around the eye sockets, and mouth, to add to the illusion of depth and realism. I needed a few coats of the dark brown to give a satisfactory finish. Next, to add realism to the face and give a more natural old weathered skin effect, mix white acrylic with the brown to make a slightly lighter shade. Then drybrush all the edges of the box, and raised areas of the eye sockets, mouth, and raised book spine. Repeat this using slightly lighter shades several times. This will give a really impressive worn skin effect. To get the page edge illusion, use a black paint wash to fill the line edge relief, on the already fixed wallpaper sample. Leave to dry, then start dry brushing the ridges with a light brown paint, colour matched with an old parchment colour. Repeat a couple of times, and the end result is a great, old ancient worn page leaf effect. Finally, gently use a small hammer to tack on the copper stud embellishments onto the raised book spine ridges. I used a small spot of Gorilla glue on the stud bottoms, to make sure that they fixed permanently.

Step 6: Leather Book Binding Effect.

Now the painting was finished, I proceeded to drill randomly spaced holes around the edges of the top face, spine, and rear face of the box, to allow for the leather lacing. Using dark brown paint, give all the exposed hole edges a coat, to hide the exposed wood. Then thread the leather lace through the holes, using a glued knot to fix the start and finsh of the lace.

Step 7: Internal Fixtures and Fittings.

With the exterior of the book complete, I then turned my attention to the internals. First I attached the EL panel sockets to the 3 way inverter splitter cable. Next, I carefully measured the internal open box dimensions. Then I cut the plasticard to size, allowing an extra 10mm on the longer sides to make a basic hinge flap. I scored the plasticard carefully, making sure the scored side goes on the inside facing side. I then secured the hinge flaps with glue, using a clamp to ensure a firm bond. The deeper right hand side of the book box is where I was going to store my remotes, but I wanted a soft finish to ensure my remotes were not scratched by the bare wood. I measured and cut to size, adhesive backed black felt, covering the exposed plasticard page/cover hinge flap. Finally, I used thinly spread PVA to attach the custom artwork to the plasticard pages/covers. I created the custom artwork on Photoshop, using Necronomicon page images I found on the internet. I had these printed on card, then stained them myself with wet teabags. This gave the artwork an old parchment look. Be careful not to make the cardboard too wet, otherwise it will curl up.

Step 8: Necronomicon Completed!

The last thing to do was to fit the lighting power source, a two battery AA 1.5 volt inverter. The inverter power on/off/effects switch is located on the top, where the removable cover to allow for replacing the batterie is also located. To allow me to easily switch the lighting effects on and off, I intentionally allowed a section of the left hand page artwork to have a large black spot. Using a 6mm hammer hole punch, I made a hole in the plasticard/artwork page. I then glued the back of the inverter into the inner box face, with the button exposed through the hole. Everything finished! Hope this inspires you to go and make your very own Necronomicon.

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