I love Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas! For Halloween one year, I really wanted to make some NMBC characters and props from the movie. I couldn't find many examples, or really ANY help online...so I'm posting this to help/give others who are interested some ideas...good luck
Click here to see my other Nightmare Before Christmas props
Sunday, September 18, 2011
DIY Antique Spell Book Halloween Prop
NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS SPELL BOOK PROP
This is a tutorial on how to make an antique book prop out of any book. I chose to make mine Sally's potion book from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas. I saw an antique book prop similar to this one online, but could not find ANYTHING about how to make one. So, I did a little experimenting. This is how to make it:
-Out dated book
-Large artist brush
-Caulk & Floral Moss (optional)
Approx. Cost: $10 or less
Time Invested: 2+ Hours
(Description corresponds to picture tutorial above)
if you are going to make a cover for the book. If so, do this first. Message me for a separate tutorial.
(This Book is a prop only. When finished, it will be hardened and stuck in the "open" position. You will not be able to flip through or close the book.)
1. Measure the dimensions of your pages, (example 7 “
x 9 “ )
2. Make a Photoshop document with those same dimensions (example 7" x 9"), then add photos or text as desired. Print it out . Lay out on book and
trim excess if necessary. Set aside for later. Free Nightmare Before Christmas Font:http://www.dafont.com/the-gingerbread-house.font
3. Find the center of the
book and mark it with a bookmark, using a white glue and water solution, start
at the front cover and and brush on the glue solution and press the first page
down, do this over and over again to each page until you reach the
center. (Also, as you near the center it helps to start "bumping" the
pages up, not smoothing them down so flat: see pictures)... you don't have to
cover the entire page with glue, just do one swipe down the outermost edge with
a 1" brush from top to bottom, as you near the center stop applying glue
to the top and bottom corners (just the middle few inches) so the corners will
be free to lift up. After you have reached the center, go back and take the
"free" unglued corners and roll them in layers with your paint brush
handle. Once they are rolled, apply a lot of glue so they will harden, flip
book, and repeat from back cover to center.
4. Paint entire book
black with acrylic, let it dry. Paint all page edges with a thin layer of metallic silver
acrylic, let it dry.
5. Lay paper printout pages
into the book, mark with pencil some jagged edges so it doesn't look so
perfect, cut out jagged pencil edges. Apply glue solution to open book pages
and carefully apply each printout page into place, remember to fit the corners
up into the curled edges.
WARNING: TEST YOUR INK
BEFORE STEP #6
TEST A PIECE TO MAKE SURE YOUR PRINTER INK DOESN'T RUN WHEN
6. Coffee! I personally like to use Starbucks VIA instant caramel coffee that comes in the packet, but any will do. Put some warm water in a small cup, add
instant coffee powder, let it desolve to brown coffee water. Use your paint brush to
paint it on the stark white pages. Do one all over coat to get a tan overall
color. You can add a second layer of coffee, the more layers, the darker it will be. I
did 2 all over and a third random pass to make it more uneven and random. Don’t
be afraid to mix some glue into the mix too. Then while the pages are still
pretty wet, I like to do a random sprinkling of the dry instant coffee powder. Let it sit a
few seconds and you will see it start to desolve and leave a
dark rusty age spot effect. Wipe it off lightly with your brush once it has reached
the desired rusty age spot look. Blow dry the pages a little not all the way,
then dip your fingers in some regular water and flick water onto the pages
randomly. These will dry a different shade than the rest, also looks like water
damage and age spots. Let Dry (doesn't have to be 100% dry to move on to step #7).
7. Paint, I use very watered down black acrylic and
watered down burnt umber acrylic. Paint, dab, smudge, blend around the outer
edge of where the printer paper meets the real book for a “burned” edges look.
8. Paint any colors and details you have. If you need to add any color (in my case green on the soup), use very watered
down acrylic paint, a water color consistency. Remember you can always start
light and work your way to dark, but if you start too dark… your screwed.
9. Add a ribbon bookmark. I found
some old pink wire ribbon and painted it black. Then painted my own wiggly white stripes (acrylic). Or you can buy black ribbon and add the white stripes.
The wire makes it bendy and pose-able. Hot glue it into the spine at the top of the book.
(STEP #10 & #11 Optional)
10. Add moss with hot glue.
I bought mine at Michael's, but any floral or craft store should have it. I love
the one I got. It was in the Halloween isle and it was $2.99 for a good sized
bag. Plus I had a 40% off coupon! Place it where ever it looks natural. I also
added some dried leaves I found outside for a cemetery look.
11. Add worms if desired. I
just piped them on using a caulk tube. Then I painted them with acrylic and added acrylic gloss for slime. I gave them
cartoon like eyes for the Nightmare Before Christmas style.