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Bespoke Book of Shadows


I create handmade books and journals, so when I was asked to make a Book of Shadows from the series Charmed, it was a challenge I jumped at.

My daughter and her friends, wanted a bespoke copy for Jase, to celebrate his 30th birthday. He absolutely loves the series Charmed.


As Jase is vegan I had to use something to create a cover that looked like leather, but wasn't.

Thank goodness for the vegan leather I'd been given!


The first challenge we encountered was the cost of the printing. All Jase's friends had sent their good wishes to Dylan who then designed the inside of the book in the style of a spell book. The first printing company he approached (in NZ) came back with such a high price, it almost killed the project.

So I did what I normally do when I need any kind of help with printing/graphic design etc, I called my sister at The Design Space Gallery to see if she could offer some help and advice. She could of course, and took charge of the printing (thank goodness) and a day later the manuscript for the inside of the book arrived.


My sister had kept the chapters seperate but just to make absolutely sure I put it together in the right order, she made a mini book of shadows. This made my life so much easier.


I got to work dyeing the paper to make it look like it was from the 16th Century.


After cutting the vegan leather to size I worked with acrylic paints and heat to give it an aged leathery look/feel. You can see the before and after in the photo below.


Apparently it smelt like fish when heated (I didn't think so) which is ironic given it was plant based!!

The next challenge for me was to copy the cover as seen in photos from the internet. From what I could tell there were three ridges


I gave the book a good press before moving on.


The symbol for the cover was also made out of vegan leather and painted with acrylic paint.


Jase's friends had clearly gone to great lengths to research the authenticity of the book, right down to the end papers.


And then it was time to bind it.

I wanted to give it a ridged look on the spine. As I don't do perfect binding this was my way of creating that finish.


I included the three bookmarks (that are in the original version of the book) to represent the three sisters during the construction process.


Looking through it with the amazing graphics, I really felt quite witchy poo and was rather reluctant to let it go. Except it was full of birthday messages for Jase, so I had to!




If you have a special book project you'd love to see come to life, contact me, Liz, from Book Art Studios.

I'll be happy to have a chat about how I can help you.


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