Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tutorial: Castaspella’s Book of Spells

Upon wandering Michael’s Arts and Crafts looking for a gem for the costume my mind wandered and I started thinking about how I will make Castaspella’s Book of Spells.  I then ran to the decorative box section where they have boxes that look like books!

That's the mischievous Ariel holding
Mystacor's precious book.
Originally, I was going to go to the thrift store, purchase a big heavy book and then modify the cover to the best of my abilities.  I was raised to never harm books.  I am one of those people that gets a bit irked when I see a dog eared page or a FOLDED page!  I even had a hard time with notes in my college books.  So the idea of modifying a book wasn’t exactly the best one for me.  Plus who really wants to carry around a big heavy book all day at a convention?  Not me.  Also using this book box allows me to store things in it and use it as a clutch purse!  Bonus!

  • Decorative Book Box – Pick the size that works for you.  I went with the medium.  Inspect them before you purchase as some have tears.
  • 5 Duct Tape sheets in Neon Green – if you can’t find them a roll of Neon Green Duct Tape will work as well.  I used both.
  • Duckorate Yellow Tape – These come in two packs and they are ¾ the width of the regular Duct Tape.
  • Blue Craft Foam – I used the sparkle teal.  It’s a cartoon book of spells.  I wanted it to have more pop.
  • 4 sheets Sticky Back Felt – Color of choice.  I used navy blue.
  • 1 sheet Tan Felt – non sticky back
  • Xacto Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Ruler – for both measuring and as a straight edge
  • Scissors
  • Dress Tape – for those hard to measure spots

You’re going to cover the box in the green Duct Tape.  I could only find two sheets of green tape.  So I used my two sheets on the front and after measuring the size of the front I gave the front a seam across the center (it will be pretty much covered).  I folded the edges around the back of the lid.

Next I started covering the back with tape.  I now only had the roll.  Apparently green is not in this season and stores near me are not stocking it in the sheets.  I eye balled the measurement for each strip.  I started attaching them by the outer edge.  I took the first strip and placed on what is the inside of the back cover and then wrapped it around to the back cover.  I smoothed this out and then clipped and tucked the top and bottom edges in.  Once I had the edges sufficiently stuffed into the inside back cover as far as I could get them, I then cut the tape with the Xacto knife at the crease.

I continued making strips and covering the back of the book until I reached the binding.

For the binding I cut three strips.  I knew one strip was not going to cover the entire binding.  I took two strips and laid them next to each other, tucked the Duct Tape into the inside and cut the excess off.  I then added a third strip going down the center and once again tucked the Duct Tape and cut the excess off.

The book with all the green tape on it.

Next starting with the cover, I added the yellow corners.  I eye balled the length of the Duct Tape once again, but the piece really do not need to be that long.  When placing the yellow tape on the book I gave it 3 centimeters on the book and I let the rest hang of the edge to cover the itty bitty side that would show had I not.  I wrapped the tape around the edges and then used the Xacto knife to trim the excess.  I did this for the two front corners and the two back corners.

I then measured the binding for the two yellow bands.  My binding was 3 inches.  So I cut 4 pieces of yellow tape at 3 inches each.  I added the first piece to the top and bottom so that it hung off the edge a bit, tucked the edge over and cut off the excess.  Then I added the second piece of yellow tape to each side making the size of the yellow area to what I felt was appropriate.

In hindsight, I could have picked up a regular yellow Duct Tape roll and had the same effect with both the corners and the binding.

The book with the yellow pieces.
Next I lined the inside of the book.  I lined the book because I know I will have things inside the book.  The felt lining sound help muffle the noise and prevent any damage items inside and the box itself.

I measured the bottom of the box and cut two of my sheets to the measurements.  One is to put on the bottom and one will be for the inside of the cover.  I then took one sheet and stuck it to the bottom of the box.  I then measured each of the four sides and added them.  The side of the box by the binding I made a good inch wider, so that it would wrap over the hinge of the inside box.

I then added the piece of felt to the inside of the front cover.  I had to trim this piece a little when I had it on.  Felt stretches with you work with it and it stretched out a bit making it too large to allow the box to close.  So be on the lookout for that to happen.

The final piece was adding the M to the front of the book.  I cut my teal craft foam in half.  Cut your craft foam from the back.  Lucky for me, half of the craft foam was the exact size I needed.  I cut the corners of the foam bringing it in so that the cut edge was 1 inch wide.

To make the small points in the freshly cut corners, I measured each cut to be ¼ inch wide by making a mark at 1/8, 3/8, 5/8 and 7/8 on each corner.  Next I marked of the points which were ½ inch into the foam side and then at the 1/4 and 3/4 inch mark.  I then played connect the dots with my straight edge and knife.

To make the M I drew it out on the back of the craft foam.  The sides of the M are both 1 inch thick and 1 inch into the foam.  The top and bottom of the M are 2 inches into the foam.  Since I chose to make my M 1 inch thick, I made the center piece of the M 1 inch thick as well.  I measured 1 inch  down from the inside top of the M.  To get the center point, I made a horizontal line 2 1/2 inches from the bottom of the M and then marked the center.  From that center point I measured up 1 inch and once again played connect the dots with my straight edge.

I am very sad this photo came out blurry.

Then I finally cut out my M starting with the sides and then the middle piece.  With the backing still on the M, I measured out the placement of the M which came to have 1 inch on each side of the book.  I marked off 1 inch by drawing a line pencil line on all sides except the binding.  Then I took of the backing to the M and placed it on the book.

I really like how the book came out.  I am actually pretty excited about this piece.

The final piece is the tan felt.  I have yet to cut this piece of felt but it will be the same size as the bottom of the box and its purpose is to be a cover to the items inside the box.  This way when taking pictures, if I open the book to read from it the contents are somewhat camouflaged.  This could also be remedied with camera angles but let’s face reality and note that not all photographers will know that I want that piece hidden.

After I wrote out all of this and worked on the video, I decided I wanted a little more closure security on the book box.  I added two Velcro Mini Dots.  I placed one in the top corner and one in the bottom corner of the lid.  I put the clear side on the box, then put the white side Velcro down on top of the clear dots, closed the lid, pressed down a little bit and carefully opened it up.  I then made sure the ones on the lid were sufficiently stuck on.  So it closed more securely now.  Once I added the tape to the cover it took out quite a bit of the magnets power.

Side note: The M does not stand for magic, but Mystacor.

And finally a video of when I made the book.  I did some serious editing and the written version here is much more descriptive then the video, but take a look.

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