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Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book — Plucking Daisies Find us on Google+

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book

by Amy Bowerman

Don’t you just love fall?  I love all the changes that occur in this season.  From the colors to cool nights and most importantly anticipating my favorite holiday… Halloween!  I was outside  collecting leaves and branches for a future project when I noticed a bag of phone books by the mail box.  Clearly the people over at Yellow Pages are unaware of a little thing called the “Internet”.  Usually, I use phone books to press leaves and flatten paper projects but I’m pretty stocked up.  I was about to throw the  new phone books away when my up-cycling angel whispered in my ear, “Psst…make something with it!”  OK…but what?  Ah ha!  How about a spell book?

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

This was a really fun project.  You can turn those tree wasting phone books into fun holiday decor with items found around the house.  My efforts were reaffirmed when I brought the finished project upstairs to photograph and my 6 yr old said “That Book looks really old.”  Yes my dear, that’s the power of Distress….and leaving the phone book under the mailbox for a few weeks to get rained on helps too :)

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com


How to turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book


Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

The Yellow colored pages are halfway there to being “Aged to Perfection”  all you need to do is add some Distress ink along the edges to help them along.  I misted the edges with Perfect Pearls “Heirloom gold”  to wick the ink and give a little shimmer.

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

Next. cut the flaps off of a shipping box and adjust them to fit the front and back cover of your phone book.  Hot Glue them on leaving approx 1/2 in of space.

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

Create a faux binding by hot gluing pipe cleaners along the spine.  Wait until you have them all on before you trim to prevent uneven cuts (like mine).

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

I used a wrapping paper tube for my project but you can also use paper bags or packaging paper.  Cut your paper to fit the inside flaps and all the way around your phone book.  Crinkle it up and add distress ink.  Adding mists and sprays makes the paper nice and pliable.  It is much easier to adhere if it is slightly damp.

Speaking of which…

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

I used Mod Podge to adhere my brown paper.  Have a brayer and a scraper handy to smooth out air bubbles and push edges into the seams.  Add a darker color of Distress ink to the binding and edges of your book to make it good and grungy (I used Pumice Stone Distress Ink).

If your top edges aren’t sealed all the way you can fix that by adding a bit of hot glue.  Once the glue is dry you can color it with Alcohol ink (Caramel and Latte were used here)

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

For the book-plate, die cut a piece of Kraft Glassine with a Tim Holtz Sizzix Die.  Crumple the Kraft Glassine and color it with Alcohol ink.

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

I couldn’t find a letter stamp set that fit the theme for this project so I hand-lettered the book-plate with Perfect Pens.  It Helps to outline your letter in pencil first and then go over it with Perfect Pens.  Sprinkle Distress Embossing Powder (Black Soot) and emboss.  Create a gilded edge by outlining with Perfect Pens and brushing on Perfect Pearls in Gold.

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

To make your lettering pop outline it with Gelly roll pens.  I used gold on one side and silver star dust on the other

Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

If you really want to fool people into thinking this run of the mill phone book is a genuine Spell book add some festive end papers to the front and back covers.  I used Tim Holtz Seasonal Paper Stash.

To dress it up a bit try adding fibrous ribbons and strings.  I added scrap ribbon, yarn, and strings from my stash.  Some were dyed with Dylusions Spray ink and Walnut inks.  Hot glue your fibers inside the seam of the phone book.

Once you’re satisfied with your Spell book go ahead and seal it with Mod Podge Matte Acrylic sealer (my new favorite thing).


Turn a Phone Book into a Spell Book | Pluckingdaisies.com

My Halloween Decor is off to a good start.  I’m ready to start some witches brew.  Shhh!  Don’t spill the beans!  I don’t want anyone to know that they won’t find a love spell inside this spell book.  Maybe if they look in the “S” section of the phone book….or maybe they’ll just find a bunch of listings for “Smith”.

Check out my tutorial on how to make some spooky ingredients for your “Witches Brew“.  I’ll have you casting “Spells” before you can say Abbra Cadabra!  Now where did I put my cauldron?

If you have a project using boxes enter it here…Awesome prizes abound!

Have a spell-bound day!




{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Professor Nahabu June 20, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Love this! A great idea, and I just knew you were capable of spells!thanks for sharing such interesting and informative post.


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4 Johnnie September 20, 2012 at 5:10 am

Yay! You made phone books useful again. I have never used Kraft Glassine. It looks fun. Can’t wait to see your witches brew, you tease :)
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5 Amy Bowerman September 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

Girl get your but to the store and get some KRaft Glassine ASAP! (Enabler alert: They have it @ Jo-ann’s) Really awesome stuff! You can beat it up like it owes you money and the more you do the better it looks :)


6 Shahrul Niza September 20, 2012 at 1:11 am

Oh WOW, we all need a spell book from time to time, don’t we??. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!. You made it look so old & wrinkly (I’m with your son). Although I can’t leave my phonebook outside here, too much humidity it’ll rot! Or if I’m lucky it’ll sprout mushroom :). Soooo inspiring, Amy!. Yes, show us more magical curious things!
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7 Amy Bowerman September 20, 2012 at 8:44 am

Oh Sharul! Totally digging a book that sprouts mushrooms! I sense a wonderland project coming on :) Too bad we couldn’t swap phone books (I don’t think they would survive the journey of the divide that separates us).


8 Laura / Pet Scribbles September 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Love this! A great idea, and I just knew you were capable of spells! 😉
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9 Amy Bowerman September 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Yes I am…just not Spell-ing :)


10 Patty H. September 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I like your spell book. When I first saw the title, I thought of spelling class in school. I like this better.
BTW–I got the cat feeder today. Granddaughter Tavie liked the bubble wrap the best. LOL Thank you again.


11 Deborah September 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I love this and love your work.

Thank you!


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