I’ve got two friends who are celebrating their birthdays soon and I decided (as usual) to make their presents. The first one was easy, I just stenciled the Lord of the Rings inscription along the hem of a black shirt. Since I’d already given them the same present last year, I decided I had to think of a different present for the second one this year.
Luckily, I remembered one of my friends linking to one of those online shops that sell mini book charms and I remember thinking back then ‘Hey, I could make that’. So, I decided to make a book charm necklace for the second friend. (The thing with friends who love books is that there are a lot of choices for book-related presents). I decided to go with Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, but of course, I couldn’t just make one, hence the abundance of mini book charms
Details and tutorial inside
I started with Google image search to find the book covers. It’s really hard to find more than the front cover of the book, though. So for the ones where I didn’t have the spine and the back, I just picked a color from the front and added it to the image using Gimp (an image editor), sized large enough for the back cover and the spine. I think I did a 0.5″ spine for the image, which was actually too large, but that’s ok.
I put all the book images I wanted in one image sized to 8r (8″x10″) and had it printed on silk paper at one of the printing shops here. It’s 60pesos for one 8r (around $1.50).
Cut out the book image, and fold along the spine edges to make the mini book. I used an awl to put a hole along the top of the spine and put in a ring to make the mini book a charm.
I had a bunch of loose pages from an old book that I turned into a hollow book, and I used those as the pages for the book charms. I measured the width and height of the book and made sheets twice the width of the book and folded them in half to make the pages. I used a bulldog clip to keep everything in place and used glue to put everything together. Kept it pressed together with the bulldog clip and let the glue dry.
I used Diamond Glaze to cover the whole book and make it more or less waterproof. I covered the spine and the front cover with a thin layer and let dry. Then I did a thin layer on the back and let that dry. Then I did a layer around the book edges and hung it up to dry. (All this waiting for stuff to dry takes time, I suggest watching a show to pass time, or something.)
Here’s a different angle of the books I made:
Learn from my mistakes!
– Don’t be tempted to cheat on the pages just because cutting them out and putting them together is tedious. Your book charm edges won’t be squared and the glaze won’t settle flat.
– Put a piece of stiff cardboard between the clip and your mini book when you’re letting it dry. You don’t want to put a crimp in your mini book.
– Let the glaze dry thoroughly before touching it. That’s the only way to keep a clean finish.
I’m turning these mini book charms into pendants by adding another jump ring and adding to a chain, but they can also be used for charm bracelets and for anything else you could think of.