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A unique mix of crafts, nature, homeschooling…life.

Shape Book Tute


I’ve had an overwhelming response to this project and everyone wants a tutorial, so here you go.

First off, gather your supplies:
- book for dismembering, paperbacks are great
- template (I made half an apple out of a thick piece of chipboard)
- exacto knife with a very sharp blade
- clips
- glue stick
- snot dots
- ink or paint for coloring and something to apply it with
- decoration or embellishments

Step 1
My paperback book was too thick so I split it in half using my blade. Try and make a clean break or you will end up sacrificing some pages. Remove the cover.

Step 2
Lay the template down on the book and cut the pages around the template. Be careful not to cut in to the template and try to cut only a few pages down at a time to start. Try and make one smooth cut if you want to avoid rough edges. I personally like the distressed look.
Step 3
Remove the cut paper leaving the template in place. Cut and repeat. Cut and repeat. I found that I was cutting about four pages at first and then ended up cutting a lot more at a time once I got the hang of it.

Step 4


Once the book is cut, trim any rough edges you don’t want. Especially those that are hanging off. This will help for the next step: inking.

Step 5
For color, I used ink refill and diluted it a bit because I wanted it to soak in to the paper. I applied it with a cotton ball to the edge of the book. (I have not tried paint so I’m not sure what technique you will need to keep the pages from sticking together.)
Step 6
Once the edges were done, I applied the ink/water mixture to the inside of the pages by using a “flip and wipe” method. I turned the book over and then did the same thing on the other side. I did not try and get every page but rather a sampling of pages for a worn effect. Let it dry or cheat and use a heat gun to lightly dry the edges. Which method do you think I used?

Step 7
Once the book is dry you will need to stretch the spine so it opens. The book I used was not terribly worn so it did not fan well on it’s own. I stretched it at random to loosen it up.
Step 8
I chose to use a stick with a little leaf for my decoration. On the pumpkin I used wired ribbon, wire, and lace. I covered the stick with snot dots and layed it in the top of the apple. It’s starting to look like an apple now, isn’t it?



Step 9
Apply a good craft glue stick to one side of the book making sure you go all the way to the edges. Carefully close book and clamp it tight on the glued pages. I think that paperclips would work for this, too. Let it dry.


Step 10
Add any additional decorations at this point. Fan the book a couple of times to get an even shape. You are done.


  1. lori

    thanks so much for sharing the tutorial. i totally love this!! what a great creative talent you are!!

  2. Cassie

    This is super cute!
    Thanks for the tute!
    I will be making these for everyone!!!

  3. hollystar

    thanks for sharing! i got another worthless yellow pages book at my front door yesterday. not sure if the pages are thick enough, but at least i can have some fun trying before i recycle it into soemthing else..

  4. Harley Dee

    This is absolutely darling! Thanks so much for the tut. I can just see a whole row of pumpkins made like this on my mantle!

  5. Sandy

    Wow I love this. Thanks for the tutorial. I can’t wait to try one or two of these. They look a bit addictive. Can I ask what snot dots are? Are they glue dots?

  6. lisa garay

    oh wow.
    thank you for your wonderful explanation!
    i can’t wait to try this!

  7. Kara Ward

    I found your blog and discovered crafting treasure. I love every little morsal of it. The tutorial is fabulous and all the ideas just have me too excited! Kara

  8. Kudzu

    Thanks so much for the how-to on the altered book, and the March of the Crows. I can’t wait to make my own, thanks for the inspiration.
    I’d like to choose you to be tagged by me, and say Thanks Ya’ll.

  9. me-bear

    Just surfin’ around and had a stop on your blog. Think the applebook is a great idea! Nice and clean tutorial too.

    (did something wrong so now there’s a deleted message of me as well … sorry..)

  10. Ginger

    Wow a great tutorial ! Love this idea!Gives a book a second life.
    hugs ginger

  11. Jennifer Paganelli

    love this tutorial you are my new best place to visit….thanks for cool projects..Jennifer

  12. Cicada Studio

    The perfect gift for my 7yr old to give to his teacher. (they get so much real food, this will be a nice change).

  13. Fresh Tea

    Thank you for the awesome tute!
    They are a little addictive, have made 12 baby sized apples and a giant pear!

  14. Heather

    My aunt used to make angels this way–she would spray them golden. . . I loved it and haven’t thought of that memory since I was a child. Thank you.

  15. Nancy Ward


    today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to the tutorial.

    Would you let me know if that’s OK?


    Nancy Ward

  16. sutrisno

    good luck for you. but will be better if you increse up your skill to upgrade your blog. so your visitor can access your blog easily and can give you some comment easily too

  17. Caley

    This is really lovely, but as a former graduate English student, I just feel sad about cutting up books. Sigh, what was the book I wonder? Still…might have to find a least-favorite thrift-store paperback to try this out on.

  18. farmgirlinnewmex

    There are lots of books out there that can be recycled. I have most of them in my garage! Looks like fun.
    (PS Your website looks great)

  19. Bridget

    First of all I just love your website and all your ideas. I was wondering if you have a newsletter, that can be subscribed to.
    Sure hope so. Have a great weekend. B.

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