Get started with Altered Books

Paper Crafts



I did a post on altered books on the MAKE blog a few months ago (post here) and I’ve still been searching for some interesting how-tos on this emerging subject. Thankfully, I came across Shelly Havens-Mills altered book project that she did for the Etsy CRAFT contest. Shelly shares with me some great tips on how to get started as well as a bunch of interesting resources. Take it away, Shelly!

Shelly Haven-Mills

Etsy Store – seeshellscreations

Flickr – seeshells_creations

Email –

First of all thanks Natalie for noticing my altered board book that I created for the Etsy-Craft contest. It was actually my first altered book and in doing it I had the best creative time since probably kindergarten!

I have been crafting as long as I can remember and like to rotate my crafting because I can’t imagine just sticking to one thing forever. I do some knitting, sewing, embroidery, cross-stitch, crochet, and a little tatting. My latest craft addictions are altered art, Artist Trading Cards and beaded jewelry. My jewelry specialty has been memory wire bracelets.

The actual process that I used for this altered board book project was to begin by disassembling a dollar store board book (approximately 5 x 6). I cut each page at the binding to free it. Next I sanded both sides of each page to get rid of the gloss. Then I wiped the dust off with a damp cloth. I glued scrapbooking paper to cover both sides of each page as back grounds using glue sticks (ROSS glue in particular – it adheres well and I just like it). Then I cut each letter from cardstock to compliment the patterned backgrounds, although the “T” is cut from a scrap of plain glossy paper that I had decorated with alcohol ink during a journal making class.

The best part for me is the embellishing. I love all things shiny! From the beads on the front cover, to the sequined flowers on the “R” page, not to mention the sparkly fibres I used to crochet on the “T” page. The heavier items like the crochet hook are attached using medium sized glue dots. I love adding all those special touches. The extra-special touch on this particular project is the miniature artwork (2.5 x 3.5) on the “F” page. It was part of a watercolour painting that I did in 1996, which was originally an 8×10. So I guess that bit of artwork in itself has become “altered” as well.

I wanted to incorporate as many of my crafts as possible so each letter represents a different craft that I do. For example, for the “C” page I incorporated beading, the “R” page was paper crafting, and so on. Once I had the pages all decorated I joined them together with bits of shiny ribbon so the book folds in an accordion style.

My Favourite Books: “Altered Book Collage” by Barbara Matthiessen and “Altered Books Workshop” by Bev Brazelton.

My Favourite Websites: I love and belong to several creative groups on their photo sharing site. (her “Sea Dreams” altered book is especially inspiring)

My Favourite Magazines: “Cloth, Paper, Scissors”, “Somerset Studio”, and “Scrapbooking and Beyond”.

If anyone has any questions about my altered board book or other crafts that I do please email me at and you can always check out my latest creations in my Etsy Shop


Thank you Shelly for the great write up on how to get started with altered books!

2 thoughts on “Get started with Altered Books

  1. Fellatio cum shot says:

    Fellatio cum shot

    Read more about Fellatio cum shot

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).