Upcycling Old Yearbooks into Halloween Spell Books

Upcycling Old Yearbooks into Halloween Spell Books

There are a LOT of tutorials for DIY Halloween Spell Books out there, and I’m not here to reinvent the wheel. But, I’ve wanted to create my own versions for a while now and it wasn’t until I found a couple of old college yearbooks while thrifting that an idea took root.

While plain hardcover books are a fine starting point for spooky spell books, you have to take extra steps to make them look old, textured, and maybe a little spooky. So, when I stumbled across vintage yearbooks that people had donated to thrifts…with their textured leatherette covers and embossed designs, I realized how perfect they would be for upcycling into Halloween Spell Books!

Using vintage yearbooks from the thrift store to upcycle into DIY Halloween spell books by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Oversized…texture and embossing…hmm…

Using vintage yearbooks and encyclopedia from the thrift store to upcycle into DIY Halloween spell books by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Old yearbooks, encyclopedia, song books, atlases…you get the picture!

Can’t find any yearbooks? Old encyclopedias, atlases, and other reference-type books that are oversized and textured would be just as good! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

For my Halloween Spell Books, I decided to take a less-creepy-more-magical route…almost like the reference books at Hogwarts that Harry Potter and his friends would use. But I still gathered a few creepy crawlies…

Decorating vintage yearbooks with rubber snakes and bats to repurpose them as Halloween magic spell books by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

A few rubber snakes, bats, and bugs…

And some scrapbook letter stickers and embellishments…

Decorating vintage yearbooks with scrapbook letter stickers to repurpose them as Halloween magic spell books by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Letter stickers!

I also gathered various paints (latex and craft paint), brushes, gilding waxes, glue, and some random hardware pieces, like hinges, handles, and clock parts. This is a fun mixed-media project so use whatever you can scavenge or already have on hand!

I made three different magical spell books, all using slightly different techniques to yield slightly different results- and I’ll take you through each one individually.

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Halloween Spell Books, Book 1: Medieval Style

I loved the red binding on this one and wanted to capitalize on it. So, I first covered the edges of the pages with painter’s tape before brushing on the blackest latex paint I could find. While the paint was still wet, I blotted it over and over again with a crumpled-up paper towel for a mottled effect.

The blot method makes it look mottled and fantastical!

Then, I rubbed on antique gold wax to various pieces of hardware (new hinges, old handle) and glued them on. I also use the same gold wax on the embossed design- but I wanted to cover up the name of the yearbook and year.

So, I used brass jewelry findings leftover from this Christmas project, and flattened metal buttons leftover from this jewelry project to cover the yearbook name and year.

Creating medieval style Halloween spell books with an upcycled yearbook from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Ta-da!: Medieval Style Halloween Spell Book

To finish it off, I removed the painter’s tape from the pages and brushed on metallic craft paint to gild the edges in a fiery copper.

Creating medieval style Halloween spell books with an upcycled yearbook from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Fiery gilded edges!

Halloween Spell Books, Book 2: Book of Beasts

For this Halloween spell book, I decided to incorporate some of the rubber/plastic creepy crawlies to create a Book of Beasts. I arranged everything on the cover and snapped a photo so I could recreate it later.

Book of Beasts!

The texture of this particular old book reminded me of lizard skin, so I brushed on green paint (leftover from this cabinet makeover) and instead of blotting, I simply wiped off some of the paint with a folded paper towel. This left most of the green paint, but took enough off to allow the original brown to peek through- giving it a very nice “reptile” effect.

I spray painted the sticker letters gold and then glued everything in place, using my original photo as my guide.

Ok- I LOVE THIS!

Perfect lizard skin texture…

And just like the previous Halloween spell book (Medieval style), I gilded the edges of my Book of Beasts with gold craft paint.

Ooh, la, la…

Halloween Spell Books, Book 3: Steampunk Style

For my final magical spell book, I wanted to create a steampunk version using salvaged clock parts and keys (using mostly authentic pieces in my stash, but I supplemented with a few scrapbook embellishments- gears and the large key). I also glued down a scrap of patterned leather to cover up the name of the yearbook and year, as well (hiding under the keys).

Upcycling old yearbook into steampunk style Halloween spell books with clock parts and skeleton keys by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Had to do a steampunk one…

After sticking on the scrapbook sticker letters, I painted the entire book with a medium grey craft paint. Then, I glued the gears and keys in place before re-painting the letters and page edges with a silvery gold craft paint.

Upcycling old yearbook into steampunk style Halloween spell books with clock parts and skeleton keys by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

I love this one, too!

Upcycling old yearbook into steampunk style Halloween spell books with clock parts and skeleton keys by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Just a touch of shimmer…

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I honestly LOVE how each one turned out and can’t pick a favorite. So many Halloween spell books, so little time…

How to make DIY Halloween spell books from upcycled yearbooks, encyclopedia, atlases, and song books from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

My growing library…

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And SURPRISE- I hit 30,000 fans on Facebook so I’m celebrating with a giveaway! I’ll be giving away three different prizes to three winners: Two $30 Michaels gift cards and One box of hardware bits & bobs! There are multiple ways to enter; make sure you do everything you can to get all of the entries. Some exclusions apply, please see rules below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Giveaway is Open to Residents of the USA, 18 years or older only, and will end at 12:00 am ET on Thursday, October 11, 2018. By entering this contest, you consent to providing your name and email address. Winners will be notified via email from [email protected] and will have 48 hours to respond; winners also consent to providing his or her postal mailing address for shipping. Sadie Seasongoods is not responsible for any damage to box contents that may occur during shipping; or problems during shipping or delivery. Thank you for your understanding!)

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This project is also ideal for a Halloween crafting party- gather your pals and ask them to bring all kinds of crafty products so that you can swap and share. That way, you can make your Halloween Spell Books spooky, silly, magical, or a combination of styles.

And don’t forget to check out my full collection of upcycled Halloween projects before you go!

Craft on!

S

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Comments

  1. What a brilliant idea!!

  2. indianakathy says:

    Very Creative! I enjoy old Halloween ideas! Thank you for sharing

  3. Patty Soriano says:

    LOVE these books ! SO inventive !! But you are one of the best! Thank you for the giveaway. Sounds like a lot of fun!!

  4. Robyn Wright says:

    Absolutely AWESOME!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says:

      Thank you so, so much, Robyn! I’m always nervous posting a “book” project (people are very protective of books), but these are just WAY too cool and fun to make not to share. 🙂

  5. Deanna Williford says:

    Oh, Sally! I really love these!!!! I’m on vacation right now but can’t wait to get home and make some! You are the bestest!!! Thanks for the fun idea! (….and I think it would be a lot of fun to do as a girls night out kind of activity!!!)

  6. mary scott says:

    Excellent results! Great upcycling idea. thanks

  7. Oh wow! I LOVE this project! It looks like so much fun! I want to go alter some books!
    You are so creative, Sarah! Thank you for sharing with us!

  8. Lyn Kleven says:

    SOOOOOOOO CLEVERRRRR!! I’m going to run out this weekend and find me an Old yearbook! Fantastic Idea!

  9. Oh, I agree about being protective of books. You couldn’t do that project with MY yearbooks. Someone else’s though, are fair game. Loved the leather looks you gave them with paint. Great job, as usual!

  10. Fantastic! You’re so amazing! I love getting your notifications in my inbox. I always try to guess by the title what you could have come up with and it always turns out to be 1000000% better than I could ever imagine. Very cool.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says:

      Thank you so, so much- these are incredibly fun to make. I’ve been looking forward to this project all year long and now I’m sad that it’s done, LOL!

  11. Patrice Darlington says:

    Congrats on reaching 30,000 likes on Faecbook👍

  12. CharoletteShepherd says:

    I order some craft stuff from a company called Wish

Trackbacks

  1. […] And before you go, check out my latest Halloween project using repurposed yearbooks and encyclopedias from the thrift s…! […]

  2. […] From yearbooks to 3D Halloween spell books by Sadie Seasongoods […]

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