How to Make a Spell Book

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Create spell books to make your bookshelves extra spooky for Halloween. They are easy to make and a creative way to repurpose old books. Add a few inexpensive Halloween trinkets to give them a creepy 3-D effect, and you'll be casting spells in no time!

Image Credit: Matthew Ashman

Watch the Video Tutorial

Things You'll Need

  • Old books

  • Printer

  • Glue gun

  • Small plastic spiders, skeleton keys, or other Halloween decor

  • Paper towel or tissue paper

  • Decoupage glue

  • Foam paint brush

  • Art brush

  • Black acrylic paint

  • Gold leaf wax metallic finish

Step 1: Arrange Items on the Book

Print out a title and place it where you would like it to go on the front of the book. Add any decorative items, such as a skeleton key and plastic spiders, to the book front as well.

Image Credit: Matthew Ashman

Step 2: Glue Everything in Place

Use the hot glue gun to glue the title and items into place. Then use the glue gun to trace the letters on the title. You can also use the glue gun to create a spiderweb effect around the items.

Image Credit: Matthew Ashman

Step 3: Drape Paper on the Book

Wet a piece of single-ply paper towel and ring it out gently so you don't have a lot of water dripping from it. You only want it damp, not soaking wet. Place the paper towel over the book front and sides. Alternatively, you can use tissue paper instead of paper towel. The tissue paper does not need to be damp.

Image Credit: Matthew Ashman

Step 4: Decoupage Items to the Book

Apply a generous amount of decoupage glue on top of the paper, using the foam paint brush to move the glue around the book front and sides. Don't worry if the paper wrinkles and creases -- it will give the finished spell book an aged leather look. Once the glue is spread out, use the paintbrush to help with the harder to reach places by pushing down the towel around the items that are placed on top. Give the book several hours to dry completely before painting, and make sure to clean off your brushes so the glue doesn't dry on them.

Image Credit: Matthew Ashman
Image Credit: Matthew Ashman

Step 5: Paint the Book

Use black acrylic paint to cover the book. When the paint is dry, use the gold leaf wax metallic finish to highlight the title and parts of the objects that you placed on the cover. Together these paints will create a mesmerizing and unique look to the books. You do not need to apply too much of the wax finish -- a little goes a long way.

Image Credit: Matthew Ashman
Image Credit: Matthew Ashman


If some of your objects get drowned out by the decoupage or paint, you can always trace glue on top of them on the finished book and re-paint them once the glue dries.