Wednesday, October 3, 2012

DIY: Halloween Candy "Spell Book"

Last year, Thomas and I found this "spell book" at Hallmark. If the link doesn't work (and that's a very real possibility), it's a hollow box, decorated to look like a Witch's spell book. You fill it with candy, and can use it instead of a trick-or-treat bucket. They talk, too, which is really cute. I considered getting one, but they were around twenty bucks, and were just a little too cartoony for my taste. I gave it some thought, and realized it could probably make a more realistic one for a lot less money. I mean, it wouldn't talk, but it would still look really cool, and that's what mattered. This year, I got to work, and can now proudly show you my creepy book of candy spells! But first, let's see how you can make one, too:

First, I started with a store-bought hollow book. This one cost about $5.99 at Ross. It's probably around 8 or 9 by 12 or 13 inches. I didn't measure it, but it's not much larger than a sheet of printer paper. It's probably about 1.5 to 2 inches deep. That's enough to hold plenty of candy.

Nice enough, but not really the look I was going for.

Inside the "book"
 The first thing I did was tape off the "pages" of the book. They were already detailed with a nice gold finish that I wanted to keep. I used a little painter's tape I had lying around from when we painted the bedroom to protect the edges. Then I sprayed the entire book down with a coat of the stickiest, yuckiest, ungodliest black paint known to man. Seriously, this paint has been the bane of my existence. I also forgot to take a picture of it. Oops.

Once I had the base coat on and it had dried, I taped off the areas I wanted to keep black (the spine), and sprayed the rest of the book silver. Thankfully, it was a lot easier to work with.

The darn thing still sticks to everything, and you can see where some black is already showing through.
I kind of like that, though. Gives it a little age.
 Next came the hard part. I wanted a harlequin pattern, but wasn't sure how to do it. This turned out to be the easiest method. It's time consuming, but it works. (I just wish I'd remembered to take more pictures...ugh...sorry...) First, tape off your first set of diamonds. I found it easiest to make my tape go corner to corner. Spray these, and once they dry, tape off your next set. If you mess up, you can just spray over the whole thing and start over. It's not an exact science, and it is frustrating, but it's worth it.

See?! Again, that black was awful, so I had a little bleed through and smudging, but overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I did the same pattern on the back of the book, as well. Okay, to be perfectly honest, I did the pattern on the front of the book, as well. I accidentally did the back, thinking it was the front. I was going to leave the back silver. Oops.

Then, to add a little interest, I brushed some gold leaf I had leftover from another project onto every other gold diamond. 

Here's the leaf. I don't remember how much it was, but it wasn't very expensive. It came from Michael's.

And here's the book with the gold leaf.

After everything dried, I used a glue gun to add some jewels to the spine, and a label on the front. The label came from Hobby Lobby, in a pack of four. This is the original placement. I didn't like it, so I moved it over later, as you'll see in the final pictures.

As a finishing touch, I used a little more of the liquid leaf to freehand a title onto the spine of the book. I tried to mimic the lettering in the label. Thomas and Ronnie decided to photobomb, I guess.

And here is the mostly-finished product, on the mantle with the rest of the Halloween decorations. I say "mostly-finished" because I still need to clear-coat it. that black paint is ridiculously sticky and stains my hands when I touch it.

Thanks for making it all the way through this! I hope you enjoyed it, and please let me know if you try this yourself. I'd love to see pictures!

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