HOW TO CREATE AN ALTERED BOARD BOOK … and capture past memories.


Altering books  is  a wonderful way to create a completely unique piece of work.   Using an old book you can create your own very personal book.

I find these books destined for recycling at our local library.  Thrift shops are another excellent source.  Children’s board books can be purchased very cheaply.  I look for board books with an interesting profile.  This board book with a scrolled edge inspired me.

You can do ANYTHING  you want, use any material you desire. No wandering up and down the aisle at Michael’s buying expensive scrap booking elements.  You can plunder old magazines, greeting cards, use  odd bits of button and lace.  You  paint, scribble and cut and glue.   Have a wonderful adventure.  Basically all you need is glue and paper.    Then add whatever embellishments  you want.  It is not structured.  You can’t do anything incorrectly.  You can simply enjoy yourself.

The cover of my altered book was created by gluing on layers of paper napkins. ribbons, flowers and lace.

For this page I photocopied my grandparents wedding photograph.   I embellished it with cut outs from old greeting cards and used a scroll design stamp.  My grandfather was a merchant seaman so a few stamps was called for.

I found an old book of architectural drawings and using a copying machine enlarged them  Using water colours I painted them.  The background is a thin layer of a printed paper napkin.  Behind each gazebo I inserted a photograph of my mother and her brother when they were very young.

For this page I began by gluing on a paper napkin, then more architectural  painted images.  The children are copies of my siblings as children.

This page has a paper napkin as a background.  When you glue a very thin layer of paper to your page it crinkles and gives you a lovely texture.  I photo copied and enlarged the flowers, then painted them with water colours.   My older sister is in the centre, myself and our younger sister in the background.

More copied family photographs and illustrations from old cards adorn this page.


The front and back of the board book was covered with a thin layer of a  printed napkin.  The only items purchased were the “chip board”  words on the front and back of the altered board book.

A one of a kind book – I created it for my older sister’s 80th birthday.


16 thoughts on “HOW TO CREATE AN ALTERED BOARD BOOK … and capture past memories.

    • It was an adventure creating this book. I had never done anything as complicated before so I was a pretty happy camper when it turned out the way it did. Thanks Lia for your good thoughts. Virginia

  1. AH. You are so thoughtful and talented, Virginia! Lucky sister. I keep scrolling up and down the post. The pages dance. The flowers dance. The lovely photographs dance. You have such an eye for beauty, it’s true. The colors are incredible. Pink. Orange. And lavender. How long did you work on it? I bet it was difficult to stop! Beautiful! T.

    • I would love to be an artist – this messing about with paints and papers allows me to express myself in an artistic way, but best of all .. I just have a lot of fun. Thanks for the good words Gayle. XX Virginia

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