Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Express Yourself: Altered Book Club

How To Have An Altered Book Club In 5 Easy Steps

1.Start going through your library's donation box and gather up a bunch of books. Think about what would make a cool altered book. I like books that inspire a cool theme for the project. I selected a book of etiquette for my project.

2.Make a cool flyer to promote your program using torn book pages. Tell the teens you will have old books for them to use but they can bring their own book if they have one they want to use.

3.Start collecting odds and ends for "altering" your books. Checking the lost and found is a good place to start. You never know what you'll find... old photographs, bookmarks, newspaper clippings, etc. You can also go through the youth services craft closet and gather neat sheets of paper in different colors and textures that they have left over from other projects. Keep old weeded magazines and graphic novels for collage purposes. You might want to add bits of string and ribbon, broken jewelry, fake flowers and other odds and ends. You'll be amazed at the things you'll find to use. You can find great things at the craft store, but spending money on collage materials is never neccessary.

Another great resource is to print out public domain images or clip art.
Check out:

http://www.art-e-zine.co.uk/vintageresources.html for vintage labels and photographs

http://www.squidoo.com/artistfreebies great free collage image resources

Keep everything in a bin with file folders so that the teens have all kinds of inspiration in one spot.
You will need some other supplies like:
scissors (if you have fancy edge scissors, those can be fun to use.)
glue sticks (you'll need A LOT!)
Mod Podge glue (for attaching things that are heavy or have dimension.)
white out, markers, hole punch, paint and other basic craft supplies.

4.The first meeting should focus on the basics. When the teens arrive they should choose their book. They first step will be to teach them how to tear pages out and glue pages together. This is important because they book will need about 1/3 of the pages removed in order to close properly and by gluing the pages together you give a sturdy place for your work and make the book a bit stronger as well.
Then just have fun! Let their imaginations run wild! Collage and paint the pages.

Have books available for them to look through for inspiration. My favorites are:

Incourage the kids to start a collection of collage items they would like to add to their book. They can cut out images from magazines and bring in small items that mean something to them to add to their book at the next meeting. Be sure to talk up the "project" you'll be leading them in next time.

5.At the following meetings, all you will need to do is teach yourself a technique from one of the books such as the ones mentioned above. Don't worry! Many of the techniques are very easy. You can find lots of beginner level techniques and move up with confidence as you have more meetings.
You can make a page pocket by folding the paper, making holes with a hole punch and sewing!

Another great idea is hole punching the edges of several pages and using fabric scraps to tie them together. It makes the book look cool from the out side as well.

The most important thing is to practice before you get in front of the teens. You'll want to give them tips and tricks and work out the kinks before they are staring right at you. Be sure to gather all the supplies you will need! After they complete the mission they can have time to work on whatever their heart desires! I would encourge them to take a few items home with them for working on their book between meetings. It might be nice to start the third meeting off with everyone sharing what they have done so far. Be sure to keep a supply of books for new teens to use! You may also want to check with local craft stores to see if any Altered Book Groups meet and would like to teach a lesson to the teens. I found a great woman from PANOPOLIE come and show our teens how to do several different techniques. She even brought supplies! It was nice to have someone else lead the group and it gave me a chance to participate with the teens. She tought us some cool stuff!

There you have it! 5 easy steps to a great reoccuring teen craft program!

1 comment:

Iman Woods Creative said...

Thanks for a great post! I'm starting an altered book club and this helps so much.

How might you tweak things for adults?