A New Leaf

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You know, most of the time when people are talking about turning over a new leaf they’re referencing things in their personal lives, but since the pages of books are also referred to as leaves I found the duality quite suitable to my current situation.

Getting hit by a car gives you a lot of perspective. You stop taking crap from people you might have just put up with before because you now understand there’s not enough time and space in your already ridiculously full life to put up with their extra stress. You shove your fears aside and you do that thing you’ve been putting off forever because you just weren’t brave enough to face it yet. You try something new just for the heck of it. Well here’s another outpouring of me delving into the costume/prop creation world because it was something I’d been putting off/afraid to try for entirely too long.

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Today I feature my husband and his epic phys rep awesomeness. What you see before you is a spell tome he created for his new mage-style character for Heroic. This tome was created from scratch using materials we had sitting around the house and, in my opinion, it came out with a special flair of awesome. After about 10 hours of work we sure hope it would, right?

First he cut regular printer paper in half. (Folded it top to bottom and cut it on the paper cutter). Then he painstakingly sat there and tore ragged edges on the 2 short sides and one long side. The long side that remained straight goes into the binding.

Then he boiled and filtered coffee (expired from Starbucks) and dyed each and every page by hand! You have to understand, my husband is a fairly active person, so standing there with a hairdryer personally drying each piece as it came out of the dye pan is not even close to his style.

Next he sewed the pages together with a needle and waxed thread we use for sewing leather. Voila! The insides are done. Just this part took 6-8 hours.

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For the binding he cut to size a front, back and binding piece of thick plastic from an old sauna door that was sitting around in the garage. The sauna itself hasn’t worked in YEARS, but the plastic showed some promise.

Next there was an old leather coat with some pretty embossing and trim that he bought for next to nothing at a thrift store. He cut the leather to just wrap around the insides of the covers when the whole book was put together.

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Then the leather was glued onto the plastic covers, leaving a break between the cover plastics and the binding plastic so that the book would easily open and close.

The pages were then placed between the covers and the straight side of the pages was sewn into that space between the plastic covers and binding. He actually sewed straight through the top leather, pages and bottom leather to hold it all together.

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Finally, a couple of pieces of thin paperboard that were left over from some packaging from mailed Christmas presents were cut to size so they would fit nicely into the front and back cover. These were glued down to cover the leather edges and give the whole thing a nice finished appearance.

What a really fabulous result for us spending very little money. I’m so proud of him! I can’t wait to show you our next collaboration: the costume that goes with the tome! He even learned how to embroider for it!

Have you made a fabulous prop for next to no expense? I want to hear about it. Drop me a comment. I’d really love to see pictures of it too!

And remember: Keep on living ’cause the dying can sneak up on you!