To create the book I started with this little photo album. The ring binding is not ideal for a medieval look but it makes the book easier to assemble and add to over time. There may be a potion brewing contest, involving the invention of drinks using our bar ingredients and I'll be putting the entries from this contest into the book for later years.
To age the vinyl book and help it look like ancient leather, I took the following steps:
- I conditioned it with baby oil, to relax it a little bit. I don't know if this did any good but it didn't seem to hurt.
- I sanded it. I tried to hide the direction of my sanding but it was somewhat difficult. This was not a big deal though, as other steps helped hide it.
- I used a small grater and really roughed up the edges and raised surfaces. This is what I would expect to happen in a very old leather tome.
- I used the smooth edge of a butter knife to make ripples in the fabric. I just pulled it across with the knife angled a bit. This also stretches the fabric a bit and creates some more rough parts.
- I kicked it around. A lot. We live in a slightly rural area so I kicked it and pushed it around on a gravel road. This got it nice and dirty and helped cover the directional lines from my sanding by adding new random marks.
- I polished it with brown shoe polish. This was darker than some of the fabric and filled in the cracks and creavases with what looks like filth. It also stained some of the stitching.
- Stain it liberally. I used some brown stain that I made by soaking coffee grounds in warm rum (what I had in the house). I dripped, dabbed, and splattered that everywhere. I added a little red and blue food coloring and repeated the process.
- I tea stained the inside and sealed it.
- I used permanent marker to ink the label.
Now I have it sitting out in the sun during warm days and, hopefully, it will fade all of my work a bit and add to the effects.