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Faux Leather Book Cover: Tissue Paper Technique


I had been looking for just the right Bible to begin art journalling in….I wanted an NRSV (long story as to why!), and wanted wide margins with lines for writing notes and drawing. (Because I can’t write straight to save my life!) I could only find a “used” one for less than a gajillion dollars since it’s no longer being made – fortunately the only thing that made it “used” was a broken spine. Which I’m repairing in today’s video!

Faux Leather Book Cover: Tissue Paper Technique

I started watching a bunch of YouTube videos first, and had searched for book repair, to see if there were ideas on how to fix the broken spine shown in the video. I came upon an artist, Laura Carson, who made some absolutely amazing books! (This dragon book is phenomenal!) Though I swapped out a bunch of supplies, the basic technique is the same; I asked a lot of my mixed media friends about adhesive, and they all said be sure to replace the adhesive with PPA. And I agree – it’s pretty phenomenal stuff! Watch the video below, or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube.

Isn’t this texture just delicious!?! It would be perfect for whatever book you want to cover – an art journal, a sketch book…..I might be making a bunch of these for Christmas gifts!

Faux Leather Book Cover texture

I cut a hole in my Bible cover to insert my life verse, printed from my computer and distressed with inks. In the video I showed my Olfa blade – I once purchased a big pack of these for OWH, and love them; I had originally found one in a craft store and ordered a big case of them, but now the only place I found them is HERE. In reality any heavy duty knife will cut a book cover.

Faux Leather Book Cover texture insertA few words about the pages inside the book….I’ve had people frantically asking me what kind of Bible to get, what kind has paper you can paint on, what doesn’t go through the back. And I have a similar message as I had for the coloring book post: If you are terribly upset about anything going through to the back of the page, or stress out over wrinkling paper, Bible journalling is not for you. Books are made of paper. Paper and water generally do not get along perfectly. Paper wrinkles. It bleeds. You will never find a book paper that does not do so at all. This is art, and is messy – and if you get upset easily by potentially ruining a page in a Bible, do not get started on journalling this way, or you’ll be very unhappy at some point along the way.

I did discover that, for this particular Bible, which is printed on very standard paper – pages DO wrinkle though can be ironed; and Ph Martin paints do not bleed through.

I have absolutely NO idea what will happen in your Bible, or what kind of Bible you should go get. Please please please don’t ask me that. Just get a Bible you feel comfortable making art in. And test it out. Try the index pages first, to see what mediums you like. Go to YouTube and do searches. I don’t plan to be making a ton of videos on Bible journalling – my blog and YT channel are about cardmaking, and Bible journalling is a VERY personal thing, so I will not be


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; click on the listed items to go directly to it. Affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

12 thoughts on “Faux Leather Book Cover: Tissue Paper Technique

  1. Sandy, this book is so lovely. It will be a treasure for many, many years. I just wanted to give you a little pointer about using MicroGlaze. I’ve been using this product for a long time, way before Tim Holtz and Ranger took it over. It only takes a small amount to cover your surface. I think you are getting a greasy feel to the finish because you are using too much of the product. A tiny bit on the pad of your finger will go a long way. It works better if you apply a very light coat, let it set for just a minute or two, then buff with a soft cloth. If you want, you can then apply a second coat and repeat the process. This will give you a water repellent surface with a soft glow and will slightly intensify the underlying color of your project. There should not be any discernible residue or a sticky Vaseline feel. I hope this helps. I love MicroGlaze, but it can be little bit tricky to work with.

  2. Great technique. I remember covering wine bottles with torn pieces of masking tape and then painting with brown shoe polish to get a faux leather look. TFS

  3. Awesome! Thanks! For sharing

  4. Really beautiful. I always cringe when I see people write in their bibles but I have to say you did a wonderful job on the cover and your watercolor painting on the inside is lovely. You gave an old bible new life. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Love your video. Beautiful book cover, gorgeous colors.

  6. It really looks great. I am one of those people that would have a hard time carving into a bible but really, its beautiful! Its not like you burnt it or anything. LOL It actually loos better than the original cover did!

  7. sweet!!! how awesome your inspiration is… and your journey brings us all over the place! i am interested in seeing more of how you illustrate your faith book and i am starting a journal…. i compose all my inspirations and write them down in a book but i need to be brave and illustrate with pictures. how? do you jump off and be confident about it!.. i notice when i am not confident.that outcomes arent as impressive to me either..LoL merry christmas…and all the best in 2015 and wherever Lifes journey takes you… as a thanks for inspiring me so often sandy…,heres a quote i composed and want to share it.. The most sacred moments of Life that all of us share in common is the ability to look upwards when we feel down..

  8. Excellent job Sandy! Don’t you love when you get all excited and super proud of what you made!!!!

  9. Really great project!

  10. Gorgeous!!

  11. Beautiful!

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