How to Make an Altered Board Book


An altered board book is a fun project with a lot of scope for creativity. These versions of altered books can be made as a work of art that speaks for itself, as a gift for a child, or as an arts and craft project that a child can make. And not only that, they are a lot of fun to make!

Board books are heavy and strong, made of "board". They are usually children's books. If you have access to a Dollar Store, you're likely to find a good selection for a dollar.

The video below shows me making an altered board book which was a gift for a child on St. Patrick's Day.

Materials for this Altered Board Book

1 board book

1 foam brush

white acrylic gesso (optional but recommended and available at art supply stores or at Michael's in the arts department)


punch or drill for creating holes

craft paint

embellishments as desired

ribbon, yarn or string for tying

Making Your Altered Board Book

1. Using sandpaper, rough up the cover and pages. This helps the gesso or paint to stick to the smooth surface.

2. Using a foam brush, cover the all pages, plus the front and back cover with white acrylic gesso. Provide as many coats as necessary to completely cover the images on the surfaces. Dry well between coats. You might skip the gesso although I think it strengthens the surfaces plus prevents underlying images from showing through.

3. Paint the pages, back cover and front cover with craft paint. Use as many colors as desired. Give two or more coats, allowing to dry between coats.

4. Punch small holes in front and back covers. You will thread ribbon or yarn through these holes later. 5. Decorate or embellish as desired.

6. String ribbon or yarn through the holes. Tie in a bow to fasten the altered board book.

Altered Books Workshop: 18 Creative Techniques for Self-Expression

Altered Art: Techniques for Creating Altered Books, Boxes, Cards & More. by Terry Taylor

Return to Altered Book Home Page when finished with Altered Board Book