Greetings fans! Welcome to
the Fangirl Crafter's school of WitchCRAFT and WizarDIY!
The Monster Book Of Monsters
Written by Edwardus Lima, the book provides a lot of helpful information, but also has a nasty bite if you don't take the necessary precautions first.
It made its first appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban during which Hagrid thought it would be a useful textbook for his Care of Magical Creatures class.
Its scary appearance and mean reputation for biting ankles is what makes this book a great way to store your most precious possessions. Not even a Dark Lord would dare to mess with its contents!
What you will need:
-A storage box in the shape of a book, or pieces of cardboard
-Enough craft fur to cover the box and make tentacles
-A hot glue gun and LOTS of spare hot glue sticks
-Plastic safety eyes or clear glass gems from the floral section with eyes drawn on
-Red, brown, and white polymer clay
-Chalk pastels or acrylic paint
-Brown felt and gold paint or a printable text
-A small amount of stuffing
-(Optional) a belt (for protection)
Continue reading to begin the lesson
There is a really handy tutorial by Samantha Kamilos on YouTube that helped me get started. You might find it helpful too! Consider the following steps The Half-Blood Crafter's notes
The first step is to shape the teeth and tongue out of polymer clay.
Add a pinch of brown to red for the gums and plain red for the tongue. You don't have to be super accurate if you don't want to. Make this monster book your own! I used multiple photos found online as references because I wanted mine to look similar to the movie version.
Before baking, chalk pastels can be used to shade and add dimension to the teeth and gums. An alternative would be to use acrylic paint afterwards. (Or just skip this step.)
Also if you want to make life easier on yourself, don't bake the teeth on a curve like I did (see below) unless your book can accommodate it. Mine could not, so I had to break out the exacto knife to make it work. Once you're satisfied with the way the teeth look and are shaped, bake them according to the clay package directions.
Dry brush black into the ridges of the tongue and wipe off the excess.
Then, glue down the teeth (Pro tip: wait till the end to glue on the tongue. It will only get in the way, in my experience. Also, make sure the part that will be glued down is flat either by cutting beforehand or sanding down after baking.)
Because of the shape of this particular book I wasn't able to set the top teeth on the lid like I wanted to and instead set them into the front, like so:
For a more kawaii or kid-friendly look, you could use red and white felt for the tongue and teeth. Or, make it a plushie instead using this tutorial from YouTuber Lauren Fairweather
Because I like to make things difficult for myself, I then chose to hand-paint the letters for the book title on craft felt in gold acrylic paint and weather it with a brown sharpie. You can easily avoid this for yourself by printing off the free printable title included in the video I posted at the beginning of this process. How awesome is that??
If you do decide to follow in my path, be sure to sketch the letters first on a separate piece of paper and practice on a bit of scrap felt too. Start with simple letters drawn in Sharpie and build out from there. Small, flat tipped (not round) brushes work best for details and crisper lines.
Now that the hard part is over, it's time to get Harry. I mean, hairy.
This is no joke, there will be hair EVERYWHERE.
The kind of craft fur you end up with will determine your next steps. The two sheets I got were from Joann's and were just big enough to have a few inches that were unused. Faux fur is super forgiving and will allow you to patch it together easy peasy. If you have a bigger chunk, there will be no need to cut and paste. You could do it all in one! Figure out your plan of attack and go from there.
But first, that bit of fluff needs to stay put, so I used hot glue between it and the book to keep it in place.
Determining which direction I wanted the fur to go in, I guesstimated how much overhang I wanted on the front of the book for tentacles, and began hot gluing from there.
And gluing.... and gluing....
Note: if you are using safety eyes or any other eyes with some kind of back, attach them through the fur before reaching the stuffing fluff and then glue the rest down. Or, cut the backs off and hot glue it later. I used the glass gems and sharpies because it was a cheaper, thriftier alternative.
The first piece of fur covered my book all the way to the spine with extra. (See above.) I cut that part off and attached the second piece to the bottom at that seam being sure to cover it as I glued along.
Now that you've covered the biggest surface area of the box and any edges that might need it, you can glue down the eyes and book title.
Next. let's talk tentacles. I personally don't like them, but they are in every picture I found of the book online. If you feel ambitious, carve those suckers out of clay and glue them down any way you like. Or, if you're like me, make them out of the fur!
Make a variety of sizes of rounded triangles for the sides of the top and bottom, roll them up with glue hiding the seams and glue them to the lid and base of the box in the fur that was glued down earlier. Cut similar shapes out of the front fur and repeat the process. Use some scrap bigger pieces of fur for the longer tentacles that are nearest to the mouth. Make sure that the fur still looks like it's going in the same direction.
Patch up any bald or weird-looking spots, and you're done!
Enjoy your creepy new book!
Most of the materials were acquired from thrift stores, were clearanced, or were price-cut with coupons. Please, please, consider checking out your local thrift stores before buying new. Save some money as well as the planet and practice your transfiguration skills all in one!
As always if you decide to make something using my tutorial, please tag me on Instagram and Twitter with @fangirlcrafter and use #fangirlcrafter! I would love to see what you make!
Until next time...