Many of the projects I do with my kids start with a random inspiration while strolling through the craft store. Alex had recently asked me for a Monster book of Monsters (from the Harry Potter series) so when I ran across a faux book box, I found myself flinging googly eyes and fur fabric into my cart. How hard can it be to make our own? With a bit of trial and error we mastered it.
We developed a couple of levels for building your own Monster Book of Monsters. The O.W.L level can be completed by any crafty kid or adult. Then you have the N.E.W.T level creation for the serious artist. Our N.E.W.T level designer is my oldest daughter Aubrey.
Our initial step was to cut the fabric to the size to fit around the box. Make sure you leave enough to curve around the sides. You can either fold it closely over the sides or leave an inch or two overlap and cut fringe. We used quilt batting on top to give it a bit of depth. The O.W.L level book maker can just stuff a couple of pieces on the top cover while the N.E.W.T level student will want to painstakingly shape a snout and create snarl wrinkles by folding and gluing the underside of the fabric.
I used glass eyes designed for making stuffed animals to create eyes for our Monster books. They snap together! Could anything be easier? Well, we had to poke a hole which involved some experimentation with various sharp objects we found around the house. Kabob skewers ended up being our favorite, though I’m sure one could sub any pointy thing and get the job done. The O.W.L. level student can create a great effect by placing several eyes in a row—very spidery. The N.E.W.T level student may want to try their hand at using scraps of fabric or leather to create lids.
With our basic features in place we were ready to attach our Monster pelt to our book. After experimenting with a few different types of glue we settled on our hot glue gun to glue the fabric to the cover of the book.
No Monster book can be complete without teeth. For the O.W.L. level, white felt makes a fabulous row of teeth but the N.E.W.T level will be content with nothing less than individually designed modeling clay fangs.
Both of our end results are both fun and functional. They are great to hide away treasures and so far they haven’t bitten anybody!