I crafted almost everything on the tree in one way or another, and I love everything about it – from the glowing cauldrons to the sparkling patronuses to the cuddly Fawkes with his feathery tail wrapping it’s way down the tree. Next year, I’m making a really cool custom base to accent all of the wonderful magic that’s going on here, but for now, my very favorite things about my new Potterrific tree are the floating book ornaments that I made. Which is why I want to share them with you today.
These are a lot simpler than they look, and only require a few supplies: scissors, glue, clear plastic fillable ball ornaments, clear string, cord, or fishing line, glue – I just use tacky glue, red ribbon for trim (optional), and miniature books, which we’ll learn to make first.
You will need a scanner and a photo editing program – I used Photoshop Elements. Scan the dust jackets of the books you plan to use – in this case, the American version of the Harry Potter books. Since I wanted the full dust jackets, including the inside portions, I had to scan the covers in two to three scans and stitch them together in Elements.
Once the covers are all scanned and ready to use, you need to decide what size you want them. I used 80mm (3.15-inch) ornaments, so I knew the books needed to be smaller than three inches. Since I would be hanging the book from one corner, they needed to be less than three inches across from corner to corner. I settled on making my books two inches tall. This left just enough room at the top and bottom for the book to hang and swing freely inside the ornaments.
It’s important to note that the books will not all be the same length, as some of the books have many more pages than others. The important thing is that they are all the same height. As long as they’re all the same height, the other measurements will match up, too.
Once the covers are all sized, place them all on one page, so you can print them all together. Print at 100%, cut the covers out, and fold them along their natural book folds.
Now we’re ready for pages.
Inside of each cover, I added an extra sheet of paper to strengthen the cover. The paper doesn’t need to go all the way to the edges, but should cover at least the interior of the spine and covers. Apply glue to the inside of the book spine and apply a length of clear cord. I used pieces about six inches long – having extra cord to work with makes them easier to handle, and you can trim away any excess.
Make sure to center the cord in the middle of the spine. If you glue it too far forward or backward on the spine, then the books won’t hang properly.
Once your cord is glued into place, gather your book’s pages, folded edges together, and apply a generous amount of glue. Press the pages into the spine of your cover, centering them between the top and bottom edges of the cover. Hold in place for two to three minutes to secure them. Now you have a completed book, with clear cord extending from the top of the spine (you can barely see the cord in the two right pictures above).
Once the books are dry, secure them into the plastic ornaments by wrapping the cord around the top ring of the ball, and tying into place with a knot. I also spread glue over the cord before adding the other half of the ornament. This glue will help secure the cord, as well as sealing the ornaments closed. I did not seal the ornaments with glue all the way around the seam, just in case I need to open them up for alterations or repairs in the future.
…you can add some decorative trim by tying a pretty ribbon to the top. I like to do this added step because it looks completely adorable, of course, but it also helps to tie the ornaments closed, for extra security.
Now that I have the whole Harry Potter series completed, I think I’m going to add the Hogwarts schoolbooks, as well. I hope you guys give these a try, and that they make your heart as happy as they do mine!