I wanted a more convincing prop instead of just some tea stained papers stapled together to represent a book of stories and traditions. I also wanted the book to show the wealth of the character using it, so it had to be as shiny as possible, while also being cheap to make and easy to copy should I need to make another one, or an even cheaper one.
At the same time I was working on my medieval history project for university, so was looking for procrastination. The two ideas merged and formed the most over the top plan.
Step one, tea a lot of printer paper.
I used cream paper to get the right richness of colour, but while also allowing shades from the palest cream to the darkest brown.
Myself and my able assistant (my lovely bloke) also used teabags directly on the paper rather than soaking the paper in tea (which also works) as this caused the smooth printer paper to roughen rather nicely. Then when it dried it had just the right crackly feel to it when turning the pages. We made extra to also become random certificates, contracts etc...
Step two, write your stories and paint your illuminated pages.
This was probably one of the two most time consuming bits. Each painting was made much larger than needed and then scanned and shrunk to fit on the computer. Make sure you have a nice font.
Step three, put it all into pdf format.
Some programmes will collate pages into booklet form for you. Mine didn't, so I split the text into sections of five sheets/ten pages. Then I had to organise the text and pictures so that it would print in the correct order. I then turned them into PDFs so it didn't matter what I was using it would still print the way I wanted.
Step four, print onto your tea stained paper and decorate (optional)
I went over some key words in gold paint to make the text even more shiny (as gold won't print on a home computer). Timeconsuming but very nice results.
Step five, when all is dry, sew together into a text block and cut out your boards.
Step six, decorate your cover. For this I used a second hand (but new) suede skirt in bright red and bead cups cut to be flat and with little rhinestones glued onto them like finials. I also cut four to be corner protectors. The cover was then glued on and the corners hammered to take away any rough edges in the metal and also age the book slightly.
The end papers are unsurprisingly, gold.
It should now look like this.
I had to adjust the photograph to show the correct colour of the leather, but you get the idea.
and the inside on an "illuminated" page.http://farm1.static.flickr.com/80/241379049_7804db47b1.jpg
Final step, hand to lots of people wearing stage make up to give it that old "been handled" look.
EDIT: to include picture