Dragon Skin Notebook

Primary Materials: A blank notebook, cotton cloth, coffee filters, glue, acrylic paint, glow paint

I thought it would be fun to take a regular notebook and build an interesting cover for it. I started with a blank notebook from an art-supply store. To protect the pages during my art process, I cut the top off a Ziploc bag, and taped the plastic bag around the paper.

Getting this part right was one of the trickiest aspects of the whole project. Some tape needs to touch the paper in order to hold the bag on. If too much touches, it’s likely to rip the paper when it’s finally taken off. But if not enough touches, the bag can some loose.

To get a uniform base for painting and adding scales, I covered inside and outside of the cover in a layer of coffee filters. I then took small strips of cotton cloth, dipped them in Elmer’s glue, folded them, and put them on the spine in an overlapping pattern.

When that dried, I took more cloth to make the scales, in the exact same way I have done for cloth and glue masks.

Once finished with the scales, I painted everything black, and then painted the inside covers and between the scales various shades of purple. Afterwards, I brushed it with iridescent bronze for highlights.

I’d never used glow in the dark paint before, and wanted to see how it would look. I painted green glow paint on the inside covers, between the scales, and as highlights on the spine. Because the layers are relatively thin, you don’t really see this paint when it isn’t visibly glowing in the daytime, because it’s mostly transparent. It glows brightly when charged with a UV flashlight.

I sealed this with two coats of satin spray sealer, carefully removed the plastic bag, and gilded the edges with Japanese gold paint.