Glowing Eyes Notebook

Materials: Blank Notebook, coffee filters, cotton cloth, sculpting epoxy, glass cabochons, modeling paste, acrylic paint, glow paint.

I thought it would be fun to make a notebook covered in glowing eyes. I also had some tubs of sculpting epoxy from several years before, which I had forgotten about in a drawer, and wanted to use.

The blank notebook I used for this is a different style than the Dragon Skin or Stone Scale books. This one is bigger and the paper is grey and rough. It had a slippery faux-leather cover.

I started by taping a bag around the paper to protect it. Then I scratched up the cover with a knife and sandpaper, and started gluing down strips of cloth, to act as a substrate.

In the book-binding industry, the collection of paper that is bound together, to be attached into a set of covers to create a book, is called the “text block.” In this notebook, the text block was only attached to the covers by a thin sheet of paper on each end. Because of this, as I glued in coffee filters on the inside of the cover, I accidentally melted the paper, and realized the book would fall apart unless I did something.

I cut the text block out entirely, and glued a wide strip of cotton cloth to it, using Barge cement. I then glued the cloth flaps to the inside of the covers, using more Barge cement. This made a strong connection, and was the first time I’ve re-glued a text block into a set of covers.

With that out of the way, it was time for the eyes. I looked online for pre-made glowing eyes, but didn’t find anything I liked enough, so decided to make my own. I started with blank glass cabochons, and did some test painting on them, to figure out something that would look good.

I painted the back of the glass to create the eyes. First I put on black for the pupils, and then a layer of blue glow paint, then green, then glue, then green again, then a layer of gold, and finally I sealed everything in with modeling paste.

I arranged the eyes in a semi-random pattern, and put the sculpting epoxy around them, to add dimension and hold them in place.

When I had finished this on both sides, I then used hot glue to create the veiny appearance, and integrated it all together using strips of cotton dipped in Elmer’s glue.

Next, I painted it black and very dark purple, with a few metallic highlights, and put blue glow paint on the veins.

I bought red India ink to brush onto the edges of the paper. When I tested it, though, the red looked so much like blood, I thought it would be too ghoulish for this design. So I bought purpose India ink and applied it to the edges and some of the inside pages.