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Disney

Hocus Pocus Spellbook

Created by
SynergyCraft
Build time
1 week
Budget
<$100
Skill level
Intermediate
Description

Make your own Spellbook from Hocus Pocus with a secret box inside! This is an in-depth tutorial for crafters of an intermediate or higher skill level. A great project for spooky season to challenge your foamsmithing, sculpting, and painting skills! Patterns are included for you to use, reference, or alter, as well as instructions for creating your own patterns that you can use in a multitude of other prop builds.

Tools required
skills required
  • Ability to handle sharp tools
  • Ability to handle power tools
  • Intermediate foamsmithing
  • Intermediate painting
  • Intermediate sculpting
images for inspiration
No images available
Supply list
Part Description
Costume section
est. Cost
Part description
1x 2mm EVA foam (black)
costume section
Book Cover, Eyelids, Clasp
Est. Cost
$8
Part description
1x 4mm EVA foam (black)
costume section
Patches, Fingers, Clasps
Est. Cost
$10
Part description
1x sheet (14.5" x 9.8") of Worbla
costume section
Snakes, Clasp
Est. Cost
$24
Part description
Parchment paper
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$2
Part description
Aluminum foil
costume section
Patches
Est. Cost
$4
Part description
1x pack 100-grit sandpaper
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$4
Part description
1x jar Contact Cement
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$7
Part description
1x tube Super Glue (cyanoacrylate)
costume section
Stitches
Est. Cost
$3
Part description
1x tube epoxy
costume section
Clasp
Est. Cost
$6
Part description
10x small neodymium magnets
costume section
Clasp
Est. Cost
$15
Part description
1x gold craft gem
costume section
Clasp
Est. Cost
$7
Part description
2x 1" hinges
costume section
Clasp
Est. Cost
$5.50
Part description
1x stitching cord pack
costume section
Stitches
Est. Cost
$5
Part description
1x Mode Podge
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$6
Part description
1x Mode Podge Ultra Matte
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$10
Part description
1x Modge Podge Ultra Gloss
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$10
Part description
PlaidFX paints
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$5 per tube
Part description
Old textbook
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$5
Guide

Base Book Cover

  1. Fit and cut the 2mm EVA foam for your book. The foam should be long enough to wrap around the entire book exterior and interior covers. In other words, the foam should wrap from the innermost edge of the front cover, all the way around the book up to the innermost edge of the back cover. There should also be about 1” extra foam extending from the top and bottom of the book
  2. For the next steps center your foam cover on the book and tuck the foam into each cover.
  3. Using a ruler and white gel pen, trace the book’s top and bottom edges on the (innermost) foam sections that are folded into the covers.
  4. Mark the foam along the creases at each corner of the book.The line should start at the book corner and extend to the foam edge. 
  5. Remove the cover and cut out the four small rectangles that you have marked with a craft knife.
  6. Place the cover back on your book to mark a line 3/8” away from the book’s top and bottom edges. The lines should be drawn on the inner sides of the outer foam cover sections (front and back).
  7. Mark excess foam on the edge of the spine so that it will sit flush with the rest of the cover.
  8. Remove the cover and trim the top and bottom edges that you have marked (including the spine edge) with a craft knife.
  9. Put the book cover back on your book.

Book Patches & Details Patterning

Patterns are available for you to use, reference, or alter as needed for your book size. By default, they fit a book that is 9” wide, 11” tall, and 2 1/4” thick. Notes for the patterns are in the pattern files. To print the full size patterns, open the PDF files with a PDF viewer, and print at 100% scale. The following instructions assume that your book might be a different size than the pattern.

Proportioning the design:
  1. Grid out your reference image into 16ths. 
  2. Measure the image of the reference and divide into fourths horizontally, then vertically.
  3. Grid the front and back covers of the book the same way.
  4. Mark 5 equidistant points along the spine.
Patch Patterning:
  1. Freehand sketch the patch lines onto the 2mm foam by referencing the placement on the sectioned reference image.
  2. Place semi-transparent paper on top of the 2mm foam.
  3. Trace your patch lines onto the paper with a marker.
  4. Label your patterns as needed, mark the front, top, and back of the pattern to help stay organized.
  5. Cut out the paper pattern pieces.
  6. Transfer the pattern pieces onto 4mm foam.
  7. Cut out the patches from the 4mm foam.
Snake Platforms Patterning:
  1. Sketch the placement of the snake platform bases on the 2mm foam book cover.
  2. Use semi-transparent paper (or wax paper) and a marker to again trace your snake platform bases.
  3. Cut out the transparent paper pattern pieces with a craft knife. 
  4. Trace the pattern pieces onto 4mm foam -- don’t forget to label each foam piece for easy reference! 
  5. Cut out the snake platform base pattern pieces with a craft knife
Eye Details Patterning:
  1. Sketch out the placement of the eye details on the corresponding 4mm foam patch created in the Snake Platform Patterning section.
  2. Trace your eyeball detail pieces onto semi-transparent paper using a marker and cut each pattern piece.
  3. Trace and cut 3 copies of the center eyeball pattern using 4mm foam.
  4. Trace and cut 2 copies each of the upper eye detail, lower eye detail, and the tear duct detail using 4mm foam.
Fingers Patterning:

Mark and cut 20 rectangles that measure 1” x 2.5” from 4mm foam for the fingers.

Foam Shaping

Any work with a rotary tool will require proper safety equipment - a dust mask and safety glasses are essential to protect yourself. Always wear a respirator when working with contact cement.

Patches:
  1. Using the rotary tool, sand the edges of all the patches into a soft, beveled edge.
  2. Piece the patches together and use the engraving bit to make stitch holes on the patch edges. We recommend making the hole in “sets,” directly across from each other on different patch pieces. 
Snake Platform Bases:
  1. Gently smooth and even out the edges with the rotary tool
Eye Details:
  1. Using contact cement, glue the 3 eyeball pieces together.
  2. To shape the eyeball, round off the top and side edges to create somewhat of a half-ball shape using a rotary tool. 
  3. Glue the 2 tear duct pieces together.
  4. Glue the 2 upper eye pieces together.
  5. Glue the 2 lower eye pieces together.
  6. To shape the eye detail pieces, sand them into rounded shapes with tapered edges using a rotary tool. .
  7. Wrap a piece of 2mm foam over half of the front of the eyeball.
  8. Mark a line on the 2mm that lines up with the back of the eyeball, and cut it out.
Fingers:
  1. Glue 5 sets of 4 finger rectangles together with contact cement. You end up with 5 foam stacks that are 16mm thick.
  2. To shape the fingers, first drastically round out  the ends and sides using a rotary tool.
  3. Sketch the nail and knuckle line details.
  4. Use the rotary tool’s engraving bits and grinding stone to sculpt the detailing for the fingers.
  5. Loosely jam and poke at the “severed” ends the fingers to simulate gore detail.
Eye Details, continued:
  1. Using contact cement, glue the eyelid onto the eyeball.
  2. Glue the eyelid and eyeball combo to its corresponding patch.
  3. Draw guidelines onto the eye and surrounding eye details that will mark where more details (e.g. wrinkles and creases) are added.
  4. Create grooves along these lines with the rotary tool and engraving bits.
  5. Cut 1-2mm into the surface of the eyeball along the outer edge of the iris with a craft knife.
  6. Heat the eyeball with a heat gun to open up the cut for the eyeball iris outline.

Foam Sculpting & Texturing

Shaping Foam Corners:
  1. On the appropriate book patches, mark out where the snake platforms sit, and draw lines extending outward from the platforms to indicate where bunching/shaping is needed.
  2. Heat the front and back of these foam pieces using a heat gun and gently stretch and pinch the foam to create raised folds.
Foam Texturing:
  1. Gently crumple a piece of aluminum foil.
  2. Heat a patch that needs to look like leather using a heat gun.
  3. Firmly press the aluminum foil into the surface of the heated foam repeatedly to create texture.
  4. Repeat these steps for all of the human leather looking foam pieces.

Worbla Snakes

  1. Place parchment paper on your work surface.
  2. Heat worbla thoroughly and roll it up to start making long, thin snake shapes.
  3. Create the bends and curves for the snake bodies.
  4. Taper the ends for the snakes' tails.
  5. Make small balls of worbla and sculpt them into snake head shapes.
  6. Attach the heads to the bodies by heating the worbla.
  7. Press downward on the worbla snakes to make the bottoms flat.
  8. Use sculpting tools to create indented details for the eyes and nostrils.
  9. Heat the top surface of the snakes.
  10. Use sculpting tools to press a scaled texture into the snake bodies.

Creating the Box

Glue Pages:
  1. Place a piece of wax paper between the back cover and the back page of the book.
  2. Brush mod podge onto the entirety of the back few pages to glue them together.
  3. Glue all of the pages together, focusing the mod podge on the outer 1” sections of each page.
  4. Any pages that naturally fall toward the front book cover instead of the pages stack should be glued directly to the front cover.
  5. Place a piece of wax paper between the front pages (attached to the cover) and the pages stack.
  6. Allow the modge podge to dry fully with a weight on top of the book.
Cut Pages:
  1. Once dry, remove the protective wax paper sheets.
  2. Mark guidelines 1 1/4” from the page edges with marker.
  3. Use a sharp craft knife to cut out the block of pages within the guiding marks.
  4. Cut the pages out except for the back 1/4th of pages.
Glue Inner Pages:
  1. Brush mod podge on the inside edges of the cut pages.
  2. Replace the wax paper and allow to fully dry with weight on top of the book

Prepare the book for the next step by sanding the entire outside cover with 100 grit sandpaper.

Applying the Details

  1. Use contact cement to glue the 2mm foam book cover onto the book.
  2. Trim down any excess near the spine with a craft knife.
  3. Apply contact cement to the top and bottom cover edges and onto the inner side of the foam cover edges that are exposed.  
  4. Fold the foam cover around the book edges to conceal the book. 
  5. Trim away excess foam with scissors or a craft knife.
  6. Cover the entire front, back, and spine of the covered book with contact cement. 
  7. Cover the back of all patches with contact cement. 
  8. Quickly place all the patches once the contact cement is barely tacky.
  9. Clean up the edges of the patches by trimming, then dremeling to blend into the surface of the foam book cover.
  10. Use contact cement to glue the back of the page box stack to the inner back cover foam.
  11. Glue the snake platforms and fingers in place on the book.
  12. Trace the snake outlines onto the platforms.
  13. Apply contact cement on the bottom of the snakes and within the outlines on the platforms.
  14. Press the snakes onto the platform foam.

Clasp

Front:
  1. Cut a hole in your transparent paper large enough for the eye to fit through.
  2. Sketch out the rough shape of the front clasp here.
  3. Use transparent paper to sketch out the claw shape for the back of the book.
  4. Sketch out the front clasp on paper and perfect the shape you want to work with.
  5. Cut that out and double check that it will fit on your book appropriately.
  6. Cut out spots where magnets will go on your paper front clasp pattern.
  7. Transfer your magnet placements onto the book as well.
  8. Transfer the paper pattern onto worbla and cut. 
  9. Sculpt the clasp shape out of worbla.
  10. Sandwich one end of the hinge between the bottom flat piece and the front bulk of the clasp.
  11. Press a small craft gem into place on the front of the worbla, but do not glue it.
  12. Use sculpting tools to create the details on the front clasp.
Back (Claw):
  1. Cut the claw shape out 3 times from 4mm EVA foam.
  2. Stack and glue the 3 layers of claws.
  3. Sculpt the claw with a rotary tool.
Side (Braid):
  1. Sand the hinges to help the Contact Cement stick better.
  2. Measure the length (a little more than the width of your book) and width (equal to ~2x the wide of your hinge) of your foam “hinge” and cut the shape out of 2mm foam.
  3. Center your metal hinges on either side of your foam “hinge” and glue in place. 
  4. Fold the foam over the exposed side of the hinges to cover and glue. 
  5. Cut an appropriately sized rectangle of 4mm foam that will sit on the outside of the clasp braid.
  6. Sketch, then dremel a braid detail into the surface.
  7. Glue onto the outer surface of your 2 mm foam “hinge.”
Applying magnets:
  1. Press shallow holes into the worbla to create a small cup for the magnets to sit in.
  2. Double check the markers for the magnets on the front of the book around the eye
  3. Dremel shallow holes in the front cover for the magnets to sit.
  4. Following the instructions on the package, mix the epoxy components and apply to magnet sockets to glue the magnets in place.
  5. Repeat this process for the matching magnets on the front of the spellbook.
  6. Use Epoxy to secure the gem on the front of the clasp as well.

Priming:

  1. Apply primer evenly on the exterior of the book and allow to dry
  2. Apply primer evenly to the interior of the book and allow to dry. If needed, prop the book open while it dries.

Painting:

Book Interior:

  1. Start with the pages box inside.
  2. Mix a dark brown and apply this as a base color all over the interior of the book.
  3. Brighten up the pages with a mixed golden color, apply with sponge.
  4. Work in thin layers and varying tones to achieve the look of paper that is hundreds of years old. Rotate between applying darker colors and lighter colors to ensure the pages have a wide variety of shades and tones.
  5. Add shadows to the corners.
  6. Apply a dark brown acrylic wash to all the pages. Wipe away the excess and allow the paint to dry within the page ridges.
  7. Paint the inside cover with a similar mix of paints, but add more orange/red tones.
  8. Allow the paint to dry fully.
  9. Seal the interior with Mod Podge Ultra in Matte finish and allow to dry.

Book Exterior:

  1. Continue painting the leather looking exterior.
  2. Focus lighter colors to the inside of the patches, and darker colors to the outside edges.
  3. Seal all of the leather-looking foam with Mod Podge Ultra in Matte.

Snakes:

  1. Paint the snakes and the platform bases with plain black paint.
  2. Dry brush silver onto the snakes and lightly touch the corners of the platforms with the silver.

Eyeball:

  1. Paint the eyeball with off-white.
  2. Mix a light blue color and paint the iris with it.
  3. Add highlights and shadows with different shades of blue in the iris area.
  4. Mix a very light pink for the eye veins and use a tiny brush to apply it carefully.
  5. Paint the black of the iris.
  6. Add in tiny highlights in the iris and pupil.

Clasp:

  1. Paint the clasp entirely black.
  2. Drybrush the entire clasp.
  3. Apply a black acrylic wash to the indents, lines, and details to add dimension.

Seal the eyeball, snakes, and clasp with Mod Podge Ultra in Gloss finish.

Stitching:

  1. Saturate the cord with mod podge.
  2. Weather the cord with a dark brown paint wash.
  3. Allow the cord to dry fully.
  4. Cut the cord into small sections to fit between stitch hole pairs.
  5. Put super glue on one end of a stitch cord.
  6. Insert the end of a cord section into the stitch hole.
  7. Apply super glue to the other end of the cord.
  8. Insert the other end into the corresponding hole.
  9. Repeat until all holes have been “laced.”



Guide

Base Book Cover

  1. Fit and cut the 2mm EVA foam for your book. The foam should be long enough to wrap around the entire book exterior and interior covers. In other words, the foam should wrap from the innermost edge of the front cover, all the way around the book up to the innermost edge of the back cover. There should also be about 1” extra foam extending from the top and bottom of the book
  2. For the next steps center your foam cover on the book and tuck the foam into each cover.
  3. Using a ruler and white gel pen, trace the book’s top and bottom edges on the (innermost) foam sections that are folded into the covers.
  4. Mark the foam along the creases at each corner of the book.The line should start at the book corner and extend to the foam edge. 
  5. Remove the cover and cut out the four small rectangles that you have marked with a craft knife.
  6. Place the cover back on your book to mark a line 3/8” away from the book’s top and bottom edges. The lines should be drawn on the inner sides of the outer foam cover sections (front and back).
  7. Mark excess foam on the edge of the spine so that it will sit flush with the rest of the cover.
  8. Remove the cover and trim the top and bottom edges that you have marked (including the spine edge) with a craft knife.
  9. Put the book cover back on your book.

Book Patches & Details Patterning

Patterns are available for you to use, reference, or alter as needed for your book size. By default, they fit a book that is 9” wide, 11” tall, and 2 1/4” thick. Notes for the patterns are in the pattern files. To print the full size patterns, open the PDF files with a PDF viewer, and print at 100% scale. The following instructions assume that your book might be a different size than the pattern.

Proportioning the design:
  1. Grid out your reference image into 16ths. 
  2. Measure the image of the reference and divide into fourths horizontally, then vertically.
  3. Grid the front and back covers of the book the same way.
  4. Mark 5 equidistant points along the spine.
Patch Patterning:
  1. Freehand sketch the patch lines onto the 2mm foam by referencing the placement on the sectioned reference image.
  2. Place semi-transparent paper on top of the 2mm foam.
  3. Trace your patch lines onto the paper with a marker.
  4. Label your patterns as needed, mark the front, top, and back of the pattern to help stay organized.
  5. Cut out the paper pattern pieces.
  6. Transfer the pattern pieces onto 4mm foam.
  7. Cut out the patches from the 4mm foam.
Snake Platforms Patterning:
  1. Sketch the placement of the snake platform bases on the 2mm foam book cover.
  2. Use semi-transparent paper (or wax paper) and a marker to again trace your snake platform bases.
  3. Cut out the transparent paper pattern pieces with a craft knife. 
  4. Trace the pattern pieces onto 4mm foam -- don’t forget to label each foam piece for easy reference! 
  5. Cut out the snake platform base pattern pieces with a craft knife
Eye Details Patterning:
  1. Sketch out the placement of the eye details on the corresponding 4mm foam patch created in the Snake Platform Patterning section.
  2. Trace your eyeball detail pieces onto semi-transparent paper using a marker and cut each pattern piece.
  3. Trace and cut 3 copies of the center eyeball pattern using 4mm foam.
  4. Trace and cut 2 copies each of the upper eye detail, lower eye detail, and the tear duct detail using 4mm foam.
Fingers Patterning:

Mark and cut 20 rectangles that measure 1” x 2.5” from 4mm foam for the fingers.

Foam Shaping

Any work with a rotary tool will require proper safety equipment - a dust mask and safety glasses are essential to protect yourself. Always wear a respirator when working with contact cement.

Patches:
  1. Using the rotary tool, sand the edges of all the patches into a soft, beveled edge.
  2. Piece the patches together and use the engraving bit to make stitch holes on the patch edges. We recommend making the hole in “sets,” directly across from each other on different patch pieces. 
Snake Platform Bases:
  1. Gently smooth and even out the edges with the rotary tool
Eye Details:
  1. Using contact cement, glue the 3 eyeball pieces together.
  2. To shape the eyeball, round off the top and side edges to create somewhat of a half-ball shape using a rotary tool. 
  3. Glue the 2 tear duct pieces together.
  4. Glue the 2 upper eye pieces together.
  5. Glue the 2 lower eye pieces together.
  6. To shape the eye detail pieces, sand them into rounded shapes with tapered edges using a rotary tool. .
  7. Wrap a piece of 2mm foam over half of the front of the eyeball.
  8. Mark a line on the 2mm that lines up with the back of the eyeball, and cut it out.
Fingers:
  1. Glue 5 sets of 4 finger rectangles together with contact cement. You end up with 5 foam stacks that are 16mm thick.
  2. To shape the fingers, first drastically round out  the ends and sides using a rotary tool.
  3. Sketch the nail and knuckle line details.
  4. Use the rotary tool’s engraving bits and grinding stone to sculpt the detailing for the fingers.
  5. Loosely jam and poke at the “severed” ends the fingers to simulate gore detail.
Eye Details, continued:
  1. Using contact cement, glue the eyelid onto the eyeball.
  2. Glue the eyelid and eyeball combo to its corresponding patch.
  3. Draw guidelines onto the eye and surrounding eye details that will mark where more details (e.g. wrinkles and creases) are added.
  4. Create grooves along these lines with the rotary tool and engraving bits.
  5. Cut 1-2mm into the surface of the eyeball along the outer edge of the iris with a craft knife.
  6. Heat the eyeball with a heat gun to open up the cut for the eyeball iris outline.

Foam Sculpting & Texturing

Shaping Foam Corners:
  1. On the appropriate book patches, mark out where the snake platforms sit, and draw lines extending outward from the platforms to indicate where bunching/shaping is needed.
  2. Heat the front and back of these foam pieces using a heat gun and gently stretch and pinch the foam to create raised folds.
Foam Texturing:
  1. Gently crumple a piece of aluminum foil.
  2. Heat a patch that needs to look like leather using a heat gun.
  3. Firmly press the aluminum foil into the surface of the heated foam repeatedly to create texture.
  4. Repeat these steps for all of the human leather looking foam pieces.

Worbla Snakes

  1. Place parchment paper on your work surface.
  2. Heat worbla thoroughly and roll it up to start making long, thin snake shapes.
  3. Create the bends and curves for the snake bodies.
  4. Taper the ends for the snakes' tails.
  5. Make small balls of worbla and sculpt them into snake head shapes.
  6. Attach the heads to the bodies by heating the worbla.
  7. Press downward on the worbla snakes to make the bottoms flat.
  8. Use sculpting tools to create indented details for the eyes and nostrils.
  9. Heat the top surface of the snakes.
  10. Use sculpting tools to press a scaled texture into the snake bodies.

Creating the Box

Glue Pages:
  1. Place a piece of wax paper between the back cover and the back page of the book.
  2. Brush mod podge onto the entirety of the back few pages to glue them together.
  3. Glue all of the pages together, focusing the mod podge on the outer 1” sections of each page.
  4. Any pages that naturally fall toward the front book cover instead of the pages stack should be glued directly to the front cover.
  5. Place a piece of wax paper between the front pages (attached to the cover) and the pages stack.
  6. Allow the modge podge to dry fully with a weight on top of the book.
Cut Pages:
  1. Once dry, remove the protective wax paper sheets.
  2. Mark guidelines 1 1/4” from the page edges with marker.
  3. Use a sharp craft knife to cut out the block of pages within the guiding marks.
  4. Cut the pages out except for the back 1/4th of pages.
Glue Inner Pages:
  1. Brush mod podge on the inside edges of the cut pages.
  2. Replace the wax paper and allow to fully dry with weight on top of the book

Prepare the book for the next step by sanding the entire outside cover with 100 grit sandpaper.

Applying the Details

  1. Use contact cement to glue the 2mm foam book cover onto the book.
  2. Trim down any excess near the spine with a craft knife.
  3. Apply contact cement to the top and bottom cover edges and onto the inner side of the foam cover edges that are exposed.  
  4. Fold the foam cover around the book edges to conceal the book. 
  5. Trim away excess foam with scissors or a craft knife.
  6. Cover the entire front, back, and spine of the covered book with contact cement. 
  7. Cover the back of all patches with contact cement. 
  8. Quickly place all the patches once the contact cement is barely tacky.
  9. Clean up the edges of the patches by trimming, then dremeling to blend into the surface of the foam book cover.
  10. Use contact cement to glue the back of the page box stack to the inner back cover foam.
  11. Glue the snake platforms and fingers in place on the book.
  12. Trace the snake outlines onto the platforms.
  13. Apply contact cement on the bottom of the snakes and within the outlines on the platforms.
  14. Press the snakes onto the platform foam.

Clasp

Front:
  1. Cut a hole in your transparent paper large enough for the eye to fit through.
  2. Sketch out the rough shape of the front clasp here.
  3. Use transparent paper to sketch out the claw shape for the back of the book.
  4. Sketch out the front clasp on paper and perfect the shape you want to work with.
  5. Cut that out and double check that it will fit on your book appropriately.
  6. Cut out spots where magnets will go on your paper front clasp pattern.
  7. Transfer your magnet placements onto the book as well.
  8. Transfer the paper pattern onto worbla and cut. 
  9. Sculpt the clasp shape out of worbla.
  10. Sandwich one end of the hinge between the bottom flat piece and the front bulk of the clasp.
  11. Press a small craft gem into place on the front of the worbla, but do not glue it.
  12. Use sculpting tools to create the details on the front clasp.
Back (Claw):
  1. Cut the claw shape out 3 times from 4mm EVA foam.
  2. Stack and glue the 3 layers of claws.
  3. Sculpt the claw with a rotary tool.
Side (Braid):
  1. Sand the hinges to help the Contact Cement stick better.
  2. Measure the length (a little more than the width of your book) and width (equal to ~2x the wide of your hinge) of your foam “hinge” and cut the shape out of 2mm foam.
  3. Center your metal hinges on either side of your foam “hinge” and glue in place. 
  4. Fold the foam over the exposed side of the hinges to cover and glue. 
  5. Cut an appropriately sized rectangle of 4mm foam that will sit on the outside of the clasp braid.
  6. Sketch, then dremel a braid detail into the surface.
  7. Glue onto the outer surface of your 2 mm foam “hinge.”
Applying magnets:
  1. Press shallow holes into the worbla to create a small cup for the magnets to sit in.
  2. Double check the markers for the magnets on the front of the book around the eye
  3. Dremel shallow holes in the front cover for the magnets to sit.
  4. Following the instructions on the package, mix the epoxy components and apply to magnet sockets to glue the magnets in place.
  5. Repeat this process for the matching magnets on the front of the spellbook.
  6. Use Epoxy to secure the gem on the front of the clasp as well.

Priming:

  1. Apply primer evenly on the exterior of the book and allow to dry
  2. Apply primer evenly to the interior of the book and allow to dry. If needed, prop the book open while it dries.

Painting:

Book Interior:

  1. Start with the pages box inside.
  2. Mix a dark brown and apply this as a base color all over the interior of the book.
  3. Brighten up the pages with a mixed golden color, apply with sponge.
  4. Work in thin layers and varying tones to achieve the look of paper that is hundreds of years old. Rotate between applying darker colors and lighter colors to ensure the pages have a wide variety of shades and tones.
  5. Add shadows to the corners.
  6. Apply a dark brown acrylic wash to all the pages. Wipe away the excess and allow the paint to dry within the page ridges.
  7. Paint the inside cover with a similar mix of paints, but add more orange/red tones.
  8. Allow the paint to dry fully.
  9. Seal the interior with Mod Podge Ultra in Matte finish and allow to dry.

Book Exterior:

  1. Continue painting the leather looking exterior.
  2. Focus lighter colors to the inside of the patches, and darker colors to the outside edges.
  3. Seal all of the leather-looking foam with Mod Podge Ultra in Matte.

Snakes:

  1. Paint the snakes and the platform bases with plain black paint.
  2. Dry brush silver onto the snakes and lightly touch the corners of the platforms with the silver.

Eyeball:

  1. Paint the eyeball with off-white.
  2. Mix a light blue color and paint the iris with it.
  3. Add highlights and shadows with different shades of blue in the iris area.
  4. Mix a very light pink for the eye veins and use a tiny brush to apply it carefully.
  5. Paint the black of the iris.
  6. Add in tiny highlights in the iris and pupil.

Clasp:

  1. Paint the clasp entirely black.
  2. Drybrush the entire clasp.
  3. Apply a black acrylic wash to the indents, lines, and details to add dimension.

Seal the eyeball, snakes, and clasp with Mod Podge Ultra in Gloss finish.

Stitching:

  1. Saturate the cord with mod podge.
  2. Weather the cord with a dark brown paint wash.
  3. Allow the cord to dry fully.
  4. Cut the cord into small sections to fit between stitch hole pairs.
  5. Put super glue on one end of a stitch cord.
  6. Insert the end of a cord section into the stitch hole.
  7. Apply super glue to the other end of the cord.
  8. Insert the other end into the corresponding hole.
  9. Repeat until all holes have been “laced.”



Description

Make your own Spellbook from Hocus Pocus with a secret box inside! This is an in-depth tutorial for crafters of an intermediate or higher skill level. A great project for spooky season to challenge your foamsmithing, sculpting, and painting skills! Patterns are included for you to use, reference, or alter, as well as instructions for creating your own patterns that you can use in a multitude of other prop builds.

Tools required
skills required
  • Ability to handle sharp tools
  • Ability to handle power tools
  • Intermediate foamsmithing
  • Intermediate painting
  • Intermediate sculpting
images for inspiration
No images available
Supply list
Part Description
Costume section
est. Cost
Part description
1x 2mm EVA foam (black)
costume section
Book Cover, Eyelids, Clasp
Est. Cost
$8
Part description
1x 4mm EVA foam (black)
costume section
Patches, Fingers, Clasps
Est. Cost
$10
Part description
1x sheet (14.5" x 9.8") of Worbla
costume section
Snakes, Clasp
Est. Cost
$24
Part description
Parchment paper
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$2
Part description
Aluminum foil
costume section
Patches
Est. Cost
$4
Part description
1x pack 100-grit sandpaper
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$4
Part description
1x jar Contact Cement
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$7
Part description
1x tube Super Glue (cyanoacrylate)
costume section
Stitches
Est. Cost
$3
Part description
1x tube epoxy
costume section
Clasp
Est. Cost
$6
Part description
10x small neodymium magnets
costume section
Clasp
Est. Cost
$15
Part description
1x gold craft gem
costume section
Clasp
Est. Cost
$7
Part description
2x 1" hinges
costume section
Clasp
Est. Cost
$5.50
Part description
1x stitching cord pack
costume section
Stitches
Est. Cost
$5
Part description
1x Mode Podge
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$6
Part description
1x Mode Podge Ultra Matte
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$10
Part description
1x Modge Podge Ultra Gloss
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$10
Part description
PlaidFX paints
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$5 per tube
Part description
Old textbook
costume section
General
Est. Cost
$5
Guide

Base Book Cover

  1. Fit and cut the 2mm EVA foam for your book. The foam should be long enough to wrap around the entire book exterior and interior covers. In other words, the foam should wrap from the innermost edge of the front cover, all the way around the book up to the innermost edge of the back cover. There should also be about 1” extra foam extending from the top and bottom of the book
  2. For the next steps center your foam cover on the book and tuck the foam into each cover.
  3. Using a ruler and white gel pen, trace the book’s top and bottom edges on the (innermost) foam sections that are folded into the covers.
  4. Mark the foam along the creases at each corner of the book.The line should start at the book corner and extend to the foam edge. 
  5. Remove the cover and cut out the four small rectangles that you have marked with a craft knife.
  6. Place the cover back on your book to mark a line 3/8” away from the book’s top and bottom edges. The lines should be drawn on the inner sides of the outer foam cover sections (front and back).
  7. Mark excess foam on the edge of the spine so that it will sit flush with the rest of the cover.
  8. Remove the cover and trim the top and bottom edges that you have marked (including the spine edge) with a craft knife.
  9. Put the book cover back on your book.

Book Patches & Details Patterning

Patterns are available for you to use, reference, or alter as needed for your book size. By default, they fit a book that is 9” wide, 11” tall, and 2 1/4” thick. Notes for the patterns are in the pattern files. To print the full size patterns, open the PDF files with a PDF viewer, and print at 100% scale. The following instructions assume that your book might be a different size than the pattern.

Proportioning the design:
  1. Grid out your reference image into 16ths. 
  2. Measure the image of the reference and divide into fourths horizontally, then vertically.
  3. Grid the front and back covers of the book the same way.
  4. Mark 5 equidistant points along the spine.
Patch Patterning:
  1. Freehand sketch the patch lines onto the 2mm foam by referencing the placement on the sectioned reference image.
  2. Place semi-transparent paper on top of the 2mm foam.
  3. Trace your patch lines onto the paper with a marker.
  4. Label your patterns as needed, mark the front, top, and back of the pattern to help stay organized.
  5. Cut out the paper pattern pieces.
  6. Transfer the pattern pieces onto 4mm foam.
  7. Cut out the patches from the 4mm foam.
Snake Platforms Patterning:
  1. Sketch the placement of the snake platform bases on the 2mm foam book cover.
  2. Use semi-transparent paper (or wax paper) and a marker to again trace your snake platform bases.
  3. Cut out the transparent paper pattern pieces with a craft knife. 
  4. Trace the pattern pieces onto 4mm foam -- don’t forget to label each foam piece for easy reference! 
  5. Cut out the snake platform base pattern pieces with a craft knife
Eye Details Patterning:
  1. Sketch out the placement of the eye details on the corresponding 4mm foam patch created in the Snake Platform Patterning section.
  2. Trace your eyeball detail pieces onto semi-transparent paper using a marker and cut each pattern piece.
  3. Trace and cut 3 copies of the center eyeball pattern using 4mm foam.
  4. Trace and cut 2 copies each of the upper eye detail, lower eye detail, and the tear duct detail using 4mm foam.
Fingers Patterning:

Mark and cut 20 rectangles that measure 1” x 2.5” from 4mm foam for the fingers.

Foam Shaping

Any work with a rotary tool will require proper safety equipment - a dust mask and safety glasses are essential to protect yourself. Always wear a respirator when working with contact cement.

Patches:
  1. Using the rotary tool, sand the edges of all the patches into a soft, beveled edge.
  2. Piece the patches together and use the engraving bit to make stitch holes on the patch edges. We recommend making the hole in “sets,” directly across from each other on different patch pieces. 
Snake Platform Bases:
  1. Gently smooth and even out the edges with the rotary tool
Eye Details:
  1. Using contact cement, glue the 3 eyeball pieces together.
  2. To shape the eyeball, round off the top and side edges to create somewhat of a half-ball shape using a rotary tool. 
  3. Glue the 2 tear duct pieces together.
  4. Glue the 2 upper eye pieces together.
  5. Glue the 2 lower eye pieces together.
  6. To shape the eye detail pieces, sand them into rounded shapes with tapered edges using a rotary tool. .
  7. Wrap a piece of 2mm foam over half of the front of the eyeball.
  8. Mark a line on the 2mm that lines up with the back of the eyeball, and cut it out.
Fingers:
  1. Glue 5 sets of 4 finger rectangles together with contact cement. You end up with 5 foam stacks that are 16mm thick.
  2. To shape the fingers, first drastically round out  the ends and sides using a rotary tool.
  3. Sketch the nail and knuckle line details.
  4. Use the rotary tool’s engraving bits and grinding stone to sculpt the detailing for the fingers.
  5. Loosely jam and poke at the “severed” ends the fingers to simulate gore detail.
Eye Details, continued:
  1. Using contact cement, glue the eyelid onto the eyeball.
  2. Glue the eyelid and eyeball combo to its corresponding patch.
  3. Draw guidelines onto the eye and surrounding eye details that will mark where more details (e.g. wrinkles and creases) are added.
  4. Create grooves along these lines with the rotary tool and engraving bits.
  5. Cut 1-2mm into the surface of the eyeball along the outer edge of the iris with a craft knife.
  6. Heat the eyeball with a heat gun to open up the cut for the eyeball iris outline.

Foam Sculpting & Texturing

Shaping Foam Corners:
  1. On the appropriate book patches, mark out where the snake platforms sit, and draw lines extending outward from the platforms to indicate where bunching/shaping is needed.
  2. Heat the front and back of these foam pieces using a heat gun and gently stretch and pinch the foam to create raised folds.
Foam Texturing:
  1. Gently crumple a piece of aluminum foil.
  2. Heat a patch that needs to look like leather using a heat gun.
  3. Firmly press the aluminum foil into the surface of the heated foam repeatedly to create texture.
  4. Repeat these steps for all of the human leather looking foam pieces.

Worbla Snakes

  1. Place parchment paper on your work surface.
  2. Heat worbla thoroughly and roll it up to start making long, thin snake shapes.
  3. Create the bends and curves for the snake bodies.
  4. Taper the ends for the snakes' tails.
  5. Make small balls of worbla and sculpt them into snake head shapes.
  6. Attach the heads to the bodies by heating the worbla.
  7. Press downward on the worbla snakes to make the bottoms flat.
  8. Use sculpting tools to create indented details for the eyes and nostrils.
  9. Heat the top surface of the snakes.
  10. Use sculpting tools to press a scaled texture into the snake bodies.

Creating the Box

Glue Pages:
  1. Place a piece of wax paper between the back cover and the back page of the book.
  2. Brush mod podge onto the entirety of the back few pages to glue them together.
  3. Glue all of the pages together, focusing the mod podge on the outer 1” sections of each page.
  4. Any pages that naturally fall toward the front book cover instead of the pages stack should be glued directly to the front cover.
  5. Place a piece of wax paper between the front pages (attached to the cover) and the pages stack.
  6. Allow the modge podge to dry fully with a weight on top of the book.
Cut Pages:
  1. Once dry, remove the protective wax paper sheets.
  2. Mark guidelines 1 1/4” from the page edges with marker.
  3. Use a sharp craft knife to cut out the block of pages within the guiding marks.
  4. Cut the pages out except for the back 1/4th of pages.
Glue Inner Pages:
  1. Brush mod podge on the inside edges of the cut pages.
  2. Replace the wax paper and allow to fully dry with weight on top of the book

Prepare the book for the next step by sanding the entire outside cover with 100 grit sandpaper.

Applying the Details

  1. Use contact cement to glue the 2mm foam book cover onto the book.
  2. Trim down any excess near the spine with a craft knife.
  3. Apply contact cement to the top and bottom cover edges and onto the inner side of the foam cover edges that are exposed.  
  4. Fold the foam cover around the book edges to conceal the book. 
  5. Trim away excess foam with scissors or a craft knife.
  6. Cover the entire front, back, and spine of the covered book with contact cement. 
  7. Cover the back of all patches with contact cement. 
  8. Quickly place all the patches once the contact cement is barely tacky.
  9. Clean up the edges of the patches by trimming, then dremeling to blend into the surface of the foam book cover.
  10. Use contact cement to glue the back of the page box stack to the inner back cover foam.
  11. Glue the snake platforms and fingers in place on the book.
  12. Trace the snake outlines onto the platforms.
  13. Apply contact cement on the bottom of the snakes and within the outlines on the platforms.
  14. Press the snakes onto the platform foam.

Clasp

Front:
  1. Cut a hole in your transparent paper large enough for the eye to fit through.
  2. Sketch out the rough shape of the front clasp here.
  3. Use transparent paper to sketch out the claw shape for the back of the book.
  4. Sketch out the front clasp on paper and perfect the shape you want to work with.
  5. Cut that out and double check that it will fit on your book appropriately.
  6. Cut out spots where magnets will go on your paper front clasp pattern.
  7. Transfer your magnet placements onto the book as well.
  8. Transfer the paper pattern onto worbla and cut. 
  9. Sculpt the clasp shape out of worbla.
  10. Sandwich one end of the hinge between the bottom flat piece and the front bulk of the clasp.
  11. Press a small craft gem into place on the front of the worbla, but do not glue it.
  12. Use sculpting tools to create the details on the front clasp.
Back (Claw):
  1. Cut the claw shape out 3 times from 4mm EVA foam.
  2. Stack and glue the 3 layers of claws.
  3. Sculpt the claw with a rotary tool.
Side (Braid):
  1. Sand the hinges to help the Contact Cement stick better.
  2. Measure the length (a little more than the width of your book) and width (equal to ~2x the wide of your hinge) of your foam “hinge” and cut the shape out of 2mm foam.
  3. Center your metal hinges on either side of your foam “hinge” and glue in place. 
  4. Fold the foam over the exposed side of the hinges to cover and glue. 
  5. Cut an appropriately sized rectangle of 4mm foam that will sit on the outside of the clasp braid.
  6. Sketch, then dremel a braid detail into the surface.
  7. Glue onto the outer surface of your 2 mm foam “hinge.”
Applying magnets:
  1. Press shallow holes into the worbla to create a small cup for the magnets to sit in.
  2. Double check the markers for the magnets on the front of the book around the eye
  3. Dremel shallow holes in the front cover for the magnets to sit.
  4. Following the instructions on the package, mix the epoxy components and apply to magnet sockets to glue the magnets in place.
  5. Repeat this process for the matching magnets on the front of the spellbook.
  6. Use Epoxy to secure the gem on the front of the clasp as well.

Priming:

  1. Apply primer evenly on the exterior of the book and allow to dry
  2. Apply primer evenly to the interior of the book and allow to dry. If needed, prop the book open while it dries.

Painting:

Book Interior:

  1. Start with the pages box inside.
  2. Mix a dark brown and apply this as a base color all over the interior of the book.
  3. Brighten up the pages with a mixed golden color, apply with sponge.
  4. Work in thin layers and varying tones to achieve the look of paper that is hundreds of years old. Rotate between applying darker colors and lighter colors to ensure the pages have a wide variety of shades and tones.
  5. Add shadows to the corners.
  6. Apply a dark brown acrylic wash to all the pages. Wipe away the excess and allow the paint to dry within the page ridges.
  7. Paint the inside cover with a similar mix of paints, but add more orange/red tones.
  8. Allow the paint to dry fully.
  9. Seal the interior with Mod Podge Ultra in Matte finish and allow to dry.

Book Exterior:

  1. Continue painting the leather looking exterior.
  2. Focus lighter colors to the inside of the patches, and darker colors to the outside edges.
  3. Seal all of the leather-looking foam with Mod Podge Ultra in Matte.

Snakes:

  1. Paint the snakes and the platform bases with plain black paint.
  2. Dry brush silver onto the snakes and lightly touch the corners of the platforms with the silver.

Eyeball:

  1. Paint the eyeball with off-white.
  2. Mix a light blue color and paint the iris with it.
  3. Add highlights and shadows with different shades of blue in the iris area.
  4. Mix a very light pink for the eye veins and use a tiny brush to apply it carefully.
  5. Paint the black of the iris.
  6. Add in tiny highlights in the iris and pupil.

Clasp:

  1. Paint the clasp entirely black.
  2. Drybrush the entire clasp.
  3. Apply a black acrylic wash to the indents, lines, and details to add dimension.

Seal the eyeball, snakes, and clasp with Mod Podge Ultra in Gloss finish.

Stitching:

  1. Saturate the cord with mod podge.
  2. Weather the cord with a dark brown paint wash.
  3. Allow the cord to dry fully.
  4. Cut the cord into small sections to fit between stitch hole pairs.
  5. Put super glue on one end of a stitch cord.
  6. Insert the end of a cord section into the stitch hole.
  7. Apply super glue to the other end of the cord.
  8. Insert the other end into the corresponding hole.
  9. Repeat until all holes have been “laced.”



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