Altered cookbook

My college senior just moved into her first apartment. She asked me for some recipes that would be: 1)simple, 2)quick, 3) cheap, and 4)familiar. Well, I just couldn't hand her a stack of recipes cards, no siree. Visions of an altered book cookbook began dancing in my head.

I'm going to show you how this:
became this:

I had a lot of Big Bird, Bert and Ernie to cover up:
I began by applying gesso to each page:
Next, I painted each page with acrylic, using retro colors of turquoise, pink, chartreuse, and that lovely 1940's green.

I added some retro stamps, chalk low-lights, and catalog, magazine & internet pictures.
Collecting the recipes was fun. I provided most of the sweets and Amy contributed a lot of the main dish & crock meals; we included some old family stand-bys, and fulfilled the criteria of simple, quick and cheap.

I wanted to create a book that looked like it had been assembled over time and seen some kitchen action for years. Following the pattern of my own recipe collection, I copied some of the recipes onto odd bits of paper scraps and envelopes. Some went on index cards. For the typed ones, I used an old typewriter font.

The recipes still looked too 'new' and glaringly white next to the retro pages. To age them and give them the look of old favorites, I tinted the cards with coffee by mixing instant coffee and a little water in a shallow container. Some of the dried cards also got treated to coffee rings with actual cups and lids. It created a nice effect.

With some more tweaking, staining, chalking and adding more images, I completed the 20 page spreads last night. Some of the pages have space to add more recipes as she collects new favorites. It's designed to be used and added to without the worry of keeping it pristine--in fact, just the opposite!

Here is a sample of some of the pages:

Kristin was thrilled with the finished product, telling me she would treasure it forever! I can't wait to see what she cooks first!


Kristin said...

I love love love love LOVE my cookbook! I am going grocery shopping tonight and then the cooking will begin! :)

Nigel's Mom said...

Well, that is just about the coolest idea I have ever seen! I hope you added some recipes in the book hand written by various family members. Those type touches really mean a lot as the years go by. It is beautiful and I understand completely why it means so much to her!

Linda said...

Oh, Lisa, what a treasure! It's given me ideas! You are so creative! Kristin must have been so pleased!

Maggie Ann said...

What a treasure...and smile-maker!


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