The Altered Book Project is a creative, visual journaling activity that I have started with my patients with eating disorders and the girls on the adolescent unit. This project provides patients with a safe space, using art as a positive coping skill to process thoughts and feelings. An altered book is a form of mixed media artwork where you take an old book and “alter” its form and appearance to create new meaning.
Why is This Project Beneficial?
- Being faced with a blank page can be intimidating for many people. Altering a book gives you something to start with and build from
- A book provides containment for intense feelings and emotions. If an image becomes too overwhelming, the page can be turned or the book closed
- As this is intended to be an ongoing project, the book keeps thoughts and ideas together in place where they can be further explored
To provide you with a little inspiration for your weekend, it is my intention to make Fridays “Altered Book” day. Each week in my groups, I try to teach patients one new technique to use in their book. From now until the end of the year (or perhaps until I run out of ideas), I will be sharing a new technique for your altered book here on the blog. Today, we’re going to start with the basics:
Generally, hardcover books work best. As you add to the book it will get thicker and you want to ensure it stays bound together.
To create stronger pages, consider gluing two or three single pages together
Not Sure Where to Start..?
Open to a random page, circle the words on the page that apply to you in the here and now, paint over the rest of the page
Flip through magazines and create a collage
Use a picture already in the book to create a new picture.
Note: the foot is part of the original image on the page.