Saturday, October 1, 2011

How To: Harry Potter Text Book Covers

I have created a lot of things in my time, some amazing, some big fat fails, some with a sewing machine and every now and again I am able to create something with the computer that just makes my heart happy. Right now the combination of Halloween decoration and harry Potter inspiration has me just tickled pink (or a festive orange and black).

The original inspiration for this project came from a ceramic set of books from Michaels Halloween deco section. I have a picture somewhere just a is a clearer one then my horrible cell phone pic.
Original pieces are titled: Hexes & Curses, Essential Potions, Rituals and Charms.
With some recycled paper shopping bags and Photoshop, this is what I came up with.....
 In case you are wondering about the absolutely amazing Nightmare before Christmas mugs, my sister and her husband bought them for me for Christmas from last year's Tim Burton exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum.

At first, when I started designing the book covers I went with the titles in the original photo. But it then occured to me that these were very similar to subjects the Hogwarts taught. I was then inspired further to make textbooks from the actual books and movies. To keep the Halloween theme the spines have a sinister feel them while the front of the jacket is titled and authored just as it was in the books (and movies.)
Each book cover is inspired by the actual book but none are identical. I have neither talent or the time but I am incredibly happy with each and ever book. (Did you notice there were seven books?)

How about a look see at each cover.
Left book: On the spine this one says BEASTS, but the front cover is the first year textbook Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Seamander.
Right book: On the spine is DIVINATION, on the front is the third year text Unfogging The Future by Cassandra Vablatsky.
Left Book: The spine reads HERBOLOGY, the cover is Magical Water Plants of The Highland Lochs by Hadrian Whittle. This was the book Neville learned about gillyweed which Harry used to compete in the Tri-Wizard tournament.
Right book: The spine reads HORCRUXES, the is Secrets of the Darkets Art by Owle Bullock, This was the book that Tom Riddle would have gleaned his initial knowledge of horcruxes from.
Left book: Spine reads POTIONS, front is the sixth year potions text, Advanced Potion Making by Libatius Borage. (Half blood prince would have used this same book.)
Right: Spine reads SPELLS, front is first year text Standard Book of Spells by Miranda Goshank.
 Left book: Spine reads VAMPYRE, cover is perhaps my favourite just for the cheekiness factor. It is second year text Gilderoy Lockhart's Voyages With Vampires
Right book: The back of each book cover reads Happy Halloween!

Pretty amazing right? Seriously, I am in love. They were worth every single second they took to make. And they took awhile let me tell you. They won't take you any time though because I have made a handy dandy zip folder of the finished covers for printable just for you to download!

All I did was cut the paper bags to fit the book and then feed it through the printer.
Do you see how each book is a little different in size? I did that on purpose. I did not want them to like a Harry Potter box set.
♥ Every cover is designed to print out onto paper no wider than an regular sized printer allows. So when cutting your pages from paper shopping bags just remember to never make them taller than 8.5" and no longer than 16".
♥ The height of each book varies from 7" to 8.5". Please take note of the image size when you are printing and adjust your print settings accordingly.
♥ The width of each book cover also varies from 14" to 16". Please check each document and adjust your print settings accordingly.
♥ Each cover is set up to give approximately 1" of cover inside each book. If you would rather a more snug fit you can always use low tack painters masking tape.
♥ And just in case you're wondering:
-Horcruxes is a hundred year old Latin Dictionary
-Beasts is an electrical wiring handbook
-Herbology is Clan of the Cave bear
-Potions is Douglas Adams' Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy (A trilogy in five parts) 
-Divination is Anne Rice's Pandora
-Spells is Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix
-Vampyre is Book Thirteen of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events

Notes about the graphics & fonts:

♥ I could not have made any of these book covers without the graphics from a couple great websites: The Graphics Fairy and Vintage Feed Sacks were easily the biggest help.
♥ I downloaded almost every font from that link is a great list of Harry Potter related and/or themed fonts. Some mimic the fonts used in the movies.

A few notes before I give up the link though, if you wouldn't mind reading them.
♥ So as not to detract from the sheer awesomeness of the graphics I have not added a watermark anywhere to the covers. That being said, I would appreciate it you do not share these files via email. Please, link back to this page whenever you would like to share the files. Which I encourage you to do. Go forth, make the world a little more spooky!
♥ I have never shared files before so if for some reason you cannot access the files, or have trouble using them PLEASE leave a description of the issue in the comment section and I promise to notify you as soon as it has been remedied.

Finally, HERE is the link for download. There is seven book covers in a zipped folder. Click the link, it will bring you to a Googledoc page in the upper left corner click on file>download original.You will need a program to unzip it. If you do not have one, I recommend Winrar.
If you have any issues please do not hesitate to leave a comment with your issue, I will help you out in any way I can. Happy crafting and happy haunting!


Corina said...

I may ahve to try this for my Halloween party.

Unknown said...

You did an amazing job!! Thank you for sharing your talent and creativity with us!!! Very generous!

Melissa said...

Thanks you! I really enjoyed making these!

The Rooster and The Hen said...

What a cool idea! I love it, nice job!

Arianna said...

These designs are amazing. I used them for a Harry Potter Party and the kids LOVED them. Thanks for sharing.

imbeingheldhostage said...

great idea! Thanks.

Kim said...

Hi! I love this tutorial! I just wanted to point out that "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is by Newt Scamander. You just had a little typo with "Seamander" :P

Lisa said...

Thank you so much! I was looking for a "Potions" book cover to complete my Hermione costume, and this is perfect! TFS!

Unknown said...

Awesome covers. I made my own for my school textbooks by hand drawing them, but I think I might try these instead. Just a quick note, it's Miranda Goshawk, not Goshank. It bugs me whenever someone gets a Harry Potter fact wrong.

Unknown said...

Hi! I just made some DIY Harry Potter books that were inspired by your design. Thanks for the idea. :) If you want to see, my blog is

Thanks again!

Ashley said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! These look so great. I can't wait to print them and put them on my self. Thanks for all your hard work in creating them. I LOVE them.

Unknown said...

I can't seem to open the zipped file! No matter what program I use.

Kabir said...

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krichmond said...

These look so great but I can't unzip them. I am on a MAC - is that an issue? Would you happen to have a different format of the files that you could shoot off to me?

Thanks so very much for the effort you put into designing these.

Kabir said...

Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

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Mª Ángeles said...

Thank you so much, it's amazing!

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