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Hocus Pocus Spell Book DIY With Movable Clasp


  1. Hardback book 
  1. Paper towel or toilet paper  
  1. Clay (air dry or polymer clay) or you could use plastic snakes  
  1. Paint  
  1. Mod podge  
  1. Paint brushes  
  1. Hot glue and glue gun  
  1. Pencil  
  1. Puffy paint in tan or black. This will be the stitches 
  1. Eye ball. I bought mine from Dollar Tree.  
  1. 2 small hinges
  2. 2 small magnets

I started out by drawling a rough outline on my book. You can try to match the book from the movie exactly, or just make up a design you think looks good.  I made up my pattern. If you are decorating the side of the book details, then do not forget to drawl a little detail here as well.  It does help to have a picture of the book up while you work, so you have a reference.  

Hocus Pocus book DIY

Once I made a rough outline, I started tearing pieces of paper towel to fit into my different sections. Apply some mod podge directly onto the book, then lay your piece of paper towel down. Then apply more mod podge on top of the paper towel. While the paper towel is still wet from the mod podge, move it around to add bumps and textures. You will want to bunch up of the paper towel around the boarders of your sections you made, the areas where you want to look like stitches. Continue to add paper towel to cover the front cover of your book. If you would like to add texture to your entire book, then you can cover everything with the paper towel pieces. I added a little paper towel to the side of my book, around where the fingers will go.  

I also decided to add a working hinge to my book. In order to do this, I added a small magnet in my desired location and covered it with one layer of paper towel and mod podge. You will need a second magnet for the hinge part that I made out of clay. I also used two small hinges. I will have pictures below to show how I made this better, but for now hide one of the magnets under some paper towel if you would like to make the clasp moveable.  

Once the book was covered, I added the eye ball. I found pin pong balls with an eye ball painted on them at Dollar Tree. I used a small hand saw to cut the pin pong ball in half. Then I used some sand paper to smooth out the cut edges a little. I applied a little mod podge and placed the eye ball in place. I then put some paper towel and mod podge around the top and bottom of the eye to act as the eye lids. This paper towel and mod podge around the eye is all that was needed to keep the eye securely in place.  

Hocus Pocus book DIY

While I waited for the mod podge to dry, I started working on the other pieces. You can use air dry clay or polymer clay, a clay that hardens when baked in an oven. I made the fingers, 3 snakes, two corner pieces, the clasp, and the long strip one of the snakes’ rests on all out of my clay. For the two corner snakes I tied them around themselves to get them into that shape. You can see how I did this better by watching my YouTube video. I used a mechanical pencil to add details the different pieces, no fancy tool needed. I also used my ruler to help cut straight lines for some of my pieces. If pieces are not straight or bumpy, that is okay. It adds more character to the book. It might look bad or off at this stage, but it will really come together once you start adding the paint. Please check out my YouTube video if you would like to see how I made these pieces. It is easier to show you vs try and explain.  

While your clay pieces are sitting out and drying or baking in the oven, according to the instructions on the package, you can move on to some painting. I actually took a break and continued with the painting the next day. I also hot glued my finger clay pieces onto my book while they were still warm from the oven and a little flexible still. Since this part of the book is curved, I wanted the fingers to curve with it. The other clay pieces I left off since it would be easier to paint things separately.  

 I first painted around the raised areas on my book, the areas where the stiches would be, black. It is okay to be a little messy with the painting, it adds more character to the piece. When the black paint was mostly dry, I painted the entire book brown. When I got to the black sections I did a dabbing motion to add some brown to those areas and blended the brown with the black at the edges. This was easy and really made the book come to life. I decided to also paint the back of the book completely brown. It just looked better to me having the back also painted.  

For the clay pieces they all needed to be a silver color. I started off by painting all the pieces except for the flat pieces black. I wanted a little of the black to show through and give the pieces a more rustic look. I then painted ever piece, even the flat pieces gray. I did not have a metalic gray/silver, so I decided to add touches of gold to give my pieces those shiny touches. I added the gold by using a stiff paint brush, and dry brushing on small amounts of my gold paint. If too much gold comes off your paint brush, you can always wipe some of it off before it dries, and blend it in. These touches of gold really made a huge difference in the pieces.  

Hocus Pocus book DIY

Then, I used my hot glue gun to glue all the pieces in place. I did use gorilla glue along with hot glue for the moveable clasp to make it sturdier. My small little magnets were very strong, so the stronger glue was also needed for this. I found it easier to glue my clasp together first, then add the magnet after. I glued a hinge, followed by the rectangle piece, the width of the book, then another hinge, and lastly the circular piece. Please see my picture below for an example.  

Now for the magnets. If you do not have as strong of a magnet as I have, then you can place the second magnet on top of the first magnet, which should be buried under your paper towel. Then apply a small amount of glue on top of the magnet and place your circular clasp piece on top. My magnet was very strong so I found it worked best to glue my magnet off to the side and directly to my clasp, not on top of the other magnet. You will need to make sure you line the magnets up correctly so they do not repel each other. Once the magnet is glued in place, I glued the other end piece, a hinge, directly to the back of the book.  

You really need to be patient with the clasp and allow it to fully dry before messing with it. I tried to glue sections before other sections were dried, and I ended up need to redo sections because of this. I also started to take pictures and a little video of my book before it was fully dry, and thus a piece came off and needed to be glued back. So, I know it is difficult to just wait for the glue to dry, but it is worth waiting.  

The last step was to add the stitches. I did this with some black puffy paint. Black was the only color of puffy paint I had on hand. I thought about painting the puffy paint a tan color after it dried, but then decided to just leave it as is.  I also dry brushed a little of my brown paint on the edges of the pages to given them more of a weathered look.

I was very happy with how this piece turned out. The pictures do not do it justice. There was a lot of time-consuming pieces and a lot of waiting for things to dry, but it really was not too difficult. I was surprised how well the stiches section turned out. Doing the black paint first really added a nice affect to it. Let me know if you make your own Hocus Pocus book. I would love to see how it turns out.  

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