Friday, April 21, 2017

Tackling the cell phone "problem!"

There's just something about mixing 18th century attire with modern conveniences that photographers love.  It's really cliché to see pictures of re-enactors with their cell phones or Starbucks cups.  Such was the case a couple of days ago when a photographer from the Philadelphia Inquirer snapped the above picture of me.  He asked if I minded, which I didn't and this picture ended up at the top of an article about the opening of the Museum of the American Revolution.  

Now I typically don't have my phone or other modern items out at events--particularly regimental events.  In this case, I was taking pictures and in the process of uploading them while waiting for a ceremony to begin.  Sometimes there is no one else to take pictures of my group so I do what I can, typically snapping pics then hiding my phone in my pocket or basket.

This picture prompted a Facebook discussion about possible ways to conceal the phone with a friend suggesting a Book Book phone cover.  Since I don't have an iphone, this isn't an option.  Plus, I keep my phone in a Mophie Juice Box which is a wireless battery case.  When taking pictures, my battery goes quickly and this case will give me a full charge while keeping my phone safe.  Thus, I need to be able to conceal my phone while it is in the case.

I decided to make a hide away book to keep my phone in while I'm working on it.  I'll have to take it out to take pictures, but then it will go back in the book. Here is what I did:

First, I found a small hardcover book at the thrift store.  My Juice Box case literally triples the thickness of my phone so the book had to be big enough to conceal the phone inside.  Without the case, I could've used a much smaller book.

It's important to see how the phone will fit and to make sure there is enough of the page left for a border.

It's also important to check the thickness of the book.

I gathered some of my paper crafting supplies:  hand marbled paper, book cloth, craft knife, safety ruler and Diamond Glaze glue/medium (my favorite paper crafting glue/sealer).

I measured the book cover and cut two pieces of marbled paper about 3/4 of an inch bigger on 3 sides.  I then cut the corners off of the paper right up to the edge of the book cover corner.

Time to glue on the paper! Using a sponge brush, I spread a very thin coat of diamond glaze on the outside of the book cover then I laid the paper in place smoothing out any air bubbles.  Then I folded the paper to the inside, first brushing a thin coat of the DG on the paper.  The nice thing is that this glue/sealer grabs immediately.  I did this to both the front and back book covers,

Here is the outside of the book.  I put a weight on the book for about 30 minutes.

Now the book looks perfectly fine the way it is but I wanted to cover the spine. This is simply a matter of personal preference.

I measured the book spine and the section on the front and back covers that needed to be covered by the book cloth.  I cut a piece of book cloth that was 2.5 inches wide by 8 inches long--just a bit longer than the book itself.

I brushed a thin layer of DG on the book spine and centered the book on the book cloth.  Then I brushed more DG on the book and smoothed the book cloth onto the front and back covers, making sure to really work it into the contours of the book spine.  I snipped the book cloth at the edge of the spine and turned the cloth to the inside of the front and back covers, cutting the cloth in the center flush with the book spine.

Next I took some hand printed paper and cut it to the measurement of the inside of the open book, adding about an inch.  This paper needs to cover the inside of the cover and I chose to have it also cover the opposite page.  Covering the opposite page is really optional.  I brushed DG on the inside cover first, lined the paper up with the edges and smoothed it in place.

Next, I brushed DG on the opposite page and smoothed the paper in place working it into the crevice at the center.  I trimmed the paper even with the page. This is only done inside the front cover of the book.

I used the directions at this site for making a hollow book.  Note--the directions tell you to drill holes in the corners of the pages where they will be cut.  I highly advise doing that.  I didn't and it makes it difficult to cut clean corners.   Be prepared for a mess when cutting the pages!  This is what my family room floor looked like!

I sealed the inside of the "box" and put another coat of glue on the outside of the pages and let the book rest for a couple of hours with a weight on top.  Then I took black craft felt and lined the "box" to make it neater.  

The final step is to protect the cover.  The historically accurate way is to coat it with bees wax which is what I chose to do.  Basically you just rub the wax over the entire cover.  You can buff it to get a little shine if you wish.  You could also spray it with an acrylic sealer but I prefer the look of the wax.  

Here's the front of the book:

And the back:

My phone is almost too long to fit, but it is wedged tightly in there with enough space for me to reach the buttons on the sides!

And if a photographer should come along, well--just close a couple of pages and they'll never know that it's not a regular book!

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