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Much safer to read than the real thing!
I'm a bit of a hopeless fangirl at times, so naturally that means I'm terrible at starting conversations with people I look up to for fear of saying something 'weird' or 'stalker-y'. This was my attempt at trying to start a conversation with Tom Sullivan (for those who don't know, he's basically the guy who was responsible for the original Evil Dead movies being as amazing as they are even by today's standards. His other artwork has been used on episodes of The Simpsons and South Park, and referenced countless times in modern pop culture, but I digress.) One of the things I love about his work is the amazing amount of detail he puts into everything, including the infamous Book of the Dead. Since felt is my favorite medium to work with, and I do most of my work in mini-scale, it made sense that my attempt at recreating one of the most fun bits of horror memorabilia should be a tiny felt replica. I picked a few random pages I thought I could handle in this scale (it's just under 2"x2") and recreated those as well. I don't have pictures of the process unfortunately (I rushed it a bit so I'd have time to make a second one if I ruined the first attempt, and it completely slipped my mind.), but I'll include a link to each original page so you can see what I've done.

I assembled it first and then painted, and I found that this made it MUCH harder to paint, so if you're going to attempt this yourself I strongly recommend painting first and then carefully gluing the pages into the "spine" of your book.

Posted by AlterEgo Designs from Cleveland, Ohio, United States • Published See AlterEgo Designs's 22 projects »
  • How to make a mixed media. Tiny Felt Book Of The Dead - Step 1
    Step 1

    First up, the cover. I started with a dark tan/light brown colored felt, and dry-brushed a mixture of acrylic and fabric paints in random blotches to give the illusion of a poorly-tended hide. I did the same on the back as the front. The face was painted on first so that the other colors would blend over it and give the whole thing a 'worn' look.

    I used regular cheap-y dollar store brand paint brushes for this, since I wanted it messy and didn't want to ruin a good brush by pounding it down onto felt.

    For the paints, I used 2 parts acrylic to 1 part fabric for the reddish brown, and 1 part acrylic to 2 parts fabric for the muddy brown. I probably should've stuck with the first mixture, since the muddy brown faded out a bit when the fabric paint soaked into the felt. Keep this in mind if you decide to try for yourself.)

    The black was all Plaid Folk Art Fabric Paint in Licorice. Clearly this is the best to use, since it set under the other paints nicely and still looked crisp after drying.

  • How to make a mixed media. Tiny Felt Book Of The Dead - Step 2
    Step 2

    Next came the pages. I hopped on Google and found a few pages I thought I could replicate at least somewhat recognizably in such a small scale. Some of the reference pictures are from the recent remake, some are from the original. I couldn't find enough still shots from the 1981 version, so I did my best with what I had. Here's the movie version of the page: http://thelittlestwinslow.com/treading-on-sacred-ground-an-evil-dead-review/

    (In hindsight, I probably should've just scaled up a bit, but I'm a stubborn artist and refuse to be swayed once I've set my mind on something.)

  • How to make a mixed media. Tiny Felt Book Of The Dead - Step 3
    Step 3

    Page 2:


    The black is the same paint as I used for the face, and the red is the same brand, in Engine Red, with just a hint of the muddy brown mixed in. By "just a hint" I mean I literally dipped a toothpick in the brown, swirled it around in the red, and then painted with the end of the toothpick. The acrylic I used for the muddy brown is really overpowering and too much will turn everything you mix it with to a muddy gray mess.

  • How to make a mixed media. Tiny Felt Book Of The Dead - Step 4
    Step 4

    Page 3:


    I had to wait a full day for each page to dry before I could start on the next, so this was a pretty agonizingly slow project by the time I finished.

  • How to make a mixed media. Tiny Felt Book Of The Dead - Step 5
    Step 5

    Page 4:

    The black 'lettering' and drawings were done with the smallest detail brush I could find. The red was all done with the pointy end of a toothpick.

  • How to make a mixed media. Tiny Felt Book Of The Dead - Step 6
    Step 6

    And the last page. I can't actually find the image I referenced for this one, but if you're like me and you've studied these pages just out of sheer love of detail, then you might recognize it. It's the one with the goat's head inside the pentagram. I was clearly nuts for even attempting this one, but I just wanted it to be perfect and different from anything else anyone ever gave him.

    (I'll admit I was extremely overambitious with this one. I think I got the basic idea on there, but it's so tiny it's not very clear unless you already know what it's supposed to look like.)

  • Step 7

    The final step- present your hard work to your idol! I almost backed out because I was afraid he'd hate it or think it was weird, but he kept showing it off to everyone in the room, so I think it's pretty safe to assume he liked it! He gave me 3 free 8x10 prints to get signed (naturally I Picked a couple pages from the *actual* book) and drew me an awesome little sketch on the cardstock backing. I'm not sharing that though, sorry. That's just for me to see until I can get it tattooed as the start of my horror sleeve.

    If you're in the Cleveland area and into B-Movie/Drive-In style classic horror, he's at every Cinema Wasteland convention with his own little mini museum. It's a great time and an awesome opportunity to chat with a talented, experienced artist. Even if you're not up for making your own Book, he has a movie prop one available for photo ops!

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bigrthanlasagna · Alabama, New York, US
That's awesome.
AlterEgo Designs
AlterEgo Designs · Cleveland, Ohio, US · 31 projects
Thanks! Happy It was really difficult and if I tried it again I'd probably do it a bit bigger, but I'm really happy with how it came out.

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