BOS Tutorials

10 Tutorials On How To Create Your Own Book Of Shadows

I have been working on this page for a long time, probably for as long as I’ve had this blog but not nearly as long as I’ve been constructing my very own Book of Shadows! I’ve been doing that since I was 18.

This is what my very first book looks like. I still have it and I use it as a tester.
So if I find a new method of image transfer or new ink pens or something I do it in this book first before putting it to use in my person BoS or the giant Heirloom one I am making to pass on to my kids or whatever.

I’ve researched book binding and construction, art journaling and altered books, image transfers and different techniques for working with all types of mediums (watercolor, oil paints, acrylic, alcohol inks, stamping, decoupage, ect). In the adventure of making my book.  I have several articles I’ve written myself as well as video flip-throughs that I have done on various stages of completion. Since I’ve put so much work into my own book, I’m also compiling a list of various other tutorials on how others have made their own Book of Shadows because those are usually where I draw my inspiration from. That is towards the bottom.

As it has been said many, many times there is no right or wrong way to make your own Book of Shadows. You don’t even have to call it a Book of Shadows. Many like to call it their Grimoire, their Book of Mirrors (because of the negative connotation that the word ‘shadows’ brings – it’s not dark and sinister people! It’s traditional! But to each their own I guess.) or their Family Tome. Most people have more than one and some even have them split up into their categories; Dream Journal, Path Journal, Spell Book, Herb Book, Kitchen Witchery, The Craft History, ect.

“I like to use bound and lined journals with decorative covers… My spellbook is brown with a green, leafy vine around it and a red-orange rose in the center but my Book of Rituals is green with clusters of gold leaves and red roses in the corners. Besides these two books I also keep a book of divination’s and a journal that acts as both my dream diary and a record of impression from other events, such as meditations and visions.” – Ann Moura on her different books, Green Witchcraft

However you construct or get your book(s) and what you put in it (or them) is entirely up to you but I HIGHLY recommend taking a little peak over at Dave Lowe’s Tutorial on making book covers. Now, it’s a little hokey for us Witches but if you like Halloween and “creepy” things then you’ll love this tutorial. I’m definitely going to try it on for size when I get to that point in making my BoS.

Here’s a working list of what I put into my BOS with links to anything I’ve posted as an entry here:

  • The Craft
  • Charts
    • Goddess / God
      • Athena Dedication
      • Cerrunnos Dedication
      • Other Gods & Goddesses of Note
      • Mythology & Lore of other Traditions
    •  Common Terms in Witchcraft
    • Magical Tools
    • Altar Set Up & Decoration
    • Elements
      • Days of the Week
      • Earth
      • Air
      • Fire
      • Water
      • Spirit
    • Moon Phases
    • Candles
    • Color
    • Theban Script
    • Symbols & Their Meanings
    • Chakras
    • Animal Totems
      • Familiars
      • Cats in Witchcraft
    • Divination 
      • Tarot
      • Scrying
      • Runes
  • Holidays
  • Stones Index
    • Talismans
    • Amulets
    • Sigils & Glyphs
    • Charms
  • Herbs Index
  • Recipes
    • Ointments & How To Make Them
    • Make Your Own Inks
    • Make Your Own Incense
    • Tinctures & How To Make Them
    • Herbal Bath Teas
    • Ritual Bath Soap
    • Ritual Bath Salts
    • Ritual Bath Bomb
    • Scents & Oils 
      • Making Your Own Oils
      • Using Oils To Cure Ailments
  • Spells
    • Protection, Blessing & Consecration
    • Health, Beauty & Well-Being
    • Counter Curses, Banishing & Binding
    • Love, Family & Friendship
    • Money, Career & Good Fortune
    • Divination, Seasonal & Other

As I’ve said, I’m still working on this because I am always learning and growing and adding to my BOS. This is the one I am handing down through the ages so it’s going to be huge. My personal BOS is not quite as large, in fact it’s 1/4 the size of this one both physically in size and in contents.
My dream journal is separate and usually just a regular one subject notebook. I’ve never thought to use anything else besides maybe a composition book but those aren’t as big and I feel aren’t a good fit for me though they are cheaper. 

Here’s several other articles and tutorials people have written about making a book of shadows. I’ve also included general book binding tutorials or useful tutorials on covers, ect that can be useful if you want to make your own BoS).

  1. http://mieljolie.blogspot.com/search/label/spellbook
  2. http://www.polishthestars.com/2012/10/hocus-pocus-spell-book-tutorial.html
  3. http://davelowe.blogspot.com/2008/09/halloween-08-making-old-creepy-books.html
  4. http://ivypaths.blogspot.com/2011/03/book-building-part-i.html
  5. http://ivypaths.blogspot.com/2011/04/book-building-part-ii.html
  6. http://crafts.squidoo.com/book-binding-how-to-make-a-leather-bound-moleskine-journal-craft-tutorial
  7. http://del4yo.squarespace.com/non-dairy-diary/2011/6/9/sketchbook-cover-for-the-crafty-artist.html
  8. How To Make A Practical Magic Style Book Of Shadows – YOUTUBE VIDEO
  9. http://karlascottage.typepad.com/karlascottage/2013/10/how-to-make-a-hocus-pocus-practical-magic-grimmerie-evil-dead-evil-eye-whatever-you-want-to-call-it-.html
  10. http://corrinesart.blogspot.com/2010/10/making-practical-magic-inspired-book-of.html
You can always just purchase one if you don’t feel like making it yourself, just beware that the “good,” fancy, big, TV/Movie Prop or elaborate ones are going to be pretty damn expensive. Brahms Bookworks is probably one of the most well known book makers out there for custom books and the tomes they make take about 2-4 months to create depending on their orders (they post that info on their website) and run about ballpark I’d say $450+. They do offer a payment plan with no due date (make a payment when you can & when it is paid in full they create your book), which is unique, so that can help. Beautiful craftsmanship though and several times they’ve made the props for movies. Depending on how thrifty you are and how crafty you are, you *might* spend less on the materials and make it yourself OR save yourself the slave labor and sniff around Etsy. 🙂

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