My experiment with Unicorn SPiT on Book Covers

by Molly Culpepper and Jen Burns February 17, 2017

By Laurie Brennan Creates- Laurie Crews Brennan

*This post is sponsored by Unicorn SPiT, but all statements and opinions are mine. **

I discovered Unicorn SPiT about a year and a half ago and have been in love with it ever since. It was designed as a vibrant wood stain/glaze, but has been found to work on almost every surface under the sun. It was developed as an art therapy medium (which I love), is non-toxic and has zero VOC’s and smells like Jasmine. It requires an oil based sealer to avoid reactivating the water-based Unicorn SPiT on completed projects.

Journal Cover:

I have been wracking my brain for Unicorn SPiT projects that haven’t been done before (or at least not done repeatedly). I am an avid reader, so book covers came to mind. I was in Michael's recently and saw two books that I thought would be appropriate for my vision. The first is a purse sized (about 4” X 7”) little journal that had a white cover. The cover was a coated cardboard and had a slippery surface. I though it would be a good choice because the SPiT would stick to it, but not be absorbed too much. It had a nice band of gold foil and the edges of the pages had the same finish. I used some white chalk paint to paint over the word “journal” to give myself a blank canvas to begin with.

I prepared my book for Unicorn SPiT by taping off the gold foiled areas on the spine of the book and page edges (which I wanted to keep) and putting some small wads of tissue into the binder ring holes so they wouldn’t get messed up with product overflow. Below you can see how my book cover looked after taping:

For this project I used several color of Unicorn SPiT. I used Zia Teal, Midnight Blackness, Purple Hill Majesty and White Ning mixed for a lavender color, Zia and Navajo Jewel (missing from photo) mixed together for a deeper turquoise, gold alcohol ink and spray lacquer to seal the project once dry. I love the fact that Unicorn SPiT mixes so easily to create custom colors. I chose the lacquer because Unicorn SPiT requires an oil based sealer, and I have found this product has not yellowed my lighter colors in the past.

I squirted various colors of Unicorn SPiT directly on to my un-primed book cover. The colors I used were all undiluted. I spritzed with a water bottle and then used a clean drinking straw to “blow the colors around”. You can achieve some very interesting looks with this method. I added color and water spray as needed to get my finished look. I dripped on some gold alcohol ink in places for veining because I wanted it to look sort of like a “fantasy marble or granite”.

After my project was completely dry, I applied two coats of my spray lacquer sealer allowing each coat to dry the recommended amount of time. Here are the finished front and back covers of my purse journal:

Hardcover Artist Sketchbook:

My second book attempt had a learning curve. It was an artist sketchbook with a plain black fabric cover….the kind you find on hardcover novels. The texture felt very much like canvas, so I decided to treat it as such (there was my mistake). I had done lots of work with Unicorn SPiT on both primed and un-primed canvas with good result. I also decided that my previous attempts to protect the page edges of my journal, could have been easily achieved with just draping a piece of waxed paper inside the cover of the book (every project teaches me something). The products I used for this book were regular Unicorn SPiT in Zia Teal and Midnight Blackness, Sparkling Unicorn Stain in Grace C. Hummingbird and Dove’s Cry (soon to be released!) and Mod Podge (to correct my initial error—more info to follow)

I decided to do a stain press technique on this book cover to give me an end result resembling a galaxy. The stain press technique involves placing your Unicorn Spit randomly on your piece, spritzing with water, laying down a thin piece of plastic over the SPiT, spraying the plastic with water (to make a slippery surface), and finally moving your hands around on top of the plastic to make the Unicorn SPiT move and blend underneath. I then removed the plastic sheeting and applied “stars” by flicking on a light color (Zia Teal in this case) with an old toothbrush onto the wet surface. You can spritz with more water again to soften the edges of the stars and give the sky a more “cloudy” appearance if you wish.

After I was happy with the way my “galaxy” looked, I walked away to let it dry. I came back to a complete fail because the fabric of the book had absorbed all the color!

I realized my mistake had been in not sealing the material of the book to keep the Unicorn SPiT from totalling absorbing into it. Back to the drawing board. I took a paint brush and applied a layer of Mod Podge directly over my existing SPiT and then did the galaxy process as described above over again. Luckily it is an easy process and was not time consuming. After my second attempt dried, it had retained it’s vibrancy….yea! I tell you of my failure in this project not to inflict self-humiliation….lol, but so that you can learn from my mistakes.

Layer of Mod Podge over existing SPiT:

Much more vibrant this time around:

Here are my 2 completed book cover projects. I had so much fun (and learned something) while making them. I love the fact that I can customize everyday items using Unicorn SPiT and encourage you to do the same!

Laurie Brennan

Molly Culpepper and Jen Burns
Molly Culpepper and Jen Burns


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