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Sunday, November 28, 2021


 How To Use A Bone Folder

Bone folders come in different shapes and sizes

A bone folder is most often used to create creases in papercraft. It can be used with a ruler to create sharp creases on any paper you may have. Using a bone folder rather than  a finger press will [recent any paper cracking in the fold. This often happens, especially on heavier paper. 

Bone folders are also used in origami (the art of paper folding) to get crisp edges.

This tool is long, narrow, and flattened with rounded edges for a comfortable grip and no marks left on your paper. Most bone folders are 5-8 inches.

The old tried-and-true “basic” bone folder (traditionally made of animal bone –the way old-fashioned bookbinders have been for using them for centuries) has two ends with specific purposes. One end is narrowed to a softer point, which makes them great for deep scoring of heavy-weight paper and indenting for marking on book board. The tip can be sanded to the desired roundness depending on the project.

The second version is the newer Teflon bone folder. Teflon bone folders are more flexible than regular bone folders and won’t leave a sheen or scuff paper or book cloth. The great thing about the Teflon finish: glue will not adhere to it.

Creating A Basic Crisp Crease

When you want to create a crease for the edge of a card base or other creases, the procedure is very simple. 

  1. Fold the paper you are creasing over but do not crease it.
  2. Hold the paper in one hand and the bone folder in the other hand
  3. Press the tip area of the bone folder on the edge of the paper
  4. Applying pressure, run the bone folder across the edge of the paper.
  5. Repeat the edge again and you will have a perfect crease

Creating Score Lines

An assortment of tool options can be used with the bone folder to score a straight line. Take a look at the three standard options below.

  1. With A Ruler-A ruler can be used to create nice, straight score lines. One benefit – you probably already have a ruler in your home! \
  2. With A Trimmer-A paper trimmer can be used with a bone folder to create a score line, You will want to line up the score mark over the cutting track groove
  3. With A Scoring Board-The, scoring board is perfect when you need to make multiple lines

How To Create Scoring Lines

  1. Choose a coordinating tool-First get a ruler, trimmer or scoring board to use with the bone folder
  2. Line the paper-Next, line up your paper with the tool so that your scoreline will be in the appropriate location. For creating standard A2 sized cards, which are exactly 1.2 of a sheet of 8 1/2" by 11 " cardstock, your score line will need to be exactly 4 1/2"
  3. Score it-Place the bone folder against the paper in the appropriate groove or along the side of the ruler at the very top. Press down with moderate pressure as you slowly move the bone folder downwards to the bottom of the paper. Be sure not to press too hard or you could tear the paper.

How To Use A Trimmer To Score A-Line


We gave included some of our favorite bone folders for you to see. There may be some commission on these products at no cost to you. All earnings are used to enhance this community. Thanks for your support.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Sponge Paint Or Inked Backgrounds


You can create any pattern with sponges and paint

One of the most fun background techniques is sponge inking or painting. You can let your imagination run wild with this idea for all your altered, books, journals, and even cards. It is also a perfect background technique for Bible Journal pages.

The first thing to consider is to lay down a coat of gesso or not. You can consider if you want to be able to see the paint or ink or not. Gesso comes in white, clear, and black. If you do decide to use some gesso, you will need some time to allow it to dry. You could use Gesso on journal pages, This would be a good idea if you are using altered books to cover up print or words.

Sponging involves dabbing paint on paper or cardstock with a small sponge or a piece of sponge in thin layers. You can use one color family or bold contrasting color. 

You can choose to use inks or acrylics. It is your choice. You can use watercolors if your paper is thick enough or if you have done one or two coats of gesso to your page

Prepping Your Pages

As we said in the above, no matter what media you are considering using, you should gesso your pages before getting started. Paint on a coat or two on your pages. Gesso comes in white and black. While I most often use white, you can also get a stunning look with the black gesso. There is also a clear gesso if you would rather not have any color.

You will also want to put some parchment paper or waxed paper under the page you are working on. That way the pages behind them will not get any paint or media. 

I also like to use bulldog clips to keep the pages open and flat. You could also use some large paper clips.

Acrylic Paint creates a lovely sponged background

Paints That You Can Use

Try different combinations of acrylic paints to create a splatter effect. You can use two to three colors, You want to select one color and splatter, Allow it to dry, and then add a second or third. I would allow it to dry for a good 2o minutes, Otherwise, you ate going to get a mess of color and no pattern.

You do not have to use expensive acrylic paints to create this background. Select two color variants in the same color family to create your custom color.

Need some inspiration? Go to your local home improvement store and look at the paint color samples. They will give you lots of inspiration.

What Inks To Use

Next, consider what inks you want to use. I like distressed inks. Mostly because of their colors and how well they blend. Another thing is that as you layer them, you can see the other colors underneath them. You can also use water with them which makes it extra fun!

Of course, you can also use distress oxide inks as well. Both of these inks work with water so you can add a little fin to them with some water splatter

Experiment with other inks or mix distress inks with the other inks and see what results in you get.

Bible Journaling is perfect for a sponge technique

Papers to Use

You will want to use a good weight paper for this application, If you are using it on a journal, you may want to consider applying a coat of Gesso before you start.

Sponges and Applicators

No matter what inks you use, the trick is in the application. 
For this technique, I really prefer a natural sea sponge. You could try different kitchen sponges too.

Try different applicators to see the kind of look that you get.

High-Density Foam Sponges

These are applicators made specifically for crafters to apply ink. They are considered high-density sponges. The sponge material is tightly packed, so the ink stays close to the top of the applicator. That makes the ink come off easily. They are a good choice to smear or dab ink. Over time, they may crumble and dry. 

  1. Cosmetic Sponges-These sponges are relatively inexpensive and can be found in bags in a dollar, grocery, and drug store. They come in different sizes and shapes most often in bags. They can also be found in craft stores. Check out the best prices for these to save some of your craft dollars. They are good for both ink and paint. The wedge shape gives you a flat square surface which is handy if you want to do a repetitive pattern. The narrow part of the wedge is good for tighter areas.
  2. Sponge Daubers-These are little round high-density sponges mounted on plastic tube bases. You can slide your finger into the plastic base and you have a sponge on your finger. They are usually sold in bags of two or three or in bulk packages. The rounded surface of these daubers prevents the edge marks that you might get with wedges.
  3. Colorbox Stylus and Tips-These tools offer several different options. You can use the same stylus for all your colors, just swap out different tips. There are oval, round, and leaf shapes. The tips are sold in packs of three. 
  4. Ranger Cut N Dry Foam- This is a double-sided 8" by 10 " foam sheet that can be cut into pieces any way you would like,
  5. Ink Blending Foam-This has been a popular tool for quite a while. This Ranger tool is a wooden block with a knob handle. The application foam is attached to a velcro-like fastener. They come in flat and round applicators. There are also some new ones that are more ball-like. The idea behind these is that you will not get corners and edges like you might on other types.

Creating Shapes On Your Sponged Pages

You can create different shapes on your sponged pages by creating masks. You can create shapes like mountains, suns, and geometric shapes, by using scrap paper.

You can also use decorative scissors to create shaped masks and borders, 

Tips For Sponge Paint And Inked Backgrounds

  • Always start with the lightest color first
  • If you are doing pages in a journal or Bible, Place a piece of parchment, waxed paper, or scrap paper behind the page you are working on. That way the media will not bleed to the next page.

Sponge Technique


  • White or colored  cardstock ( Use a heavy cardstock 80lb or higher)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Plastic plate or lid
  • Sponges
  • Scissors
  • Scrap paper
  1. Select the sponge you want to use. Different sponges will give different results. So, have fun and experiment with different textures. Sponges vary from fine holes like a cosmetic sponge to larger holes in a natural sponge. If you are using a kitchen sponge, cut it into small pieces.
  2. Dampen the sponge and wring it out.
  3. Pour a small amount of paint onto the paper plate or plastic lid.
  4. Dab the sponge up and down in the small puddle of paint.
  5. Test Your color on the piece of scrap paper before you get started.
  6. The paint should almost be transparent when you start out and get darker as you go.
  7. If the paint does not dry quickly, the sponge is either too wet, or you are using too much paint.
  8. If you are using white cardstock, you need to put down a base coat of paint. Start with a fine sponge with small holes. Stamp randomly to cover the entire surface. Allow the base coat to dry.( No base coat is needed on colored cardstock.)
  9. Apply one or more colors of paint in layers. Sponge densely or sparsely. Use coarse or fine sponges. 
  10. Allow each coat to dry before applying another coat. Go light to dark or dark to light. It's your choice. 
  11. For extra drama finish with a light coat of white or black.

What To Do After The Page Is Dry!

Once your page is dry, there are so many ways to add more to your art. My favorite thing to do is to stencil! You can stencil part of the page or all of the page. It is your choice!

You can also use mixed media with your stencils. Try things like texture paste, glimmer paste or any other mixed media that appeals to you. The world is wide open when it comes to building up your pages.

                       Creating A Sponged Sky Background

Remember, there are no rules in art journaling. Be bold or subtle. It is up to you. Most of all, have fun!

We have included some products that may be helpful to you. We may earn a commission at no expense to you which helps us add new resources to this community. Thanks for your support.

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

 Layered Lily

The Layered Lily stamp set from Altenew has to be one of my favorite stamp sets. There are so many ways to use this stamp set, so I know it will be =well used and loved in the years ahead.

You can use it as you would normally stamp a layered stamp. The set provides you with three layers, plus two centers. The layering technique would use three colors in the same color family from the highest to the darkest.

But even more than that you can create the layered look with one ink rather than three. This is perfect if you have a favorite color but not all that colors in that particular color.

So, to use a one ink pad layered look, you use a technique called generation stamping. That is a technique where you ink up the stamp and then stamp it on a piece of scrap paper.

You start with the bottom layer of the stamp set. You print it on the scrap paper three times and then stamp it on your project. Using the second layer stamp, you stamp it on the scrap paper two times and then carefully stamp the layer on the base layer on your project. Finally, you take the top layer stamp and stamp it on the scrap paper once, and then stamp it on the other layers of your project. Top it with the accent pieces and you have a beautiful layered flower.

Use a strip of paper with stamp a sentiment Use two-sided tape to mount it around the stamped piece.

I added a piece of cardstock behind the stamped piece. For extra dimension, use foam tape to mount the piece to the card case. 

A fun square card

One of the things you have to have to get the best results for this technique is a really juicy ink pad. I love the Altenew pads, especially for this project.

You can use all of the same colors, or you can have a contrasting color as I did on these cards. 

I hope that these ideas will inspire you to create your own layered cards. Leave a comment and let us know what you think,

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Intro To Junk Jpurnals


Intro To Junk Journals

In its basic form, a junk journal is a journal created from things that would otherwise be thrown away. It is a journal where you can record your thoughts and ideas on any number of subjects. It often has large areas where you can write your thoughts and feelings. Beyond all that, the junk journal is a piece of custom art created by you. You can even use this type of journal as a planner too.

You can get free junk journal pages on the internet for free or at a low cost. You can also create a junk journal from scratch using things like cereal boxes and junk cardboard. You can also recycle old books to create a junk journal.

  1. You can use it as an everyday journal. You can collect thoughts, ideas, and things from your everyday life.
  2. You can use it as a planner. Create to-do lists, birthday and anniversary lists, calendar lists, and more. Add your own decor and embellishments and you have a planner that is unique as you are.
  3. You can make your journal just a place to record your thoughts. But you can also theme your junk journal to reflect a specific interest you may have. It could reflect a hobby like sewing, gardening, books, or travel.
  4. Make a memory book to remember someone special or a special occasion in someone's life. You can make a book of memories from the bits and pieces of a life well spent.
  5. Create a journal to celebrate s special occasion. Creating a unique journal for a birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding, and more.
  6. Use a junk journal as an art journal. Use pieces of art that you have created. Use mixed media like watercolors, gesso, pastes, inks, and more.

The best thing about these types of journals is the fact that there absolutely no rules. So your journal can be anything that you want it to be. 

The cover of the book is most often made from an old repurposed book cover. The cover can also be made with cardboard recycled from boxes that have been used to hold products from your kitchen.

Of course, the paper is one of the most important parts of your junk journal. Your paper can included some elements that you have repurposed to include:

  • Plain paper
  • Patterned paper
  • Envelopes
  • Sheet music
  • Maps
  • Paper from bags
Any paper that you have can be altered to give your paper an aged look. There are a number of ways to alter your paper.

What Size Are Junk Journals?

There are no set rules when it comes to the size of your junk journal. It can be a pocket-size to fit in a purse or a tote bag. Standard book sizes are also popular for these types of journals. There are some that are 12 inches wide to display on a coffee table. You make it the size that fits your needs.

Is Binding Difficult To Do In Junk Journals?

There are a lot of easy ways to bind your junk journals. You can actually use things like dental floss and rubber bands to bind your junk journals. It can be as simple as using staples. Even in the larger junk journals, there are simple two stitch binding techniques that you can learn in minutes. We will show you lots of methods in the coming days ahead.

What Goes Into A Junk Journal?

Just about anything and everything can be added to the pages of your junk journal. You can keep moments, tickets, buttons, cards, pictures, bits of lace and fabric, and just about anything you can think of. Heavier keepsakes like shells can be tucked into envelopes added to your pages.

In the truest sense, a junk journal is a collection of actual junk. That could include things from catalogs, envelopes of all shapes and sizes, cards, and any pieces that come from your mail that you might normally throw away.

It can also be any boxes from products that you have in your home. You can also use old cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper rolls, It can also be toilet paper and paper towels. Think about old make up that can be used for coloring.  It can be tea bags and coffee grinds that are used to age paper. Anything you can think of can be used in your journals!

How Do You Get Started Making A Junk Journal

  1. Decide what your junk journal will be used for. Think about what you will do with it once you make it. Understanding how you will use it will help you focus on design and planning.
  2. Decide how you will bind it. There are four basic ways to bind your junk journals. The first is a sewn binding. You are sewing the binding into the covers. Another uses binder rings. The pages have holes punched into them and then the pages are threaded on the rings. A third way to bind the pages is with rubber bands. Old books provide a base for a junk journal. They ate called altered books.
  3. Collect the materials you need to create your journals. You will need paper, a paper trimmer, scissors, binding supplies, some adhesives. You can also gather some ephemera that you may have to decorate your pages. 
  4. Assemble and prepare your book. This means that you will prepare the cover of your book. You also need to cut paper to the size of your book and prepare them for binding, if necessary. 
  5. Fill the journal up! Start adding all types of decor and embellishments to your pages. This is truly the fun part of the project!
  6. Add pockets to your pages. I love pockets in junk journals. They are little places where all kinds of surprises and gifts can be included. You can put things like pictures, moments, cards and more.

Using Stamps With Your Junk Journal

Think about all the stamps and stamp sets that you have. So many of them can be utilized in your junk journals. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Using themed stamps-if your journal has a specific theme, just pull out those types of stamps to create all kinds of embellishments, stamped backgrounds, and more
  • Background stamps-create whole background pages or partial pages in the color of your choice.
  • Word and phrase stamps-add a single word or phrase to any of your pages. Add directly on the page or stamp the word on a strip of scrap cardstock. You can add these just to the page or use foam dots to add dimension.

Using Craft Punches With Yout Junk Journal

Craft punches are other tools that can be useful with your junk journals. Besides making little flowers or other small pieces, you can also create shapes and borders to add to your pages. 

Don't Forget The Stencils

Stencils are the perfect way to add some pizazz to your junk journals. Add pieces of stenciled paper or do the background of a page. It's up to you. Remember there are no hard fast rules when it comes to junk journals. It is your art your way!

Die Cutting For Your Junk Journal

Think about all the dies that you own and how they might be used in your junk journal.
  • Add layers to a page with your shape dies.
  • Die-cut images that fit your theme
  • Add a die-cut word or phrase
  • Add more dimension by heat embossing your dies

Free Clip Art For Your Junk Journal

There is free clip art of gorgeous pictures all over the internet. All you have to do is to download it and resize it if needed. There are lots of retro images, flowers, holidays, and animals. Just type what you are looking for and add the phrase free clip art. 

Coloring Books For Your Junk Journal

If you like to color, you can use part of your coloring pages to decorate your junk journal. Use pieces as corner pieces, Create banners with pieces of coloring pages. Cut pieces of coloring pages with your dies, Create letters and words with your coloring page, Have fun, and be creative!

Paper Scraps In Your Junk Journal

My husband likes to quip with folks how I use every scrap of paper till it is the size of my smallest fingernails. And that is true. Using paper scraps means that I get the most for the money that I spend. But it also means that I am a responsible paper crafter, using my resources to help the environment. 

Of course, you can die-cut paper down to the smallest piece. You can also punch the smaller pieces into embellishments, Or you can stamp on your scrap paper. Almost every piece of paper that you might have can be used. 

I have a special box where I keep all my scrap paper and paper resources for my junk journals. I just dig in and find the colors I need. I encourage you to do the same.

Using Stencils

Stencils are the perfect tools to add dimension and design to your junk journal pages. They can be used with paint, embossing paste, distress inks, and oxide inks. You can use the whole stencil or just part of it. 
Here are a few of our favorite stencils for your consideration, Earning may be made from some of these purchases at no expense to you. All earnings are used to enhance this community. Thank you for your support.

We have only scratched the surface of junk journals. 

Free Junk Journal Ephemera and Prints

Have A Great Day And Happy Crafting

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Plain And Simple Card Design

Sometimes all you need to make a statement is a thought with a simple design. The simplicity of this stamp set allows you to create a sentiment with a design that is clean and simple.  I think this stamp set gives you all that and more.

This is another opportunity for me to share my journey through the Educators Program at Altenew.

Today, I am sharing with you the stamp set called Painted Poppy. This stamp set features two-layered poppies, layered buds, and leaves as well as some wedding anniversary sentiments that can be personalized. There is also a die set available, so you have lots of opportunities to create some wonderful greeting cards. Beyond greeting cards, this stamp set would be perfect to use with your art journals and junk journals. You could also make custom scrapbook paper. That is why I love the Altenew stamp sets. 

Card Details

  • The card base for thus card measures 5" by 6 " 
  • Second layer 6 7/8" measures 4 3/4" by 6 7/8"
  • The stamped section is 4" by 5 1/2"

Every layered stamp set in the Altenew line has a corresponding layered direction sheet available to print. This card was a simple stamped design. When you are layering, you get the best results when you stick with ink colors in the same family. I like to use my Misti when layering, but acrylic blocks work just as well. 

Here is another simple card created to express a sentiment that speaks for itself. 

Card Details

The card was embossed using grey embossing powder, then stamped
  • The card base measures 5 1/2" by 6"
  • The second layer is 5" by 5 7/8\
  • The stamped and embossed layer is 4 1/2 " by 5 1/8"

Card Details

This card was layered  with stamps, I used a Spectrum Noir Glitter pen to add some detail to the layered section.

The base measures 5 1/8" by 6"
The second layer 41/2" by 5 1/2:"
The stamped layer measures 4 1/4 by 5 1.8"

More Tips

All of the cards bases were made with Ninah cardstock that was 110lbs. 
Foam squares used to give depth to the second layer of paper
When you are layering stamped images use inks that are in the same color family.

Thank you for being part of my journey learning and growing in the techniques on layering stamps.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Magazine Collages For Junk And Art Journals

Magazine Collages For Junk And Art Journals

You can create a collage from a picture in a magazine or a catalog, This is a wonderful recycling project that can be made mostly with things that you probably have on hand.

This technique is so relaxing and enjoyable. With only a few supplies, you can create a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. Create these pages with either magazine images or decorative napkins. 


Modge Podge or other decoupage medium
Craft glue
Old credit card or gift card
Cloth or cosmetic squares
A small and medium paintbrush
Magazine images or decorative napkins

  1. Rip at least one page of a magazine into small pieces. Keep the clean edges of the page as much as possible. Set aside
  2. Glue two pages together with craft glue. Apply the glue. Spread with an old greeting card. Put together and smooth with the heal of your hand. 
  3. Allow to dry.
  4. With the medium paintbrush apply glue to the back of each piece of the ripped magazine page.
  5. Apply to the art journal page. Use the edge pieces of the magazine page on the edges of your journal page,
  6. Allow to dry
  7. Apply the acetone to the pieces with the cosmetic sponge or cloth
  8. Gradually remove all color from the pages.
  9. Once the color is removed, allow the page to dry.
  10. If you are using a napkin image, use a small paintbrush with water to " cut" around the image to fit your page
  11. If you are using a magazine image, trim around the image to fit the page
  12. Using a paintbrush, add decoupage medium ( Modge Podge) to the page
  13. Carefully place your image or napkin piece to the page
  14. Cover the image with additional glue spreading it over the piece
  15. Add additional images and trims the same way
  16. Allow the page to dry

Here are some products that will help you create the perfect collage. Some of these products may have commissions at no cost to you. These commissions are used to enhance this community. Your support is appreciated,

Prepping Altered Books


Prepping Altered Books


Preparing your book starts with the choice of your book. You need to be sure that the book you use will stand up to the techniques and alterations that you will do. 

Using old books is a perfect recycling idea for junk journals as well as art journals. The first thing to consider when altering and prepping an old book is the spine. You want to use a book that has a sewn spine rather than a glued spine. Look for the sewn sections (or signatures. The more stitches the better the book will hold up to the things you will add to it.. 

The book needs to have sections (called signatures) that are sewn. To check the construction of the book, hold the book up so you can see the inner part of the spine where the pages touch it. If you can see the page sections clearly then it was stitched. 

Start with any dust that may be on your book. Wipe the book down with a clean cloth.

To get the pages and the book moving a bit, open the book and flex some of the pages.

Removing Pages From The Book

You will want to remove some of the pages from your book. That will give you room for the thickness of the pages that you are going to create. 

Before you start removing pages, look through your book. You may find some illustrations that you may want to keep. Mark those pages with a paper clip or a post-it note.

You will need a lead pencil and a small craft knife for the next step. 
  • Select 4 pages from your book
  • The middle two pages will be cut close to the spine leaving about 1/2 " of the page (1.5 cm)
  • The two outer pages are marked with a "g" with your pencil
  • These two pages will be glued.
  • Move through the book, removing additional pages, and marking the others with the "G"
Hang onto the removed pages. They can be used later for all kinds of embellishments. For the tome being, set them aside.

Gluing The Pages

Gluing some of the pages will give you a more solid base for your pages. You can use a gel medium for this part of the process. It sticks well, but it takes some time to dry. So you need some patience.
  • Brush the glue along the middle of the two pages that you marked with the "G"
  • Then ease the two pages together.
  • Then coat the outside of the stumps and one whole page that is to be stuck together.
  • Carefully ease the second page up, starting from the spine out
  • Work from the middle out removing bubbles as you go
Remember that the pages must be stuck on right angles to the spine. That way the book will close properly.
  • Repeat the process with one or two more sets of pages
  • Then close the book and place it on a flat surface
  • Sit something heavy on it and allow it to dry
  • You may need to open the pages and allow it to dry
Tip-You can use parchment or waxed paper between pages while they are drying to keep them from sticking to each other.

Adding Gesso To The Pages

Gesso is a medium that adds strength to your pages. In the case of altered books, it helps make the print on your pages go white. It also comes in black and clear. It is especially good as a basic layer under acrylic paints. It will help with other mediums too. You will want to choose a medium thickness of Gesso for general use.

Now you are ready to start either creating a junk journal or an art journal!

We have included some items which will be helpful for this project. Some of these items may have a commission at no cost to you. These commissions are used to enhance this community, We appreciate your support,