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Sunday, June 26, 2022

 Clean And Simple Boutique Cards

Clean And Simple Boutique Card

Simple minimal boutique cards have been all the rage for quite some time now. Keeping it simple with just a little bit of foil creates a card that will be memorable or a long time.

This is another of my series of classes as I journey towards the completion of my Altenew Educator Certification classes. I loved this particular class, because while I do enjoy foiling a lot, toner sheets and or toner products can be pricey. This technique shows you how to use foil without any toner products. As a matter of fact, you more than likely have everything that you need in your stash on hand.

You use two of the layered stamps to complete your card. The outline stamp as well as one of the detail layers. Instead of toner sheets, you use embossing ink (like Versamark) and clear embossing powder. The first layered is stamped in ink. The second layer as well as any other design pieces are stamped with embossing ink and covered with clear embossing powder that is heated with a heat gun. Foil is then used on top of the design, shiny side up and laminated with heat. If you have ever heat embossed, this card technique is a dream. The Altenew layering stamps make it easy to get the right impression both with a stamping platform or an acrylic block.

My design for this card added some color with Altenew ink after the foiling process was complete. I fussy cut the design and added it to a card base to create a little dimension.

My second card was designed staying true to the original concept with another twist. I created two flowers and fussy cut them. I stamped the layered leaves on the card base. Then I used a bit of foam tape to raise the two flowers up for added dimension.

Curious about the stamp sets that I used? I have listed them here in case you are interested. I may earn a commission at no cost to you if you decide that you would like to add these sets to your collection.

Beautiful Day Stamp Set

Mini Hello Stamp Set

Thank you for stopping by! The opportunity that I have been given through these classes gives me the opportunity to share with you, and I consider that a blessing.

Please drop a comment and let me know what you think of these designs. We always love to hear your thoughts, ideas and comments. 

Till next time, Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

 How To Load An Inkpad

One of the things I have always tried to do is be a conservative crafter when it comes to my supplies. I always try to use things more than once. And that is very true when it comes to stamp pads. So when I consider a new company to purchase my stamp pads, I always verify that they have reinkers for the pad.

The smartest thing is to purchase the reinker when you buy the ink pad. That means that you will always have the color you need. You are guaranteed to extend the life of your pad in case they discontinue the color, which often happens.

Make sure and double check the reinker at your purchase, Many companies carry the same color in dye and pigment ink. So be sure to read the bottle and the description before you click that purchase button.

Store you reinkers in a cool dark place. Sunlight may dry up the ink, especially any ink with alcohol. After you have used the bottle, make sure that the cap is on tight.

Loading your Ink Pads

There are just a few things that you will need to get your ink pads juicy again. It is best to start off with just a little ink and build up layers as you go.

Before You Get Started

Check the ink pad to make sure it is clean and free of dirt ot a contaminating color. If you need to clean it, just tap it with a clean paper towel. If you still see contamination, spray the ink pad with an amonia free window cleaner. Blot it with a paper towel.

Another thing to consider is the material used in your ink pad where the ink is on. A great many of the ink pads are foam. But there are exceptions to that. Memento, StazOn, and Stampin’ Spots are linen pad

  • Reinker bottle
  • Ink pad
  • Paper towels
  • Paper or parchment to cover your work area
  • Rubbe gloves to keep your hands neat
  • An old credit or gift card or a brayer
  1. Cover your workspace with parchment or newspaper
  2. Open both the ink pad and the reinker bottle
  3. Gently squeeze the liquid ink onto your pad in a zig-zag pattern to cover the whole surface area
  4. Use an old bone folder, gift card or brayer to gently spread the ink across the pad.
  5. Set the ink pad aside to let the ink pad absorb the ink. Give it a good 10-15 minutes with the lid on
  6. Use a stamp to test the pad. Stamp and image to see if there is enough ink on the pad
  7. Use the paper towel or a baby wipe to clean the ink off of the tools before you start on another color ink
  8. Repeat process if necessary
  9. If any ink sits on the pad after 10-15 minutes, use a credit card or a teflon scrapper to remove some of the ink

Ink Pad Tips

  • Always put the lid on the ink pad if you are taking a short break.
  • Store dye-based inkpads upside down so the ink falls the top of the pad. Pigment ink is sticky enough that you don’t need to store pigment inkpads upside down.
  • Hybrid inks tend to dry faster

Companies With Reloadable Ink Pads

  • Altenew Dye Inks
  • Brutus Monroe Embossing Ink
  • Catherine Pooler Inks
  • Hero Arts Inks
  • Gina K Design Inks
  • Lawn Fawn Dye Inks
  • Marvy Uchida Dye Inks
  • Paper Rose Studio Dye Inks
  • Ranger Archival Ink
  • Ranger Pigment Inks
  • Simon Hurley Dye Inks
  • Simon Hurley Pigment Inks
  • Scrapbook. Com Embossing Ink
  • Scrapbook.Com Hybrid Inks
  • Scrapbook..Com Pigment Inks
  • Stampin Up Classic Inks
  • Stazon Inks
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks
  • Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inks
  • Tsukineko -Momento Dye Ink
  • Umbrella Crafts Dye Ink
  • Versafine Clair Inks
  • Versamark Inks

I know that there are more out there. I just listed some of the major inks that also carry reinkers.

Organize Your Inkpads

We have included some products that will be helpful to you. There may be some earnings at no cost to you.

Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment, idea or thought. We always love hearing from you!

Till next time, Happy Crafting


Thursday, June 2, 2022

 Creating Stenciled Backgrounds

Use embossing paste to create texture 

Using stencils to create backgrounds is more fun than you can imagine! We usually think of just using stencils with ink. But as I learned, there are a whole lot of other ideas that you can use stencils for. These techniques were in conjunction with my Altenew Educator classes. Today, I am happy to share some of the things that I learned with you.

One of the things that I do is create cards for charities. One of the charities that I support is sending cards to people who are in treatment for cancer. So, I really like to send bright, cheerful cards to them. These were fun to make, and I am looking forward to giving them away.

About The Supplies I Used

It is really important to have quality supplies to create these backgrounds. The first consideration is the stencil itself. Many stencils are very thin. The problem there is that they will have material or ink seep out of the edges of the designs, so you will not get clear impressions. I have to say that the stencils that I purchased from Altenew were nice and thick. They gave me good impressions every time that I used them. And they cleaned up quite nicely.

The second tip that I would share is to clean your stencils right after use. This is especially true after you use embossing paste or other heavier mediums. If they dry on your stencil, they will be very difficult to clean up.

Other Supplies

  • Cardstock of various colors
  • Watercolor Paper
  • Alcohol markers
  • Plastic half beads
  • Altenew Half Tone Stencil
  • Altenew Lacy Tile Stencil
  • Altenew Painted Butterflies Stamp Set
  • Altenew Wavy Flowers Stamp Set
  • Altenew Mini Hello Stamp Set
  • Altenew Turquoise Crisp Dry Ink
  • Altenew Snapdragon Crisp Dry Ink
  • Altenew Autumn Blaze Crisp Dry Ink
  • Water Sprayer
  • Paste
  • Double Sided Tape
  • White PVA Glue

Using Ink With Embossing Paste or Modeling Paste

I found that the dye inks were perfectly juicy to mix in with either embossing paste or modeling paste. The inks that I used mixed beautifully to create virtually any color of the rainbow. 

Run some color on a craft mat and mix the paste with your color ton create the perfect dimensional pattern with your stencil. 

Allow it to dry overnight for the best results.


Painting With Stencils

This is the exact same stencil but instead of using an embossing paste or a modeling paste, you actually use ink to paint through the stencil. 

The trick here is to make sure that the paper and the stencil are secure so that you get an exact design.

The Altenew inks work so well with water that once you try this, it will be your go to technique. 

Because you use water, you will need a watercolor paper. Do a water wash on the paper and secure your stencil to the paper as well as your work surface, Apply the ink to the paper. I used my ink applicators which are soft cosmetic type brushes. Let the ink dry and design your cards any way that you wish.

I used the same technique with the Half Tone stencil and was pleased with the results. 

The halftone stencil can be used in more ways than shown. It can be titled or used as a partial stencil too.

As I said, these were mad specifically for Cancer patients, so they were designed to be bright and cheerful.

I enjoyed mixing elements from different stamp sets. It gives you a lot more options when you look at your stash creatively.

Both of these stencils could be used for a variety of occasions and celebrations. 

Thank you for stopping by and sharing my learning experience.
As always, you would love to learn what your thoughts, suggestions and ideas are, so drop a comment or two. We always love hearing from you.

Till next time, Happy Crafting!


Supply Suggestions 

Painted Butterflies Stamp Set

Halftone Stencil

Lacy Tile Stencil

Autumn Blaze Crisp Dye Ink

Turquoise Crisp Dye Ink

Snapdragon Crisp Dye Ink


If you have some washi tape in your stash, you have a wonderful opportunity to add creativity to your art journal. Here are some ideas to get creative with your washi tape, 

Basic Washi Tape Tips 

There are just a few things to know and understand about washi taoe that will help you enhance your art journal experience:

  • We use a lot of different media on our art journal pages. Sometimes, the washi tape will not stick where we want it to. If that is the case for you, go ahead and add some white PVA glue to the back of your tape to get it to stick.
  • If you are collaging, go ahead and use Mod Podge or other sealing mediums. It won't hurt your washi tape

What Pens Work On Washi Tape

  1. Sharpie Markers-They come in different tip sizes and colors
  2. Microperm-comes in just a few tip sizes from .03 to .05
  3. LePen Permanent
  4. Bic Permanent Markers
  5. Papermate Flair

Use Washi Tape To Create Some Texture

You can create texture by adding bits of washi tape anywhere you need to add some dimension to your page. Ditch the scissors and just rip off a piece to place here and there. Just use it in random patches wherever you want to add texture and dimension. I would suggest gluing it down so that it stays put. Cover it with gesso and then you will have added some texture to the page. You can consider painting over it with acrylic paint or using ink over it.

Random Washi Tape Design

Put random pieces of washi tape on a page. Cover with geeso and add some paint. Write some thoughts on your page to complete your design.

Or you can fill in the empty spaces with some white paint. Let it dry and then use some distress crayons on top to add some color. Gently wipe some of the color away, until you are happy with the results, Now use any stencil you have in black ink like a silhouette. Add a word or two and you have a perfectly designed art journal page.

Create A Washi Tape Background

There is no right or wrong way to create your own washi tape background, Put it down in a totally colorful and random pattern.

You will want to add some glue to keep it in place. A glue stick works fine. Once you have all of your washi tape in place, give it a cover of clear gesso or Mod Podge to seal up your design.

Add A Border Around A Page

Use washi tape to create a border around your pages. Use strips tape to create a border on both sides of the page. Thus is a nice way to finish a page. 

Frame An Image

Create a frame around an image that you have already created. Use a rectangular or sqaure shape in the color or pattern of your choice. Pick a dominant color from the picture to make it look harmonious. 
The same colors that are in the picture will blend nicely. Contrasting colors will call attention to the photo.

1. Cover Up Your Mistakes

We all make them from time to time. Just use a piece of washi tape to cover up any smudge or mistake you might have made, Add a few more pieces and you will have created a designed piece.

2.Make Journaling Lines

Use washi tape to create lines that you can write on top on. It adds the perfect color to all your journaling

3.Use It Just As Tape

Rather than gluing something down, use the washi tape as you would any other piece of tape.

4.Mask Borders For Painting

You can create borders on your pages with washi tape. Use washi tape to define borders on your pages. Then either paint or ink the page. Once the paint or ink has dried, remove the tape and you will have crisp clean borders.

5.Create Arrows On Your Pages

It is so easy to create arrows on your pages with washi tape, Just use the tape to create an arrow shape.

6.Create Journal Lines

You can use washi tape to create lines on your pages that you can journal on. Lay a few straight lines on your pages with the washi tape. Then, using a marker write some lines expressing your thoughts and feelings. Yiu can leave the tape on as part of your design or remove the tape. 

7.Write On Washi Tape

You can add even more journaling by writing on top of washi tape, Make sure to use a matte finish tape and tdy it before you adhere it to your page.

8.Make Washi Tape Letters

Create letters and words using washi tape if you do not like your handwriting

9.Create Washi Tape Stickers

You can use double sided adhesive paper to create stickers, Just remove one side of the sticker and adhere the washi tape to it. Use an electronic cutting machine to cut a design. Then remove the backing and you have a lovely sticker. This works great with wider washi tape. use punches or cut shapes using your electronic cutting machine. 

10.Make Washi Tape Die Cuts

Adhere the washi tape to thin paper and cut it with ether a die cutting machine or a punch

11.Make A Washi Tape Flag

With a simple paper clip you can create a washi tap flag in just about a minute
  1. Cut a small piece of washi tape
  2. Insert it into the top of the paper clip
  3. Gently turn the tape so that you can adhere the piece together at the top of the paper clip
  4. Cut a triangle to create the flag shape

12.Use It To Reinforce a Binding

If the binding on your art journal seems weak, use some glue and adhere some washi tape to the binding of your book

13.Create A Washi Tape Garland

All you need is some bakers twine and pieces of washi tape. You just take a piece of the washi tape, fold it over and cut a pendent shape, Adhere it on your art journal page with some glue

  • You can work in the same color family
  • You can use different sized washi tape
  • You can do different shapes
  • Use random colors and patterns

You can make it long enough to create a single page banner or spread it across a double page.

You can also just cut the pendent pieces out and glue them on your page. Then draw the lines between the pieces for the banner,

You can also use washi tape to create a chain garland. Measure your pieces of tape to be equal. Then loop them into each other, using the tape to secure the loops.

14.Mask Borders For Painting

If you want to add some colors in a pattern, you can use the washi tape to cover the edges where you do not want the color 
  1. Lay some washi tape on your page in the design of your choice
  2. Burnish (rub) the tape to make sure it is firmly on the page
  3. Apply paint over the washi tape
  4. Allow the paint to air dry
  5. Remove the washi tape to reveal the design

15.Create A Grounding Design At The Bottom Of The Page

So simple and so effective, Just place vertical pieces of washi tape along the bottom of the page in different lengths and widths

Start your first piece in the center of the page. Make sure to place the piece straight so that all the other pieces will be straight too.

16.Create A Cover With Wide Washi Tape

Here are some of my favorite washi tapes. They have been selected for you. There may be some affiliate earnings if you add any to your collection at no cost to you.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, We would appreciate a comment, so let us know that you stopped by.

Till next time, Happy Crafting!


Sunday, May 15, 2022

 How To Layer Stamps

A colorful bouquet made with the Triumph Tulip set 

Today we are sharing with you our designs for the Educator Program with Altenew. It has really been quite a journey so far and with each step, more techniques and ideas are shared with this amazing program.

About The Stamps For This Project

For this project, we used the Altenew Stamp and Die set entitled, Build A Flower-Triumph Tulip. This set comes with leaves of different shapes and sizes, two-layered tulips, Some hydrangea-like flowers, and two sentiments. You can fussy cut them, but the coordinating dies sure makes it a lot easier.

My new favorite tulip stamp and die set can be found here.

For this card, I also did a background with one of my favorite embossing folders. It just added a little more dimension to the bouquet.

On a personal note, here in Florida, we cannot grow tulips, so I am in love with the tulip sets that are so popular. Part of the reason is that you can build amazing flowers with stamp sets that have guides that teach you how to build 

To create each layer, you start by using the lightest color. I like the ink pads with the lightest color on top and then pile the other colors in the order that I will use them.  As I use them, I flip them over so that I do not make a mistake with my ink pads. You build up each layer with both color and detail. The colors of the inks make it easy to build each layer one at a time

The biggest trick to layering stamps is to find a specific focal point where you can line up the stamp. on the layering guide, you can see a focal point to concentrate on that makes it easy to line the stamps up. A stamp positioner like the MISTI makes layering a lot easier. So, if you have one, I recommend using it. That way you can check the image before you add the ink. If you are using an acrylic block, I recommend using a block that has visible positioning lines for this kind of technoque.

If you are doing multiples of the same flower, make sure to clean the stamp in between layers, especially if you are using a Misti or other stamp positioner. That way when you position the stamp, you will be able to adjust the stamp without getting any left over ink on the image from a different flower.

When I get a new stamp set, I always recommend conditioning the stamp. The first initial stamping may not hold the ink very well. You can either use a stamp with some scrap paper. Keep stamping so that you finally see a clear stamped image. Or you can use a clean pencil eraser to go over the stamp. Again, make sure that you get a clean image before you start on your project.

Altenew makes creating a layered card with layering guides

Die Tips

I love using the coordinating dies for my stamp sets. Especially on these types of images. One really good tip is all about die cutting multiple images. I used to cut multiple images of one flower on a sheet of cardstock. Then it took a lot of time to die cut each individual flower. One of the instructors showed how she took a sheet and did multiple different images on one sheet. So, she had flowers and leaves on each sheet. That meant that she could die cut multiple images on one pass. What a time saver!

If you are hand cutting the images, you can use either page with all the same images or not.

Ink Pad Tips

Whatever ink pads that you use, make sure that you build your color within the color family that you have chosen. Each layer starts with the lightest ink and builds on that. So, every step after that takes you one layer higher. 

The Altenew ink pads made this challenge a lot easier because they are truly one of the juiciest ink pads in my stash. They never disappoint.

Here are the colors that I used for my tulips for this challenge:

Blue Flowers: Dew Drop, Sea Breeze, Turquoise, Teal Cove, Galactic Stream

Yellow Flowers: Mango Smoothie, Honey Drizzle,  Maple Yellow, Snapdragon, Autumn Blaze

Pink Flowers: Frosty Pink, Pink Pearl, Coral Bliss, Velvet, Heart Beat

Purple Flowers: Soft Lilac, Deep Iris

Leaves: Frayed Leaves, Forest Glades, Moss

Sentiments: Permanent Black

More Tips For This Project

  • These stamps work well with acrylic blocks or stamp positioners. The trick is to find the focal point on each level so that you get the best results. The layering guide helps you to do just that.
  • When you start with new stamps, stamp them on some scrap paper before you start on products.
  • Use good cardstock for any images that you are planning to fussy cut or die-cut.
  • Use foam dots or squares to give more dimension to your projects
  • Mix colors to create bouquets of tulips
  • If you like minimalist cards, just pair the two different tulips, side by side in the same colors. Add a couple of leaves and a small sentiment.

We have included some links that are for your convenience. We may earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We use these earnings to support the community.

Thanks for stopping by. We would love to hear from you about this project as well as our community.

Till next time, Happy Crafting!


Monday, May 9, 2022

Organizing Scrap Paper-Step 2

There are dozens of articles on the internet that define how to get your scrap paper organized. if you would like to see our take on getting that done, click here and then come back to find out what could be an exciting second step to finally getting that scrap paper under control.

When you are thinking about what to save and what to toss, there are really only three questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I have the space to store it? If you have extra space, then your options are broader for you. If your space is limited, then you have less options
  2. Do I have something similar that I like better? The question goes to the heart of your love of paper. How many of the same types of patterns are you willing to keep?
  3. Do I truly see myself using it? I know that I have paper and scraps that I think to myself, "well, someday I might just use it" But the truth is if you are using the idea that "someday, more than likely you probably will not.
If you really cannot decide, put it all in a box to sort through it at a later date.

Let's face it. If you are a paper crafter, you will have scraps. That comes with the territory. It's not a bad thing, just part of the overall package, When I decided to get my scraps under control, I found these neat plastic envelopes at Miles Kimbal online. That was exciting to me because I could see what I had. And being a visual person, that was important to me. And I wanted to line the envelopes up near the same colors of whole paper on my bookcase. So, for me, they served my purpose perfectly.

I am not talking about sizing down whole pieces of paper here, just the pieces left over from different projects.

But as the year went on and I was making and creating, my scraps started overtaking their envelopes. So, in December, I decided to take action and reduce the amount of shelf space that they were taking, that was by precutting paper for my papercrafts. So, I selected the sizes of paper that I wanted ahead of time. I then grabbed my trusty guillotine and started cutting color by color. I wanted a variety of sizes since in addition to greeting cards, I also do junk journals and scrapbook pages,

So here are my selected sizes:

  • 2" by 2 1/2 inches-good for card sentiments
  • 3" by 3 12 inches-larger sentiments
  • 1/1/2 by 4 inches
  • 4" by 4 1/2 inches- small photos, layer for cards and junk journals
  • 41/2 " by 51/2 inches-photo mats, layers for larger cards in junk journals, junk journal pockets
  • 6" by 6 inches-backgrounds for cards, multi purposes for junk journals and scrapbooks
Naturally, you can select the sizes that fits your needs.

Now as far as storing them, I had shoeboxes from Michaels that I bought long ago. You could use anything that you have on hand. Baskets, plastic containers or whatever works best for your space. 

Another Scrap Option

If you have an electronic cutting machine you can use it to create shapes with your scraps. Look to see what basic shapes your program has.

In my Cricut Access, there are over 10 basic shapes that I can size and cut from my scraps. I like things like hearts, rounds, tags, and ticket shapes. 

I can mauver the images on the scraps so that I can do multiple images to fit my scraps.

Getting Started Sorting Your Scraps

  1. Gather all of your scraps, no matter where they are. Like most of us, you may have scraps sitting in numerous places in your scrap space. It is time to get them all together.
  2. Place them on a work surface, you can use a desk, a floor or even the top of a bed.
  3. If the scraps are bent, torn or wrinkled, toss them away!
  4. If scraps are in an odd shape, cut them down into something more useable.
  5. Decide how you are going to store them. Will you store them by color or size? Patterned paper scraps in a different system or with the predominant color?
  6. Decide what containers that you are going to use.
  7. Label the containers so that you can find what you need in a flash.
  8. Store them in your system.

More Scrap Storage Ideas

There are many ideas to store your paper scraps. Here are a few ideas that may for your needs. Remember, there are no right or wrong ways to store these papers, only the way that works for your craft space and your budget.

  • Use Tote Bags-You can have several tote bags with file folders or page protectors filled with your scraps.
  • Filing Cabinet-You can often find a file cabinet in your local thrift store or a at a yard sale. Use hanging files and / or page protectors.
  • Cubbies-Cubbies or cubes are a perfect way to store your wayward scraps. You can use magazine files to keep those scraps in order
  • Envelopes in baskets. Put a sample of the color on the outside of the envvelope
  • Loose leaf binders have been a popular way to keep scraps by colors.
  • Zip Lock Bags-lots of crafters have been using zip lock bags to store their scraps by color
  • Rolling and stacking drawer units-these are found in your local discount stores. Using your vertical space makes a lot of sense,
  • Repurpose a small dresser-You can find these at your local thrift store or at many yard sales. You can paint them or decoupage them to fit your style

So, what will you do with your scrap paper today? I promise that getting that mess in order is going to make your craft experience much better! You will have more time to craft and enjoy your time a lot more! When you are looking for that one piece of a specific color

A Few More Thoughts On Storing Your Scraps

Never store any paper, scraps or otherwise on the floor, especially if you are in a basement. They can easily soak up moisture from the floor.

Watch the moisture and humidity in your she shed. Humidity in a winter or summer shed can raise havoc on your paper or scraps.

Whatever container that you use to store your scraps, make sure not to overstuff it. The paper will rip and wrinkle making it unusable.

If paper is flopping out of your container, make sure to add a piece of cardboard or chipboard to help support your paper

We have included some ideas to help you get this project completed. Some commissions may be earned at no expense to you. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Prepping A Composition Book For Art Journaling

Remember the composition books with the marbled covers that you used when you were in school? They are still around and lots of people use them to journal in. They have become popular as journals for all kinds of things. You could use them for doodling in, as a planner. as a daily diary. The notebook that I am journaling in has all kinds of information about Christmas. It has ideas, yearly information, who we celebrated with, and more. You can customize your book for your needs.

After all, they are reasonably priced and perfect for beginners to start with. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. 

The best composition books to use are the ones with sewn pages. Open the book halfway through to see if you see stitches. Those are the ones that will hold up best. 

If you are buying them online, see if you can see in the description how they are bound.

The first thing that you will notice is how thin the pages are. So before you get any further with your pages, you need to thicken them.

Starting With The Cover


  • Composition Notebook-the lined versions are everywhere. But if you can find the grid notebooks, they are easier to work with
  • Mod Podge or other decoupage medium-I prefer to use the matte gel medium
  • Scrapbook paper or gift wrap
  • White copy paper
  • Colored duck tape
  • A flat paintbrush-grab an old one because you will be using it with the Mod Podge
  • A foam brush-You get fewer brush marks
  • Scissors
  • A sharp craft knife
  • A cutting mat or board
Note- If you are using scrapbook paper or heavy wrapping paper, steps 1-3 can be avoided. Go right to step 5
  1. Start by covering the front cover of the notebook with a thin layer of the Mod Podge, using the flat paintbrush. Work quickly and make sure to get all around the edges. As you are working, hold the cover away from the inside pages. Or you can put a piece of parchment or waxed paper cut larger than the cover of the notebook behind the cover. You are not covering the spine of the book, only the part with the marbeling.
  2. While the glue is still wet, Apply the copy paper to the front of the notebook. Start at the spine and smooth outward. Start at the spine and smooth outwards, Make sure that the edges are smooth and adhered to the cover. Check again to make sure that there are no air bubbles.
  3. Repeat on the back cover and allow the project a drying time of at least 2 hours( I like to let it dry a minimum of 4-5 hours. )
  4. Using a craft knife, trim any excess paper away from the covers. Go right to the edges. You should now have a notebook covered in white paper with neat clean edges.
  5. You are now ready for our next layer of glue. Just like you did in Step 1, apply a thin, even layer of Mod Podge over the white paper layer. Work quickly so your glue doesn’t dry up before you’re finished applying it. Remember to smooth it with your sponge brush. Smooth, smooth! The paper is going over the white paper or marbled section, not the spine
  6. While your glue is still wet (I know I’ve already said it, but it’s really important that your glue is thin, even, and wet. Otherwise, your paper won’t adhere properly), apply your decorative paper sheet, starting at the spine and working your way outward. Since you just did this in Step 2, you’re already an expert paper smoother. Look at you go! Once your pretty paper is safely applied to both sides of the notebook, let the whole thing set for 2 hours.
  7. Once everything is nice and dry, go around the edges again with your craft knife to remove the excess paper.
  8. Coat the whole notebook with one more layer of Mod Podge to seal everything.  Pay special attention to the edges since that’s where you’re most likely to get lifting.
  9. you can cover the spine with colored duct tape that matches your paper. It may take more than one strip to cover the entire spine. Smooth any air bubbles and trim the top and bottom edges with your scissors.

*Quick Tip: If you’re using gift wrap, you’ll need to cut your paper down to a size you can work with. Use a paper trimmer to get a nice even cut.

Before You Begin-Remove Pages

As with any other altered book, the first thing to do is to rip out some pages so that you have the space to add other embellishments and media to your journal. 

You can use a ruler, a craft knife, or just rip them out as close to the binding as you can. 
  1. Start by ripping out every other page in the entire book
  2. Then go back and rip every 2-3 pages.
You should have 30-35 pages. But it's up to you how many pages you would like to have, Be sure to save the pages, They can be used in other projects and journals.
There are different options when you want to add strength to the pages of your composition book. The one tip to this process is to make sure that any media or glue you use is spread out evenly and thinly.
Whatever process you use, make sure to put pieces of waxed paper or parchment paper behind the two pages you are working on. That way the glue will not adhere to places that you want to stay clean.

Getting The Pages Strengthened

Option 1- Glue Two Or Three Pages Together

All you need for this option is some white craft glue and either an old credit card or a foam brush. If you use a foam brush, make sure to rinse it out right after you use it so that you can reuse it again.
  1. Spread the glue evenly on both pages, edge to edge. It is important to get the glue right to the edge of the page.
  2. Press the pages together. You can run a brayer or a bone folder along  the pages on both sides to flatten them more.
  3. Secure some of the edges with paper clips until the pages dry, usually within an hour or two.

Option 2- Add Scrap Paper To Thicken The paper

Now you will want to strengthen the pages by adding paper on top of the pages that you have already done by strengthening them together.

You can use any paper that you have -copy paper, scrapbook paper, old telephone books, other book pages. Use whatever you have on hand. You can add whole pages with glue spread out evenly. Or do a random collage effect. 

If you are using whole sheets to cover the page, follow option 1.

  1. Rip pieces of paper into manageable pieces
  2. Apply a coat of Mod Podge matte to the page
  3. Once the page has been covered with paper, apply a sheet of waxed paper over the top
  4. Roll a brayer over the top of the page to get all the air bubbles out of it and flatten the page.
  5. Leave the waxed paper on the page until the page dries
Note: You can do several pages at the same time as long as you leave the waxed paper between the pages.

Random Collage Effect

So simple and so much fun. To do this effectively you can either use white PVA craft glue or decoupage glue. Mod Podge is the most well-known decoupage medium.

You can use any paper that you have on hand. Just rip pieces of paper and apply them to your page with glue. Use different weights and kinds of paper to get the look and feel that you want. Then put a coat of glue over the entire page and allow it to dry.

I like to do both sides of the page with this technique but remember when making a journal like this there are no rules, That is the fun of it!

Gesso The Page

Because you will be adding all kinds of media to your pages, you will want to use gesso to cover the pages. That will give the pages extra strength and tooth for the paint or whatever you use as your background.

Gesso comes in white, black, and clear. But you can add a bit of acrylic paint to the gesso to add a base color to your page.

Spread the gesso on top of the page and allow it to dry. Now you are good to go!

What are the options for the next step? We will take that up on the next post!

In the meantime, we have added some supplies that you may need for your project. These supplies may have some earnings attached at no extra cost to you. 

Till next time! Happy Crafting!


How To Turn A Compo
sition Book Into An Art Journal