Friday, March 14, 2014

The Big 20/20 Event: Day 14: Making An Art Journal Part 1

Today's tutorial is brought to you by the lovely Lisa.
For my tutorial I would like to show you how to make your own art journal! This is such an awesome thing to do for many reasons. I myself became interested in it because I was not being able to find a journal to carry around that had the type of paper in it that I wanted. Now I love them because the process is fun, the outcome is rewarding, they make such neat things to carry around AND to give to others as gifts.
I am going to break this down into 2 parts. The first part will be decorating the covers. Of course you can cover your book any way you choose. And with any materials from cloth to paint. It is your book. I am just going to share how I did it. The cover needs to be done before the book is sewn together. And of course the second part will cover all the details of making the book. Happy Creating!

Part 1 - Making the Book Cover

Supplies: - Paper with Patterns and images to cut - Mod Podge - Tissue paper....I actually used old paper from a torn up bible (don't hate me, I think using it versus tossing it is awesome!) - Gesso - Ink pad (I used Adirondack due to it does not smear) - White Paint Pen - Black Permanent Pens of different sizes. (I used Faber Castells) - Aqua Markers - Water color crayons (I used Neocolors) - Embellishments (Mine was a little paper cut that had the words "This is your special Day") - Texture ... You can use Molding Paste, Gesso, or I used Joint Compound from the hardware store.) - Acrylic paint (I used Tim Holtz's Distress Paint Dabber) - Stencil (I used a paper doily for cupcakes) - Heat Gun (This is optional but helps with things go faster) - Drawing Pad or Sketch Pad (I used Canson Watercolor Paper 140lb 9X12")
Before I start I wanted to let you know all the above supplies are suggestions of what I used and things can be changed to what you have. An example would be to use only acrylic paint instead of any watercolor markers. Just add water on it to dilute it a bit. Also I have people say to me all the time how they can not match colors up as well when it comes to the papers and such. You can buy the papers in a pack that all coordinate with each other. And lastly the biggest thing I want to tell you is KEEP GOING! Don't let not having the right supplies or any other negative thought stop you! There are many times when I am doing something and I come to a point that I hate it! Even doing this book cover I hit a part where I thought WHAT???
This would be the spot where mine was at a point where I wanted to toss it out....
I had thought doing a yellow background would be like the sun......It didn't quite turn out. (wink) I then slapped Gesso over it and went in a different direction. (wink) So just KEEP GOING!
OK let's get started.
The first thing you need to do is take apart the sketch book. Pull all the pages out carefully and remove any glue off the ends. Then carefully separate the front cover from the thick cardboard back.
Your book cover is going to be made out of the back of the sketch pad. Measure your pad to find the center. For mine that was 6" between both sides. You need to cut down the center to make 2 pieces. The easiest way is to use a paper-cutter as shown below. You can also use a large straight edge such as a ruler and run a utility knife down the side. You can also use scissors.
Cut up or tear the tissue paper and glue it down using the Mod Podge. Use a paint brush to layer on a thin layer of the Mod Podge then lay a piece of paper on it. Use more Mod Podge on your brush to push it down then layer another piece of paper beside it overlapping each piece. (Note: Tissue paper is crinkly this IS the effect you are going for. You will want to have the paper hang off the edge at least 3/4th an inch. (see picture below)
Once your Book Cover is covered turn it over. You will be cutting the corners to fold the tissue paper over as shown in the image below. Be sure to not cut all the way to the corner. You want to leave around 2mm at the tip.
On the back side of the cover glue along the edge and fold the paper over.
Once glued, set it aside and start cutting petals and 2 circles out of the patterned paper.
Take the Ink Pad and slide the edge of each petal across it to give each one an outline. Don't worry if it smears a bit here and there and is not perfect. Those little accidents make for a lot of beautiful texture!
NOW here is what I did and then changed it. (wink) You can follow me exactly or skip to the Gesso.....ha ha
Using my Distress Dabber I covered the whole thing yellow. Added green and blue to the edges with Distressed Ink Pads. Then I glued down the petals and flower using the Mod Podge. Stepped back and realized I did NOT like the color at all, so I covered all the background and was careful to get between all the petals with Gesso.
To do it over I would have taken the cover and covered it with just Gesso then glued down the flowers and just went from there. The blues and Greens don't even show up in the end so all is not needed.
Once you have the flowers in place put a thin layer of Mod Podge over them and let them dry. (This is when a heat gun can come in handy.) Once dry use different color Aqua Markers to place highlights on one side of each petal. While the marker's ink is still wet use your finger to smear it around. You can use a brush if you want. I just like to finger paint! (wink)
I did not get the next step on film BUT it is not hard. I took the Aqua Marker and went around the edge of each flower and smeared the color just as I had done with the petals. Then I decided I wanted more of a defined outline so I took a marker and outlined the flowers and the leaf.
Now for some fun! (wink) I took a doily and placed it at the top left corner where the sun goes.
Then you can use Molding paste OR what I like to use is Joint Compound from the hardware store. It is sooo thick!! I have some left over that has a bit of blue acrylic paint mixed in it. The color doesn't matter because I am going to paint it, but it does come white. Now an easy way to do this is to apply some on the edge of a credit card and then apply it to the back side of the doily. Then lift the doily straight up and VIOLA!
Let this completely dry....again....this would be an awesome time for a heat gun! (wink) I am so impatient I love mine! ha ha Next I pulled my lovely Distress Dabber again. I love this thing! NO MESS! I brushed on my sun then added a bit of water to mute it down a bit.
Now comes the finishing touches that just bring your personality in. You can with the pens write words, add XXXXs down the side of a stem, doodle in odd spots, outline everything again, and glue on embellishments. And then take the ink pad and go all around the edge of the edges to frame it all in. When you are finished doodling and adding stuff go back over it with Mod Podge to seal it all on.
Here is mine finished before I added it to the book.
If you want to share yours please feel free to email me your pictures. I would LOOOOVE to see them! floppinflower(at)
Have an awesome day! (wink)
Lisa's Bio:
Hello! I am so excited to be apart of the BIG 20/20 Event! Let me introduce myself. My name is Lisa Scott aka Floppin Flower. I have been blogging since 2011. I started out basically just doing it for fun to see what it was about. And through the years it has changed right along with me. About a year ago I decided to take some art classes. Painting was one thing I was never able to understand or do. Now it is my love! Especially once I found the world of Mixed Media where there are no rules, you can mix things up the way you want to create a wonderful outcome of colors and textures!! (wink) You can visit me over on my blog

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