Monday, January 18, 2016

Gwen's Gems: File Folder Mini Art Journal

Hi everyone, it's Gwen back with January's installment of Gwen's Gems! This month I was inspired by a type of project I've seen floating around the web - a file folder mini art journal. I got an email from Cloth Paper Scissors that featured one of these and I thought it was time to make one! (If you have or download the CPS Jan / Feb 2011 issue, you can see their full tutorial.)

Since I don't have that issue (yet!) I made up my own version and I thought I'd share it here, along with the steps for you to make your own if you'd like.

Here's a view of my finished album:

Now for a tutorial! I took lots of photos, and I hope you enjoy it!

First up, take a plain manila file folder and gesso the whole thing front and back. When it's dry you'll want to fold it as shown below:
You can make it whatever height you want; I folded up the bottom of mine so that the horizontal fold line would match up with the part of the folder where there was a dip, if that makes sense.

Next, I took a sheet of book paper and tore out pieces and randomly collaged them around the inside of my journal with matte medium.
Then I took a few shades of blue paint plus Titanium White and painted it - I did both sides of the folder with these colors.

Next it was time to embellish! I was lucky enough to get my hands on a Winter Art Bento Box, so I decided that I wanted to use my little box of tools, paper, and ephemera to do a lot of the embellishing.

My box came with one of the new mini Gelli plates, and I knew I wanted to use that to create some color fields on my background, so I rolled on some aqua paints and used it like a stamp.
Now it's time for stenciling! I took out my Ornamental Circle Cluster 4x4 stencil and the Ornamental Circle Cluster Screen along with some Archival Ink and added stenciling just within the Gelli printed squares.
I doodled around the edges of the squares a bit and added some paint splatters, but I knew I still needed something to give the whole thing more depth and better unify the elements. I decided to go with a glaze - specifically a "dirty glaze" which I made with Micaceous Iron Oxide and Van Dyke Brown. I added some interference gold and used Polymer Medium to make the glaze. I was thrilled with the results!
I just painted my glaze over most of the background - I pulled it back a bit here and there with baby wipes, but I loved the transformation! You could do a different glaze or go with a different color scheme, or skip it all together if you like it better without. Whatever works with your style :)

My Art Bento Box also came with a fun little Stabilo Woody pencil in purple - I used this to go around my printed squares and add some scribbling. I also went through using the Basket stencil by Daniella Woolf to add texture throughout the background.
Next up, the cover! You could decorate each of the sections of the outside as well, but I decided to do a continuous pattern all along that side. 
I used my Ornamental Circle Cluster Screen stencil again for that - I love the way it lines up so you can make a repeating pattern! You can also see some of the elements I picked out from my box to use on the cover. I coated some of them with more of my "dirty glaze" and then painted the entire cover with more of it (again, you could leave off the glaze.)
I added my paper and ephemera and adhered it to the cover along with a fabulous sequined sari applique.

In between waiting for layers of paint to dry, I worked on the shipping tags that I wanted to put in each of the four pockets. I used papers and ephemera from my Art Bento Box to make the backgrounds and then stenciled and embellished on top.
I used the Ornamental Circle Cluster 4x4 stencil again, along with my Ornamental Embroidery Stencil and the Ornamental Petals Screen. Of course being me, there also needed to be some gold glitter tape on each tag.

I added some rubons and Liquid Pearls and did some distressing; here you can see all of the tags outside and then in their pockets:

Below are each of the tags individually as well...



Voila! A finished file folder mini art journal, all decorated and ready for me to add some more journaling, and maybe a little more embellishing too :)


That's it for this month's post... I hope you enjoyed it! 

Have you ever made an art journal from a file folder and your StencilGirl stencils? We'd love to see!

Until next time, happy stenciling!

28 comments:

  1. Love this project. I knew I was saving those folders for a reason

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Denise! File folders are so fun to play with... can't wait to see what you do!

      Delete
  2. what a great project - I think I have some old folders around here - and maybe some new ones - can't remember - thanks for sharing

    Barb Housner

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Barb! I like these because they're fun, fairly easy, and can be a quick project too. I hope you'll share if you make one :)

      Delete
  3. I had saved that email too Gwen, must be the papercrafter in us! :) What you made is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha... right? I still haven't downloaded that issue, but it looks like a good one. And thank you so much!

      Delete
  4. I agree with Maria. This mini journal is gorgeous. Talk about transforming file folders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol! I really love file folders... I was thinking this would be super cool to do with some of the patterned ones too! Maybe next time :)

      Delete
  5. Really amazing. I love your style Gwen. Thanks for taking the time to show all the steps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Seth! This one was a lot of fun to make - too fun not to share!

      Delete
  6. This is so attractive and appealing, Gwen! I really love what you have created. Awesome tutorial and finished folder journal.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gwen.. i LOVE this. I have something similar I did a video on, but this is GORGEOUS!!!! Those colors speak to me... or maybe it's just the voices in my head... LOL! Anyway, lots of work that is so appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Judy! Yeah, this idea is definitely not new, but I think it's always fun to see how different people do it. I'd love to see yours too! The colors seem to be my go-to lately, so I'm glad you like them too :)

      Delete
  8. this is wonderful thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Margaret, so glad you liked it!

      Delete
  9. Really Beautiful Gwen, This could make a perfect gift for a special occasion, (wedding, birthday, new baby... )by adding personal items or memories! Thanks for sharing. Love your work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Christine! This would definitely be an easy project to personalize - I may have to try this again sometime as a gift... great idea!

      Delete
  10. Love this.. Could you go into more detail about the glazing and the glaze products you used.. Thanks..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristal -
      Thanks! For the glaze, there are lots of different ways you can do it. I used all Golden products for mine, but you could use equivalent colors and products from other brands. I took Micaceous Iron Oxide and Van Dyke Brown fluid acrylics - about a dime sized puddle of each, and mixed with a good dollop polymer medium (you can use glazing medium or even a soft gel - they just give you a different consistency.) I add a few drops of Interference Gold fluid acrylics a well to make it have that gold shimmer. I just mix it up and brush it on and then let it dry! You can knock it back with a baby wipe in areas if it's too strong and layer it up to make it more opaque. It's not a very exact science, so you can just play with it and find what works. You can try other colors in the glaze, or use a silver or something instead of the Micaceous Iron Oxide (which has a grit to it.) Hope that helps!

      Delete
  11. How brilliant and beautiful is THIS!
    I love this project and it really encourages me to try out using glazes with one of my next projects. The effect is just amazing! Thank you very much for an utterly inspiring project and post!

    Greetings from Vienna
    Claudia xxx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love this, the colors are awesome! I will definitely be making one (at least) of these. Thank you for the tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You made a stunning piece of art! You rock these techniques! Can't wait to get my Gwen's StencilGirl order!:)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fabulous project. Your color and design sense is always stunning.

    ReplyDelete

If you are entering a GIVEAWAY, please add your email address in the event we need to contact you.

To avoid SPAM, please write it like this:

marybeth (at) stencilgirltalk (dot com)

Thank You!