Monday, October 17, 2016

Gwen's Gems: Mini Stenciled Junque Journals

Hi everyone, it's Gwen back again with the October edition of Gwen's Gems! 

Recently I found myself wanting to make some small gifts to share with a few friends in my art tribe and I thought that since we're starting to get closer to the season of giving, I'd share what I did with all of you as well! 

Here's what I made - a whole series of mini junque journals which would also make great little gifts and stocking stuffers. You could turn these into mini scrapbooks, recipe journals... whatever you want!


These fun little books are super easy to make, with the added bonus that mine were made from upcycled StencilGirl chipboard mailers!

Here's how I put these together:

First, I took a few of my mailers (I never throw them away!) and cut them down. I only used the front sides for this project so I wouldn't have overlapping pieces. I cut them into strips that were about 4.5" tall by about 10" long.


Once I had them all, I scored lines where it was going to fold. I knew I wanted there to be a flap, so I scored them at the 4.25" mark and the 8.5" mark, leaving around 1.5" to overlap. Next I painted them all - black gesso on the insides, bright colors on the outside. I used Dylusions paints so that I wouldn't have to gesso and they would dry quickly. Next I took different types of paper and cut them to 4"x8" and folded and scored them. Then I poked 4 evenly spaced holes through the signature and into the fold at the 4.25" mark on the chipboard and used a pamphlet stitch and some bookbinding thread to bind it all together.


Here you can see what they looked like all bound up. What a fun little rainbow!

Next up, I decorated. I went through each of them with various rubber stamps (some hand-carved, some commercially made,) and randomly stamped over the background. I mainly used texture stamps and designs that wouldn't complete too much with the stenciling yet to come (although I couldn't resist some heavier patterns, as you'll see.)


After stamping, I stenciled on each of them using gold pigment ink and a foam blending tool, then I heat embossed the stenciled images with various colors of embossing powder.

Here are all of the stencils I used on the 10 books I made:
Finally, I went through and added pen work and details, especially on the books where the stamped images were a little more prominent. I mainly used oil-based paint markers for this step - I really liked the bright, glossy colors, and they had good coverage without having to take a lot of time doing multiple layers.

Here you can see how some of them looked at this point:


Finally, I attached some twine to use as the closure for the books. I just wrapped a piece of baker's twine through the middle of one of the binding stitches as you see below:


Then I just wrapped the twine around the book and tucked it in. You could add beads or charms to this part or to the threads in the binding if you really wanted to fancy it up.

Here you can see what they look like on the inside:

Also, you can see below that as I stenciled, I made sure to stencil the flap so that it would line up with what was on the book when it was closed. It's a nice detail that's especially good for when you're using larger stencil designs like this. For a smaller all-over pattern, it would be much less noticeable.


Here you can see what each of them looked like. Some I made very ornate with colors and patterns, some I kept more simple since not everyone likes all the layers the way I do.


And that's it! I made ten mini journals to give as gifts in just a few hours! I may need to make some more... I can think of a few little girls who might like something similar that they could use as a sketchbook that would slip into a little purse.

I hope you enjoyed today's project and tutorial! Have you ever made a journal from your chipboard mailers? We'd love to see!

Until next time, happy stenciling!



30 comments:

  1. Gwen! What a fabulous idea! They are so beautiful AND functional. Thanks for sharing.

    Take care and STAY POSITIVE!

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  2. Gwen these are gorgeous 😍😍😍

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  3. Gwen these are gorgeous!!! I can only wonder how you work so fast. 10 in a few hours? I'd be at these for days and likely after 3, if be so exhausted from the contemplation of what to do next, I'd never get to 10. Love your work, signed "Always in Awe"

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  4. Gwen these are gorgeous!!! I can only wonder how you work so fast. 10 in a few hours? I'd be at these for days and likely after 3, if be so exhausted from the contemplation of what to do next, I'd never get to 10. Love your work, signed "Always in Awe"

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    1. Thanks Lisa! The key is to not think too much about what you're doing. Also do the steps - cut them all out and score them, then gesso them all, then paint them all, then just start grabbing stamps and stencils, etc... as soon as you start to think, the time that it takes to do it just multiplies :)

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  5. These are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. wow wow wow! Love the bold look!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Anna! The bright colors and bold patterns were my favorite part about them :)

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  6. Wow! These are simply wonderful! I love them! Thanks for sharing your process. I need to figure out the binding stiches but other than that, I think I could pull this off! FUN!!!!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! The binding stitch is pretty easy - you can look up Saddle Stitch to find the one that I used, but you could just as easily punch two holes and just run the string from outside to inside in the top hole, then down and out the bottom hole and tie it along the spine. With small, simple books like this you don't have to do anything too crazy to bind them :)

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  7. These are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much... so glad you liked them!

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  8. These metallics really add just the right touch of bling! Gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Cecilia! I'm addicted to using metallics right now - they seem to add the perfect touch to most projects :)

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  9. Just love these mini journals Gwen. The colors and use of stamps and stencils. I knew the heavy envelopes from Stencil Girl every month would be of good use. I have saved all of mine too. Thank you so much for the idea and fun inspiration.

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    1. Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it!

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  10. Wow...these are really fun! Love the gold on the covers. Such a great way to recycle those mailers. Thanks Gwen

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    1. Thanks Gerrie! I love the gold too - I'm using it on just about everything lately :)

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  11. Beautiful!!! They are like little tresure chests that you want to open!!♡♡♡

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    1. Thanks Christine! I hope the people who received them thought the same :)

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  12. Beautiful!!! They are like little tresure chests that you want to open!!♡♡♡

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  13. Wauw, this is amazing ! So LOVE the designs and colours you used. Thanks for sharing ...

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    1. Thanks so much Jeannette - so glad you like them!

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  14. If you haven't saved your mailers, where can you get this type of material to make these. I love them.

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    1. Thanks Pat! Just thin chipboard... I've bought it in packs from Amazon (I have a set of 25 sheets of 12x12 chipboard,) or sometimes scrapbook stores will have them since it's the same stuff that comes on the bottom of a package of patterned paper. The one near me sells them, but since there aren't that many stores anymore Amazon might be the best bet.

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  15. I'm sure the receivers of these journals will definitely appreciate the effort that you put through in creating them. My friends from http://bestessay.education/essay-writing-services will definitely create their own version as gift or token to their students.

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  16. Nice project, now I feel silly for tossing all of the mailers.

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