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:
- Decorative 6-Petal Flower Stencil (by me)
- Decorative Medallion Repeating Corner Stencil (by me)
- Decorative Folk Flower Stencil (by me)
- Decorative Curvy Repeating Corner Stencil (by me)
- Ornamental Peacock Feathers Stencil (by me)
- Ornamental Circle Cluster Stencil (by me)
- Ornamental Floral Screen Stencil (by me)
- Ornamental Embroidery Stencil (by me)
- X Rows Stencil (by Michelle Ward)
- 9x12 from the Sept. 2015 StencilClub Collection (by Julie Snidle)
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!