Friday, May 17, 2019

Little Journals with StencilGirl® Stencils by Frieda Oxenham

It’s always a good idea to have some gifts ready for special occasions so as not to be caught unawares, and one of the things I love to do is to make small journals that people can use in any way they fancy.  I thought I would share some with you for my May project. Here are the step by step instructions:

1.      Using an 8 x 10” gel plate (it will work with any size plate but will take longer using a smaller one) and a variety of acrylic paint colors, brayer on 2 colors at a time onto your plate and take partial prints onto a sheet of 14 x 17” Strathmore Bristol smooth surface paper. You can use whatever size paper you have on hand but of course the smaller the paper the smaller the journal you end up with. I like this size with the journal ending up being 4.25 x 7”. Keep printing off, renewing your plate with additional paints as you go along, till the sheet is completely covered. Overprint till you’re happy with how it looks and let it dry well. I worked alternately on 2 sheets so I could keep on going while the other sheet was drying.

2.      Again using the 8 x 10” gel plate and a variety of acrylic paint colors, brayer on 2 colors onto your plate, put Hamilton on top of the paint and take partial prints on different areas of your sheets.

3.      Using a variety of acrylic colors stencil on the page with a cosmetic sponge and Thick Crossed Lines.

4.      Stamp partial images using Art Foamies with StazOn ink pads in several colors. I used Balzer RingTicTac and Nat Kalbach Manhattan Positive + Negative as well as Manhattan Border.

5.      Using a variety of colors, including Titanium White, stencil on the pages with a cosmetic sponge using Floral Frolics.

6.      Using the same stencil as in step 5 spray the sheets through the stencil using gold Mica spray paint. Also wipe the gold spray off the stencil on the sheets.

7.      Once you’re happy with your sheet we’re going to make them into a little journal. You might want to try this first with a sheet of copy paper.
A.    Fold the sheet long sides together (pink line). Use a bone folder if you have one to make a strong fold. Accuracy is important here!
B.     Open sheet out and now fold the two short sides together (green line)
C.     Open sheet up again and fold each short side to the center fold (blue lines)

D.    Unfold the side folds from step C and return to the fold from step B. Take your scissors and cut from the fold line to the fold you made in step C (blue line).

E.     Pull the paper apart from the green fold on either side of the cut towards the sides, and the paper will fold into a small booklet. (Plenty of YouTube videos show this process, search for one sheet bookmaking, or you can find it in many bookmaking books such as Esther K. Smith’s Instruction in How to Make Books).

8.      Now take several deep breaths and do the same with your sheets. It won’t be as easy because we’re using thicker paper with paint on it but just make sure to make hard folds. Due to the thickness of the paper the pages will not line up exactly with each other however exact your folding was. I don’t let this bother me but cover some of the edges that don’t align precisely with washi tape. If you were using the same size of sheets as I was your little journals will now measure 4.25 x 7”. It’s fun to see what lands on each page!

9.      Outline shapes on the pages using black and white permanent markers.

10.  Add title on the front cover and other inspiring words on the inside and back covers using gold Nuvo embellishment mousse, a cosmetic sponge and stencil Fridge Poetry.

11.  Outline the gold letters with a permanent black marker

© Frieda Oxenham 2019. To see more of Frieda's work, please visit her BLOG.


  1. I love your work, Freida. These little journals are delightful!

  2. I love to make these with smaller paper for mini journals


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