Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Megan Whisner Quinlan: April 2021 StencilClub Stencils

Although I consider myself a Mixed Media maker, I think a close second would be as a book maker as well. I actually think both making mixed media and book making go hand in hand. Often, when I get burned out working in large journals, I turn to book making. When I received this month's StencilClub stencil set, I was immediately inspired to make a book.
Accordion books are some of the easiest book structures to quickly put together. I also really love to create a book as an "individual piece" of art. I try to make each one as a themed interactive project, almost like an extended journal spread in 3-D. 
I had a bunch of 300 pound watercolor paper in large sheets that I trimmed down to a 5" x 24" strip of paper.
I used Mary Beth Shaw's watercolor technique to create a background for the sheet.
Allow the paper to dry. 
Once the watercolor strip dried, I added this month's StencilClub stencil set in random places with Dina Wakley Marine paint to match the watercolors I had chosen. This also creates a more subtle effect so the background doesn't stand out too much. 
Using a bone folder to press down your folds, fold your paper in half. Take each end and fold into the middle crease creating 4 folds. Then fold each square in half. You should have 8 equal folds for your accordion book. 
Cut your recycled box into two covers, measuring slightly bigger than your folded accordion book. 
Now is the time to decide how you want to decorate your book and what your theme will be. I had definitely wanted to add some mini envelopes and vintage Tim Holtz ephemera and tags. 
Begin to glue down your envelopes and add your personal designs and marks on your pages. 
Decorate your cover with stencils and acrylics. I decided to have a tie closure for the book, as the heavy watercolor paper made the accordion more resistant once closed. I added about 7" of sari ribbon to the back cover between the page and the cover before I glued it together. Once the front covers was glued down, I let my book press under some heavy books for 24 hours.

Join StencilClub by April 15 to receive these three exclusive stencils and accompanying video tutorial with PDF, and 20% OFF STENCILS EVERY DAY!!

Hello! My name is Megan Whisner Quinlan. I have been art journaling and book binding for about 20 years. However, I took a 10 year break from paper arts when I had my first 2 children. About 5 years ago, I came back into journaling after some big life changes, including 2 more children. Journaling had always been a part of my life, especially to work things out in life on paper. When I first started out, I really only focused on making books by hand and some basic collage and stamping. I was intimidated by the amazing art journaling artists out there who could create elaborate, mixed media spreads.  When I came back to journaling after such a long break, I decided that I was going to really push myself to learn all the techniques I had been too afraid to try.  Painting and drawing have really allowed me to find so much joy in my creative process, and I now almost exclusively create mixed media every day. I feel excited to have joined the art journaling community and you can find me on Instagram @Megan_Whisner_Quinlan or on Youtube: Megan Whisner Quinlan.


  1. Lovely project. It's a really nice use of the April stencils.

  2. Lovely book, is that a Willa Wonders Wonky Bit on the cover?

  3. Amazing.....300 lb paper is a really heavy to work with. But does add a lot of substance to that lovey book. I'm surprised you could use the inside of a cereal box for making the cover. Seems that paper would be a different shade than the white paper. I make books with clay covers, water color paper, Polaroid transfers,Chinese tissue paper images, encaustic images etc. I bind mine with the Egyptian coptic stitch as with clay covers I put holes in the covers to sew coptic. I am eager to try some of your new methods to add interest and design. I would rather not use the gmail account.


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