04 February 2012

Altered Art Journal ... A First Take Tutorial

I've embarked on a new creative journey.  Art Journals.

I love paper ... pretty paper, grungey paper, textured papers, tea-stained cardboard, all of it.  I love playing with paper.  Tearing,
crumbling, texturizing, dyeing ... all of that, too.   It's a perfect fit for me. Relatively portable, so I can move from upstairs craft room, to warehouse, to the bog cabin, and back.  Not like my metal or wood work which are both very satisfying and lots of fun, but way more cumbersome.  And if I mess up ... I mean, it's just a piece of paper and I can always add a layer and give it another element.  Sometimes I think mistakes can actually add a new direction or dimension to a project. So what's to lose?

Got my feet wet online looking at, inspired by, drooling on, a few websites and several Etsy shops - for example, iHanna's blog on utilizing used books from flea markets and thrift shops.  Then there was one from IMGirl, a handbound journal filled with lots of embellishment.  Or the hour I spent on Pinterest checking out an altered art journal board by Pam Billingsley.  The variety is staggering, almost as impressive as the talent and creativity.  Blows me away.  Humbles me.  Spurs me on.  Here I go ......

Picked out a book from my stash that I had purchased for a song at one of my weekly stops at Goodwill, falling apart and begging for new life.

loved the cover color and texture
It didn't take much to remove the body of pages from the spine, using some of the pages here and saving the others for another journal down the line.

I divided the spine section in half with an exacto knife, glued then folded it back onto the inner and outer covers to reinforce the side of each.

clamp and allow to dry - so far, so good!
After they dried, I used my new Big Bite punch (purchased with a 50% off coupon - yahoo!) to quickly and easily put two holes in the two cover pieces for O-ring fastening later on.


For the cover, I stamped and blurred a saying on torn paper and antiqued the edges.  Then, stamped some numbers/symbols using a Stazon pad so the stamping wouldn't smear.


Now, to decide what to do with the inside.  I gave it a lot of thought and decided to make it somewhat generic and, therefore, more "saleable" in my Etsy shop, which was my intent. ( I definitely don't have time to KEEP a journal right now!!! ) So, I grunged a manilla tag for the inside front cover and glued it in place.

inside back cover - a little marketing identification
For the last page of the journal, I zig-zag sewed a pocket from two pieces of an old folder:

For the inner pages, I gathered new and vintage papers from here and there, and made copies of some vintage papers and other pieces of ephemera.   I had some tired index cards that were added.  I cut all the gatherings to relative size, some a little bigger, some a little smaller to give it some size variation interest.

 And...ta da!

tied with hemp twine and ready to sell!
Enjoyed the process so much that I went on to yet another, utilizing a vintage file folder for the cover and similar applications for the inner "workings".

I don't know what direction my next art journal might take, but I know for sure I'll love the pathway!

1 comment:

So glad you dropped by ... please leave a comment and share your thoughts with me ...