Tag Archives: book arts

Introduction to Letterboxing

Letterboxing logbook and samples of personal stamps
Letterboxing logbook and samples of hand carved personal stamps.

I recently taught a two-part class to help people get started in the hobby of Letterboxing which combines outdoor exploration and creative expression. Two of the items you need to participate are a rubber stamp and a logbook. In part one, we hand carved a personal stamp and in part two we made a personal logbook. I wrote a tutorial for each class and they are now published on the Schnarr’s Hardware blog. If you want to try letterboxing or just learn to carve a rubber stamp and make a simple handmade book, here are links to my tutorials.

Read more on the Schnarr’s Hardware blog:

/Introduction to Letterboxing – Part I – Carving a Personal Stamp

Introduction to Letterboxing – Part II – Making a Personal Logbook

Make a Mini Album – 4 1/4 x 4 3/4 Inches

Make a mini album
Make a mini album!

I make a lot of 6 x 6 inch pages for handmade journals. When you cut a 6 x 6 inch piece of paper out of an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper you’re left with a lot of leftover 8.5 x 5 inch pieces. Here is a project that will use up those extra pieces and possibly some of your other paper scraps as well. If you’re a regular reader of mine you know I try not to waste anything!

What you’ll need:
Text weight paper
Card stock
Decorative papers
Paper cutter
Glue stick
Self-healing cutting mat
Metal ruler
Bone folder/burnishing tool
Clean scrap paper
Scissors
Double-sided tape
Awl or needle tool
Small hole punch
Brads
Heavy thread or lightweight cord
Beads

1. Download the template Mini Album and print it out to use as a guide.

2. Cut out a piece of 8.5 x 4.75 inch card stock. Fold in half.

3. Out of decorative papers, cut 2 8.5 x 1 pieces and 4 4.75 x 1 pieces.

4. Fold one of the 4.75 x 1 inch pieces lengthwise and make a sharp crease with the bone folder. Flatten out and apply glue to the back. Glue down on the inside fold seam and burnish well (see A on template).

Glue paper piece to the inside fold seam.
Glue paper piece to the inside fold seam.

5. Fold and glue two more 4.75 inch pieces to the edges (see B on template).

Fold two more pieces to the edges and glue down.
Fold two more pieces to the edges and glue down.

6. Fold and glue 8.5 x 1 inch pieces to top and bottom edges (see C on template). Burnish all well.

Glue two pieces lengthwise along top and bottom edges.
Glue two pieces lengthwise along top and bottom edges.

7. Fold another of the 4.75 x 1 inch pieces lengthwise and make a sharp crease with the bone folder. Flatten out and apply glue to the back. Glue down on the outside spine and burnish well (see A on template).

8. Cut out four pieces of 4.25 x 3.75 inch decorative paper. They can be all the same or all different. Glue to the front and back covers, inside and out. If you want to decorate the front cover further with more embellishments you can. Burnish all well.

Glue decorative papers to front and back covers.
Glue decorative papers to front and back covers.

9. Cut out front and back pocket pieces, fold in tabs and tape in place with double-sided tape.

Add pockets to inside covers.
Add pockets to inside covers.

10. Cut out twelve pieces of 8.25 x 4.75 text-weight paper. Fold all in half and nest pages. Use paper cutter to trim the paper that sticks out.

11. Using template as a guide for placement, punch four holes in the front cover with an awl, needle tool or small hole punch, and four holes in the back. Push brads in holes.

12. Using template as a guide, punch small holes in spine of paper and album cover with awl or needle tool.

13. Cut off a piece of cord that is about 28″ long. Thread the cord onto a needle and poke into the top first hole from the outside in, leaving about 7″ of cord trailing.

13. Run cord through the rest of the holes according to this sequence – second hole inside to out, third hole outside to in, fourth and bottom hole inside to out, third hole outside to in, second hole inside to out, then tie off. Add beads to cord if you want.

You’re done!

Handmade Birding Journal

Cover of birding journal. Cover collage is made of found images, scrap papers and rubber stamped images from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store.
Cover of birding journal. Cover collage is made of found images, scrap papers and rubber stamped images from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store.

Here is a great handmade gift idea for someone in your life that loves to watch birds. A blank journal like my sample provides places for notes, sketches, photos, memorabilia and more. Here is how to make one.

First download my free template, Square 6×6 Journal. Print it out and use it as a guide.

Cut out two pieces of chipboard for covers. Make a collage of bird related images for the front cover. Cover edges of cover with decorative paper. Cover inside front cover, inside back cover and back cover with decorative paper.

To assemble front cover, cut out a piece of acetate and punch small holes. Punch small holes in front cover collage and attach to cover with brads. Make pockets and attach to both inside covers with double sided tape. Cut out a number of pieces of cardstock for inside pages. Embellish with brayered backgrounds, sponged backgrounds, decorative papers, Project Life cards and rubber stamps. Punch holes in all pages and covers and compile together with binding rings. Open rings and add new pages as needed.

Here are some sample page spreads to give you ideas for the interior pages.

A set of inside pages. On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store. Patterned papers are from 7gypsies.
A set of inside pages. On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store. Patterned papers are from 7gypsies.
On the left is a cut-down Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a cut-down Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On these two pages patterned paper is from 7gypsies and rubber stamps are from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store. The plain paper insert on the right is a piece of sketching paper - it's good for drawing a sketch and it's removable if you want to use watercolor or other media that is messy.
On these two pages patterned paper is from 7gypsies and rubber stamps are from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store. The plain paper insert on the right is a piece of sketching paper – it’s good for drawing a sketch and it’s removable if you want to use watercolor or other media that is messy.

Stamps: Small word stamps are from Carolyn’s Stamp Store, other stamps are from 7gypsies.

Here are links to other products you can use for this project:

Binding Rings

Long Fasteners (Brads)