I recently made some abstract painted backgrounds for a class I’m going to be teaching at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts. I will be demonstrating how to make mixed media pages for journaling with acrylic paint, watercolor paint, assorted markers and Fiskars gel pens. I embellished my sample pages further with decorative scrapbooking paper, stickers, paper tape and rubber stamps. The binding rings I used in these samples are by 7gypsies.
I hope these samples inspire you to take a class with JoAnn or experiment with mixed media journal and planner pages on your own!
Paper crafting supplies include things you use in scrapbooking, rubber stamping, journaling, card making, planners and more. Paper craft companies make coordinated lines of products that are designed to look great together. Recently I made samples for a promotion at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts in which I used only products sold in their store. Within that criteria I did a little mixing of brands. I’m continuing to work on the journal prototype because I’m still having major fun with it. I’m developing some templates to help combine the Heidi Swapp journaling products I was demonstrating with making a custom planner. I’m bringing in more product that I already own from other brands. It’s challenging to get the different product lines to harmonize together but it’s satisfying and fun too. I’m getting some results that please me, anyway!
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
Self-healing cutting mat
Metal ruler Bone folder/burnishing tool
Clean scrap paper
Awl or needle tool
Small hole punch Brads
Heavy thread or lightweight cord
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).
5. Fold and glue two more 4.75 inch pieces to the edges (see B on template).
6. Fold and glue 8.5 x 1 inch pieces to top and bottom edges (see C on template). Burnish all well.
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.
9. Cut out front and back pocket pieces, fold in tabs and tape in place with double-sided tape.
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.
In my tutorial “Scrapbooking My Way on the Highway” I explained why I chose an 8.5 x 11 inch page format for my Route 66 scrapbooks and described how 3-ring binders help me to arrange my photographs by geographic order rather than time order. I’ve taken a lot of Route 66 trips and plan to do more in the future, so I like to be able to insert pages from the same area next to pages from an earlier trip. This practice helps me to learn the geography of the road and to document how it changes over time.
When you mount standard-sized photos on an 8.5 x 11 inch page, you are left with a lot of empty areas to fill. This is not necessarily a bad thing because as a result there is ample room on the pages for journaling and small ephemera. Lately I’ve been experimenting with another way to fill those empty spots – with small photos.
There are online companies that specialize in printing 2 x 2 inch photos from your social media accounts. I decided to try out the services of Social Print Studio to see how such photos look in my existing albums.
In the image at the top of this article, I have mixed the white-bordered 2 x 2 prints from Social Print Studio with standard sized-photos on two scrapbook pages that show places and events in the Lebanon, Missouri area. I’m really happy with the results – these small photos really help me use the space more efficiently and the white borders look terrific on colored cardstock.
I also tried using Photoshop to make montages of photos for printing in a 4 x 6 format. This is a great way to print photos from social media that are not of a high enough resolution to print in a standard size. The tiny photo at the lower left was taken from Facebook. Yes it’s small but it’s better than not having it at all! This is a great way to obtain a bunch of small photos to fill in gaps for a very reasonable price! Just cut the montage prints apart and fit the tiny photos in among the larger photos.
The image below shows two more pages that utilize the 2 x 2 photos from Social Print Studio. I like to mix emphemera in my albums and I have a lot of brochures and brochure-sized items displayed in pockets. On an 8 x 11 inch page, after I install the pocket there is no room for a standard sized photo but as you can see there is room for 6 small photos!
Last night I listened to a really fun and informative podcast by The Scrap Gals on the topic of Memory Planners – using a planner to help stay organized and also save as a scrapbook-like keepsake with photos, decorative papers and all kinds of other fun things that we associate with scrapbooking. I’ve saved old planners or calendars on occasion because the records in them really bring back vivid memories. Memory planners are a really great idea but I don’t anticipate having the kind of time to exploit the idea to the fullest.
One idea on the podcast that really had me intrigued was the idea of combining an art journal with a planner. This got me thinking. I have kept sketchbooks since 1985 and I’ve saved all of them. They have a lot of thumbnail sketches and notes about future projects in them, and occasionally other things that get in there because it’s the handiest blank paper around – supply lists, to-do lists, hours that I’ve worked for various clients to be transferred to electronic records later, web site notes, class notes, things like that.
A sketchbook could incorporate aspects of a planner. I have rubber stamps in my Carolyn’s Stamp Store collection with months, years, and days of the week – designed for memory crafts, but adaptable for making a planner too. I also have several sets of letter and number rubber stamps and stencils from other companies, some are even vintage. Along with my rubber stamps, I got out a pencil and ruler and started playing around with page layouts.
I used the wall calendar that I keep in my office as a reference and filled in the first two weeks. On this first attempt I tried to include 14 days per 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook page. Some good things were happening, but I decided that I needed more room for each day. As a result I came up with this second layout:
This is the layout I’m going to stick with for awhile. The month, day and year stamps are from my own Carolyn’s Stamp Store. The large numbers are from ‘Lil Davis Designs and the pointing hand and ruled lines stamp are from 7gypsies. A page like this is quick to throw together. My stamping got a little sloppy there on the numbers but this is pretty much for my eyes only so it’s not a big deal. My plan is to add a new week as needed wherever the next blank page happens to fall in my sketchbook. I’ll write in things like work schedules and appointments and also make a brief note about what I did that day. I went through my rubber stamp collection and picked out ones I thought suitable for journaling and put them all together in a bin with the inks I used on this page so they’ll be handy when I need them.
I’m looking forward to this new way of getting organized and recording my activities. When this sketchbook is full, I may switch to a 3-ring binder and put 8.5 x 11 inch sheets of drawing paper in it, with the flexibility of adding additional pages wherever I want of any kind of paper or cardstock if I want to expand the memory aspect of the planner/sketchbook combo.