I have been making a lot of junk journals lately and although I love making them I find something lacking in the repetative process. What is that something? Paper, paint and glue!!! I miss making a big mixed media mess. So I decided to make a master board with no end projects in mind but rather to let myself have some free play time.
First I just randomly glued papers to a large sheet of drawing paper. I also got out some tags to use up any leftover scraps. I even included some glittered tissue paper from wrapping Christmas gifts.
I chose a few colors of acrylic paint I thought would go well together’
I pretty much just scraped it here and there over the substrates with an old gift card.
The colors were too bright and garish for my taste so I toned them down with some white gesso. Then I splattered them with watered down paint for a fun effect.
I stamped over the painted with orange, black and white stencils.
When the master board was completely dry I added a few doodles with a fine tip black marker and a gold marker. I then used dies and punches to cut out all these mixed media elements that I will be able to use on upcoming projects.
Here are the finished tags I made using some of the pieces I cut from the master board and the matching tag bases.
I encourage you to make some master boards and have fun getting paint and glue all over your hands! You don’t have to think of how you will use them until a later date. As a matter of fact it would be great to have a stash of master boards on hand for when you get inspired to create with mixed media!
This is my sixth year keeping a December Daily. I have written posts about some of my previous December Dailies in the past but this is a new Christmas to document and I’m as excited as ever. Here are just a few quick pictures of my set-up.
I usually use old book covers for my December Dailies. The cute snowman image is a piece of a Christmas napkin I decoupaged to the front cover. If you want to decoupage a light-colored napkin, tissue paper or thin paper on a dark background you may want to paint a layer of white underneath. If I hadn’t painted white underneath this napkin I would have ended up with a light green snowman. I just painted a section white and dabbed the edges to soften them and somehow it just looks like snow around the snowman. Of course I added chunky glitter to make my snowman glittery!
I selected about forty assorted pieces of paper for the pages. Not all are scrapbook paper however, some are vintage Christmas cards, envelopes, Christmas book pages, Christmas carol pages, old advertisements, etc.. I like to document my entire December and not just through Christmas day. I’ve made sure I have enough “pages” to have at least one a day. Sometimes I may use two pages for one day if a lot was going on and some days I may only use one side of a page. If I don’t have enough pages I can always add more and if I have too many I can take some out.
After I’ve picked the papers I want to use, I spread them all out on the dining room table and then put them together in an order that is pleasing to me. When arranging the pages I consider color, size and type (such as book page or Christmas card) so I don’t have two of the same type near each other. I make sure my nativity pages are approximately around the 24th of December. I can always fine tune the location of pages as I go along.
I like to attach a small decorative paper bag to the inside of the back cover. That gives me a place to stash embellishments I want to use in the journal. When my journal is completed the bag gives me a place to put items I want to keep that didn’t make it onto a page.
I use O rings to keep my journal together. They allow me to make my journals good and chunky and give me the freedom to add or take out pages as needed. Sometimes I will remove a page to work on it if I’m going to use wet mediums like paint or spray ink.
So now that I’ve shown you my “naked” December Daily, I hope to post throughout the month and give you ideas and hacks for ways to embellish your own journal. Just keep in mind the rules for keeping a December Daily:
- There are NO rules
- Don’t stress if you can’t do it everyday. Maybe just keep track of the highlights
- There is no right or wrong way to keep a December Daily
- Don’t compare your journal with anyone else’s journal
- HAVE FUN!!!
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I decided to make heart embellishments out of burlap. The process was really easy, but I think they came out really well. Here’s the simple process.
Cut some ordinary burlap into smallish pieces. The bigger ones in the picture above measure about 6″ square.
I painted the burlap for interest as well as to keep it from fraying when I cut it into smaller shapes.
I cut the fabric into heart shapes. Some were cut with a die and others I free-handed.
Here’s the fun part! I took out a lot of my Valentine’s Day stickers, bling and graphics. I also took out some sequins and plastic flowers.
Here’s the finished heart embellishments.
I will use these little embellishments on cards, tags or gift bag toppers. I hope this has inspired you to get out some of that plain old burlap you have lying around and make some fun embellishments!
Most people who are in the arts and crafts or planner worlds know what a traveler’s notebook is. There are tons of videos and blog posts about how to set up your TN (traveler’s notebook). And what you use them for is only limited by your imagination. I have watched many YouTube videos showing pretty TNs filled with TN inserts and paraphernalia all which add up to the cost of a new car! I’m not kidding, the bare bones TNs, without inserts, sell from $30.00-$70.00. Yeah, I’m so not cool with that.
So I decided to make my own TN. Basically all they are is a piece of leather or vinyl and some elastic cord. So how hard could it be to make my own? Not hard at all. I used two pieces of sample vinyl wallpapers from one of those huge sample books. First I glued them backsides together so I have a pretty cover and inside. Then I followed a video detailing how to attach the elastic pieces.
This is what my bare bones TN looks like.
Okay, I know it doesn’t look great yet, but that is because I haven’t worked on any of the pages inside.
I am using my TN as a prayer and Scripture book. But if that’s not your thing, you can use them as day planners, art journals, junk journals, glue books, etc…
Here are some of the pages I’ve made for my journal. As my prayers are private, I photographed these pages before I wrote my prayers on them.
Traveler’s notebooks, however you deem to use them, are a great way to use your creativity as well as use your stash!
If you don’t already have a TN, check out some videos about them. I bet you’ll get hooked just like I did!
I have already started making junk journals and such for the upcoming Christmas season. Although I really don’t need a lot of ephemera to make new journals, I did want to beef up my stash a little bit. So I picked up some really cool stuff in the last couple of weeks and wanted to share it with you. So without any further ado, here’s the stuff I hauled.
Cool old books and magazines. The pictures in these books are fantastic!
More vintage books with great graphics.
This book is not that old but…
the inside is chock full of vintage street signs. These will also be great to use in my mixed media projects or as embellishments in my journals!
Two more vintage cookbooks, but check out the insides of these…
great pages for journaling. The top one gets extra points because it’s a binder!
Vintage wrapping papers and tissue papers, because the one huge box I already have is apparently not enough! Again, these can be used in junk journals or in mixed media.
Vintage kitchen labels, a note pad and vintage sewing supplies. These are great additions to junk journals.
A box crammed full of vintage matchbooks. The matches have already been taken out so these will make great tags and embellishments for my journals. This photo doesn’t show the quantity too well but there are at least 250-300 old matchbooks here!
And lastly, a yummy box of old ephemera. There are all kinds of receipts in this lot. Also included were some cards of vintage rickrack and some old pens, some of which are fountain pens.
So all in all, I feel well stocked for a while and am ready to get on with making the journals. If I remember, I’ll show you some of the finished ones.
It gives me a great feeling to know I can reuse these old treasures to make journals and mixed media projects people will enjoy. Recycling is always a win-win situation!
Okay, I know this is probably not a new idea, but this is the first time I actually tried making my own stickers. You can use any pre-made sticker blanks, varying the sizes and shapes to fit your projects. I used these round printable ones I got from The Dollar Tree.
I watched some videos on YouTube for inspiration. I used paints, sprays, stamps and ink, scraps of decorative papers, sequins and even tiny alphabet and word stickers to decorate the sticker blanks.
Here are some of the stickers I made.
Stickers, in general, are really inexpensive to buy. As an artist, I like to create as much of my own projects from scratch as I can, instead of relying on store-bought items. If you want specialty stickers, like inspirational ones, they are really quite expensive. Making your own allows you to customize them to fit every project perfectly while being unique and inexpensive!
P.S. Here are some laminated mixed media bookmarks I also made.
Last year when I was still permitting myself to buy art supplies, I ran across this little mixed media kit at Tuesday Morning. As you can see, the kit only cost me 99 cents.
I came across the kit again as I was tidying up my craft room and decided it was time to do something with it.
Here are the contents of the kit.
Because the pieces are so small, they lent themselves well to making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). Here are the ATCs I made.
Besides the cardboard used for the 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ bases, the only other items I used from my stash were rhinestones, brads, a few pieces of washi tape and of course, glitter glue! I hated the color of the bright green corrugated cardboard so I flipped it over and used the backside.
Challenging myself to use up some of my stash is always so much fun. These little ATCs took me no time at all and I used most of the elements in the kit. Why don’t you pull out 15-20 pieces of bits and bobs from your own stash and make your own kits to use and give away to your artsy friends. It’s a good way to use up older supplies and is guaranteed to spark some creative genius!!!
The Christmas holiday season is over and all the goodies are gone, including the 3 batches of Chex mix I made. So it’s time to say goodbye to the empty cereal boxes.
Some went the way of the recycling bin and others… well, they went the way of my craft room.
I cut a box into tag shaped pieces.
Then I covered one side with printed paper and the other side with plain white card stock.
I layered on pieces of different papers and sandwiched trims, pieces of paper doilies and snippets of tulle between the layers.
Here are the finished tags.
I didn’t buy anything for this project. I only used supplies from my stash. I think they turned out pretty well considering they started as waste.
I hope this inspires you to look in your recycling bin, pull something out, and use items in your stash to create something pretty and new!
I’m writing this post so that I will feel accountable for my next sentence. I am NOT going to BUY any new craft supplies in 2017 unless they fit the two specific criteria I have laid out here. First, I am ALLOWED to buy the NECESSITIES if I run out. By necessities, I mean things like paint, glue, artist pens and pencils, gesso, etc… Second, I CAN BUY art supplies if I find them ridiculously CHEAP at thrift shops, yard sales or flea markets. That’s it! I am not going to go to Tuesday Morning, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or any other store just to browse and see what they have. Browsing usually ends up costing me a lot of money!
So why am I making this bold statement? When I was crafting for Christmas, I found I had so many Christmas items in my stash that I didn’t need to go out any buy anything. I made lots of December Dailies, cards, tags and embellishments without purchasing a thing. The amazing thing is, I still don’t need to buy anything for next year either. I have so many supplies I’m drowning in them. Ditto for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer, Fall and you get the idea.
Now here’s where it hurts. I’m going to expose my shame and show you all the stuff I have to craft and make mixed media with. Ready?
Sadly, this is not all. There are some drawers in my studio and other places all over the house that have craft supplies in them. Now you can see why I don’t need to go shopping anytime soon. Everything I have I liked enough to purchase or save, so now it’s time to use it all up. I’m excited about the thought of actually having room to breathe in my studio.
Okay, so it’s confession time. I already did buy something this year. This is what I bought.
My justification is that they were cheap (only $1.00 each) and….
They are filled with pages and pages of these beautiful nature graphics! I can use these for so many projects.
So there you have it. I feel better after this photographic confession and goal for 2017. Hopefully you will be seeing a lot of posts showing the stuff I have been making.
If you feel like you’re suffocating in your supplies, or you want to save some money, craft from your stash and have fun with the supplies you already have on hand. Good Luck!
Okay, here is the last project I have for now that deals with using up your scraps of paper. This project is great for using long thin pieces of scrap paper, not tiny fragments. But the best part of this project is that you can use up some of your ugly papers!
My inspiration for this project came from this video:
First I selected my paper scraps, some ugly and some nice. The only requirement is that they be of the same thickness. You’ll want to cut your ugly papers into strips about 2 or 2 1/2 inches wide.
Here are my ugly strips.
Then you want to cut your nice strips into widths of varying widths also.
Here are my nice strips.
Now you will add any cheap glue to an ugly strip, making sure you’ve got good coverage.
Next, start laying your nice strips at a slight angle over the ugly strip.
Be sure your nice strips are covering the ugly strip and that they are lined up tightly against each other without any gaps.
Keep going until you have finish covering the entire length of your ugly strip.
This is what the back looks like.
Now trim off all the excess paper around the ugly strip. Most of these trimmed pieces will still be long enough to use again.
Cut the strips into lengths you like. I pretty much just cut each one in half, although I did to a little extra trimming off the top or bottom to achieve the look I wanted.
Cut the top corners off, punch a hole and insert cord or baker’s twine. Now you have unique tags!
They can even be topped off with the scrap embellishments you made from the directions in my last blog post.
I think these tags are such a great idea and each one will turn out differently. Again, you can make these crafts with any paper and any theme based on what scraps you want to use up.
I hope you will try these scrap projects I have posted lately. Not only are they using up scrap papers and saving you money, but they are so much fun.
When I come across other ingenious ways of using up scrap papers, I promise to share them with you!