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Altered Book Project Part 2 – Creating a Craft Journal

This article continues from Creating an Art Journal where I cut in half an A3 thick sketchbook and used one half to create an A4 size art journal and am now using the other half to create an A4 size craft journal.

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I so often have filled countless sketchbooks/notebooks with little craft design snippets, sketches and thoughts that seem to be scattered all over the place, I now wanted to have a handy book where I can gather all this info in one place, thus think this will do just the job. So here is how I finished the craft journal …

Materials used for this project:

1 – 12×12” squared design scrapbook paper, Dynamic Duo by Stacy Clair Boyd
2 – 12×12” painterly effect scrapbook papers, 1 blue, 1 pink
1 – 12×12” lilac swirl effect scrapbook paper
1 – 12×12” lilac scrapbook plain paper
2 cardboard letters i.e. C and J covered with some metallic blue paper
2 cardboard fold outs, green and purple
Craft wire in metallic blue and metallic purple
2 metallic stick on flowers
2 purple or lilac metallic cardboard strips
2 green A5 cards

Scissors, craft knife, double-sided craft tape, 4 foam sticky craft pads, spray craft glue.

Time: Took about an hour to assemble and cover the book then a day or two to let things dry before using the journal

Now to setting up the design …

Step 1 – Setting up the design

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For the craft journal I decided on a nice painterly blue and a coloured square paper with coordinating blue squares. I positioned and loosely laid the painterly blue paper such as to cover the binder part and half-and-half the front and back covers. I then laid the squared paper diagonally over the remainder of the front cover, slightly overlapping the blue paper.

Then from this I left one square on all edges (i.e. top, bottom and side) to overlap to the inside of the front cover, and cut away the remainder. Then I cut diagonally in a 45 degree angle across the squares at the top and bottom corners.

Note: In hindsight I should have probably left a bit more as later when I folded it over there was a small gap … or maybe I should have done the corner fold like I did for the Art Journal!

Next I cut out the stepped triangular pattern (i.e. removing half triangles) along the edges overlapping the painterly blue paper. Now I was ready to start adding the cover …

Step 2 – Adding the Front Cover

After marking out the position for the binder on the back of the painterly blue paper I applied some spray craft glue to the back of it and stuck this down to the outer cover, pressing firmly in place. Then like I did for the Art Journals I slit the paper to the binder seam with a scissors and folded it over to the inside cover both, back and front, top and bottom.

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Next I applied spray craft glue to the back of the cut out squared paper, positioned and stuck this firmly down to the front cover. Opening the cover I then folded over the remainder to the inside cover.

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Note: see the gaps … lesson learned!

Step 3 – Adding the Back Cover

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For the back cover I wanted to have a nice deep strong pocket to store things. So placed some double-sided craft tape to the remaining space on the back cover and took a plain sheet of plain lilac scrapbook paper and positioned this to cover the remaining space ensuring I centred it height wise. Then opening the back cover, I laid some more double-sided tape to the top and bottom edges of the paper.

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Removing the backing of the tape, I folded over the top and bottom of the lilac paper, wrapping and folding it firmly against the cover edges.

After placing more double-sided tape along the full length of the top and bottom of the back cover through to the end of the lilac paper and some along the length of the binder edge, I placed a sheet of pink painterly effect scrapbook paper to cover the entire inside of the back cover and trimmed away any remainder of the pink paper.

I then folded the remaining lilac paper over the pink paper to form a pocket. Next I turned my attention to the inside of the front cover …

Step 4 – Inside Front Cover

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Like the back I wanted to have another deep wide pocket at the front to store things. With the remainder of the pink paper there was enough to cover about a third of the inside of the front cover. So I stuck this down with double-sided craft tape aligning it with the top edge. I then measured up some swirls effect lilac paper with it slightly overlapping the pink paper, then cut and taped this on three sides (bottom and both sides) and stuck this down also.

Then I thought it would be nice to add some small storage pockets to hold those little bits …


Step 5 – Adding some Small Pockets

I had some folded brightly coloured green cards that coordinated with the colours in the squared paper and decided to use these with some coordinating metallic strips and the remainder of the cut out squared paper to make some small pockets.

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I wanted the pockets to be different but similar in design. So for the first one I decided to add a ‘V’ fold about 1cm in depth (as shown above). This way one side of the folded card would be shorter than the other and form a bit of an expanding pocket. I then place double-sided sticky tape to the back of the longer side of the card and placed one of my metallic strips along the top, with the top edge of the card running about halfway along the back of the strip.

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Turning it over I then trimmed any extra of the metallic strip with a craft knife. Then fold the two sides of the card together to form the pocket.

For the second pocket I kept things a little simpler by just folding over the outer edge of one side of the card to the front (showing the white background) and stuck the two sides together by placing double-sided tape to the back of the shorter side.

I then placed the metallic strip on the higher, back side of the card as I had done for the first one. I then cut out some triangular designs from some remaining squared paper and stuck these with double-sided tape to each of the card pockets and attached the pockets to the front inside cover pocket again with double-sided tape.

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To finish the back cover I had some square paper left, so cut out another stepped triangular design and attached this using spray craft glue to the back cover overlapping the blue paper, and aligning to the centre and edge of the lilac paper.

Now to finish the front cover …


Step 6 – Finishing the Front Cover

To finish off the front cover I had some coordinating stick on flowers, cardboard foldouts with rounded corners and a moth and flower design, some craft wire and large cardboard letters which I covered with some matching metallic paper, craft glue and cut out with a craft knife.

Note: Ooops … seemed to have lost some pictures on making the cardboard letters … not to worry I have previously done this for a card I made last year so will add a link to it later.

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I began by positioning and sticking the opened cardboard foldouts with double-sided tape. I then attached the cardboard letters ‘C’ and ‘J’ to start the words Craft and Journal.

Then I tackled bending the wire to form the rest of the letters for the words i.e. ‘raft’ and ‘ournal’ as best I could, working from the first letter to the last, and ensuring they fitted into the remaining space.

TIP: For the ‘r’, ‘t’ and ‘f’ letters I had to bend and cross over the wire. The wire was easy enough to work with my hands but for some of the tighter bends used the handle of a small paintbrush to bend and fold the wire.

I then used silicone glue to attach the wire lettering to the cardboard foldouts.

TIP: Be sure to add plenty silicone glue to allow the wire to sit in it and remove any excess with a dampened craft knife before it sets.

I finally positioned and stuck on the flowers. I put the journal aside in a safe place for a day or two to let the silicone glue dry … then my craft journal was ready for me to use.

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