Julia turned 16 – so I made her a book


I love all kinds of mixed media art, but lately I’m slightly obsessed by making books. I’ve made 5 or 6 this past year.

My most recent handmade book project was for my granddaughter Julia, who turned 16 in January. I wanted hers to be feminine with a vintage flair.

Here’s my process:

I started with a good quality heavy weight “toothy” paper. I used Mohawk via felt cool white 80 lb cover paper. But any heavy weight paper or cardstock will work.

Next comes paint. I picked a simple color scheme:

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Then I applied acrylic craft paints. Sometimes I squirt paint directly onto the paper and drag it with a plastic card.

This time I squirted and then brushed with a wet brush to give a modulated surface:

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I like an interesting background so I sprayed inks through masks, added papers using gel medium (like modpodge) and then stamped with some white paint.

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The colors turned out a little too bright for Julia’s style, so I “frosted” them by painting a diluted layer of gray or white paint over the pages.

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Finished backgrounds:

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Shaping the pages –  I used an old book kit I bought, along with some of my own ideas to cut the edges into fun shapes. Then I punched holes so I can bind the book with rings.

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I trimmed the pages to make graduated sizes.

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and then distressed and inked the edges.  You can distress by scraping the edges with a scissor blade or a distress tool.

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At this point, I had a nice blank book, ready to fill with photos.

I like to create fun ways to display multiple photos by folding paper, making pockets, etc. Here are some ideas:

The photos on this page unclip and open out

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Julia trading cards?

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These pictures flip down

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Embellish, embellish, embellish

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The finished book – happy 16th Julia!

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