Sunday 13 November 2016

Decorated notebook.....

....have to say I love the 8" scrapbooks you can get in Hobbycraft. Spiral bound, plain covers, decent weight paper inside, useful as scrapbooks, photo albums, art journals .......they're perfect for decorating! Had one of the Kraft ones sitting on the side and when I was doing some workshop prep the other day I thought I'd have a bit of a play :) So here's what I made, going to be a little 'just because' pressie for a friend.........
Took a few photos whilst I was making it so I could show you how I did it, just in case you fancy having a go.  Obviously wouldn't have to be on a book cover you could do the same thing on a canvas, box or even on a piece of card and mount it up onto a greetings card.

Right so first just to make life easier I carefully removed both covers, if you go gently you can do it without stretching the spiral binding too much and it certainly makes the decorating easier :) Then I grabbed a load of die cuts (from the Perfect Partner Time Traveller Range - All Geared Up and Make Time, from the Perfect Partner Country Cottage Range - Florists Friend and from the Perfect Partner Festive Fancies Range - Festive Ivy) and laid them on the cover, playing around with them until I found an arrangement I was happy with. Then I glued everything in place using tacky glue. Don't worry if your glue squidges out a bit because you're going to put a thin coat of gesso over everything so you won't notice it and its more important that everything is well stuck down. So now I had a front cover that looked like this....
and because it would have been rude to leave the back cover unadorned I popped a little decoration on there as well.....
Then I gave both covers a thin coat of white gesso and I wasn't precise with application just very roughly brushed it on. However try not to let the gesso pool around the die cuts too much or you will loose some of the texture. Next I brushed over with a very watery coat of brown aquatint; made from mixing a little of the red and green from the bright and beautiful set together. Now my secret weapon when I'm doing this type of thing is a baby wipe! After I've applied the colour I use it to soften the blend and remove areas of colour if needed.
I know it doesn't look terribly pretty at the moment but hey it's just the start! So lets get some more colour on and accentuate the texture by adding some shadows. Using the teal and the red colours from the bright and beautiful I mixed up a blue/purple colour and started to add some shadows around the edges and in between the die cuts.... 
Then it was just a case of building up more colour, even dribbling colour down in areas....was going for a shabby, distressed, vintage look so I really wasn't too precise! Mind you, you've probably noticed that!!
Also started to add colour to the greenery, wasn't bothering with the cogs etc because I was planning on getting the gilding wax on those......
Now gilding wax; I've used the Empire Gold and Antique Gold from Pebeo and if you haven't used this before......less really is more with this wonderful stuff! You really don't use or need a lot so go sparingly! Its far better to build it up slowly :) So I took it over the cogs and lightly over the leaves which highlights the embossed veining nicely which hopefully you can see in this picture..... 

Next I took some of the Pebeo gilding paste (the one in the little tube) and used it to outline some of the leaves then once the paste had gone clear it was ready for some gold foil. To finish off I stamped some wording (from the Time Traveller range) and then re attached the covers onto the spiral binding. A fun little project using a few simple techniques but creating a pretty (well I hope you think so) book. 

Thanks for stopping by
Donna x


  1. Beautiful Donna. I've bought notebooks to decorate for Xmas. Just need to find time xx

  2. Thanks for another very clear tutorial, Donna. I wish I could play with time to have more hours in the day!

  3. Lovely Donna. I have seen some of your lovely samples on tv. Great selection. Tracy x

  4. Absolutely gorgeous Donna, great little project xxx

  5. Love this piece Donna! Shabby vintage is my fav! X the foiled edges is a lovely detail! Xx


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