Hi, friends! Is it really time for another Crafty Secrets Linky Party? It doesn’t seem possible, but I look at my calendar and see that this is indeed, the first Monday in October, so it is time to play. The design team will be sharing tutorials and projects this month featuring fall and Halloween themed projects on our blogs. You can hop from blog to blog for inspiration and tips on using your favorite vintage images from Crafty Secrets. Then, visit the Crafty Secrets Heartwarming Vintage blog and link up your new fall/Halloween themed project made primarily with Crafty Secrets supplies. Sandy, the owner of Crafty Secrets, is so generous: each person who plays along will be given a $6 credit at the Crafty Secrets online store. But that’s not all: one lucky name will be randomly drawn to receive a $50 credit. That’s a lot of fun shopping! So, before I share my faux leather Gratitude Journal tutorial with you, let me give you the links to the other gals on the design team.
- Vicki Chrisman Team Leader
- Michele Kovack – See 280+ Gallery!
- Darlene Pavlick
- Melissa Bove
- Rebekah Faries
- Sheila Rumney
- Kathy Clement
- Elizabeth (I love rubber) on Splitcoast
Faux Leather Gratitude Journal Tutorial
Before we get started, I will tell you that there are a lot of photos, and a ton of steps for this tutorial. You may want to go get yourself a cuppa of something tasty to drink and a snack before we get started. Go ahead…I’ll wait for you….Ready? OK! All the images and papers for this project came from the Crafty Secrets Digital Thanksgiving Collection and Autumn Blessings Heartwarming Vintage Cuts. The Thanksgiving collection is brand new, and available for immediate download for just $10.99. The Autumn Blessings Vintage Cuts have been marked down to just .75 cents!
A couple of years ago, I noticed a trend on Facebook for celebrating the month of November as a month of gratitude. I love this idea, and it was wonderful to read day by day the things that my friends were thankful for. The only problem is Facebook is a very temporary platform. I mean, have you ever tried to go back and find a post that you liked yesterday, only to search in vain? With Thanksgiving approaching, I thought it would be really nice to have an actual journal where I could record a short entry each day of something I’m thankful for. And, if I could include pockets for photos or recipes or little mementos …that would be even better. And, if there was room in that same journal to write down lists or notes, that would be super. So I went to work, designing the features I wanted in my gratitude journal.
Step 1: Eat Your Cereal
Trim off one edge of the box, and cut it down so that each side measures 4 1/2 inches by 6 5/8″ . You want your spine to measure 2″ in width. Conveniently, this box measures that exactly, which gives me a pre-scored spine.
It will take more than one coat of the ink to completely cover the writing on the front of the box. Just be sure to let each coat dry before adding the next coat. It doesn’t take long. Be very careful if using a heat gun…alcohol inks are flammable. Keep it a good distance away from the surface and keep the nozzle moving. Or, just be patient.
Sprinkle with clear embossing powder, tap off the excess, and heat set. Repeat this process on the back cover. When you are done, your cardboard cereal box will look like old leather…and it feels really neat, too!
Create your inner pages
Use sturdy 8 1/2×11 cardstock to print out your selected pages from the Thanksgiving Collection. I printed each page, flipped it over in the printer and then printed the backside with a complimentary pattern. (I used Stampin’ Up Ivory Naturals cardstock because it has a vintage look to begin with, and it takes the printer ink really well.) You are going to need 5 sheets of double-sided printed paper and one sheet of single sided printed paper to line the inside of your book.
Select your liner paper, and cut two panels, each 4 1/4″ x 6 1/4″. Ink the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink and use strong white glue or double sided tape to secure to your inside covers.
I had some old pages from a day timer journal that were the perfect 4×6 1/4″ size for the inside pages, but you could easily cut sheets of cardstock or notebook paper to this size. You’ll need 35 sheets, divided into 5 “bundles”. Cut your double-sided paper as follows: 5 rectangles cut to 4 1/4″ x 6 1/4″ and 5 rectangles cut to 4″x 6 1/4″ . You’ll also need five 1″ x 6 1/4″ strips for binding.
I used a very thin bead of white glue down the far left hand side of each piece of paper to create a sort of mini pad. Remember: you will have 7 sheets of this paper in each bundle. I used double stick tape on the 1″ x 6 1/4″ binding piece and scored each piece at 1/2″. I peeled the tape away and bound each bundle.
Adding the covers to the bundles:
Once you have your 5 little bundles completed, it is time to add the covers. Score each 4 1/4″ x 6 1/4″ rectangle at 1/4″ and again at 1/2″. This will be the front cover and hinge for your journal.
Use 1/8″ red line tape along the front edge of your paper bundle. If you look where the pencil is pointing, you’ll see where I added the tape. Peel off the liner, and very carefully line up the scored cover so that the edges of the cover match up with the white corners of the bundle. You’ll have a 1/2″ overhang on the bound side of your bundle. This is what you want. Press down to seal. Repeat this process on the back of the bundle, adding the matching 4″ x 6 1/4″ rectangle to complete the bundle.
Decorate the front of each bundle using images from the Autumn Blessings Vintage Cuts. Place a quote about gratitude inside the cover. Then line the back side of the 1/4″ overhang with double stick tape and carefully stick it down onto the accordion fold. It will look like this. Flip the bundle to the backside and add a pocket.
I had smallish brown paper bags that were the right width, but too tall to fit in the book. So I cut them down to the right height, sewed up the bottom seam, and folded over the flap. I used a glue stick to adhere these to the back of each bundle.
Decorating the cover….almost finished!
I printed out a 4 x6 image, treated it with the cracked glass technique and then tore around the edges. I inked the edges with black soot distress ink. I secured ribbon to the front and back of my journal with double stick tape. Do not use tape on the spine. I added one of Tim’s buckles to my image, and then popped the whole thing on with foam tape. Finished. And now, for the pictures:
Here’s a view of the outside and the inside of the journal. Plenty of room to record your blessings. Imagine your grandchildren coming across this in years to come and reading your expressions of gratitude, written in your own hand. It gives me chills just to think about it.
So, there you go, friends: my Faux Leather Gratitude Journal is complete. If you are still with me, thank you. I know this was a long post, but there were a lot of details to share. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. It’s always hard to translate a project like this onto paper. I hope you were inspired to create your own Gratitude Journal. I always say that thankful people are the happiest people in the world. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment…they make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers. Until next time,