3×3 Challenge: Graphic 45 Nature Sketchbook Correspondence Kit
Hello, G45’ers! Graphic 45’s Nature Sketchbook has become one of my all time favorite paper collections. Today, I’ve used it to create this Nature Sketchbook Correspondence Kit for the 3×3 challenge at Graphic 45.
What’s the 3×3 Challenge?
Let me explain. As a fun new twist for all you fabulous G45’ers, Graphic 45 calls out 3 Brand Ambassadors each month. We are assigned the same 3 crafty items to work with and told to create something to inspire your creativity. So I’m up on the G45 Blog today along with fellow Brand Ambassadors Alexandra and Nico.
We were asked to create with our choice of 8×8 papers, Staples Stamped Metal Brads and a Standard Black Book Box. A few “extra” supplies from our stash can be added to the basic 3 items, but the idea is to keep the supply list as short as possible. I found it to be surprisingly liberating to work with a more limited supply list, as it forced me to dig deep and be extra creative.
Nature Sketchbook Correspondence Kit
Did you know that handwritten notes are making a big comeback? Right smack dab in the middle of the age of technology, the handwritten note is a rising trend. Do a quick Google search, and you’ll find that both individuals and businesses are rediscovering the value of personalized, handwritten notes, This is great news for those of us who have always loved pretty stationery!
With this trend in mind, I set out to create an elegant boxed correspondence kit for the G45 3×3 July Challenge.
TIP: Coat the exterior of the box with a sealant to protect the patterned papers from spills or smears of jelly toast. I used Ranger Distress Collage Medium as it dries very quickly. The paper may bubble when the medium is first applied, but it will lay flat again if you leave it to dry overnight.
The Ribbon Closure: Tips and Tricks
After I covered the book box with Plant Kingdom and Verdant Woodlands paper, I needed to create a closure. Ribbon adds wonderful texture and pattern, so I decided to go in that direction.
- First, measure to find the middle of the book box cover. Place one line of 1/2 Scor Tape all the way around the front cover, spine and back cover at this middle point. Repeat with another line above and below this first one.
- Cut a 30″ long strip of 1.5″ Antique Gold Netting. Fold the ribbon to find the center.
- Remove the liner from the Scor-tape.
- Place the center point of the ribbon on the center point of the spine. Then press the ribbon in place. You’ll use the long tails to tie the bow.
- Place another strip of 1/2 Scor-Tape above and below the netting. Then add two strips of 1/2″ Moss Green/Cream Plaid Ribbon.
TIP: To keep cut ribbon ends from fraying, add a very small dot of Art Institute Dries Clear adhesive to the cut ends. Tap in with your fingers. The glue dries clear and will not discolor the ribbon, but will keep the ends from fraying.
Now that your ribbon closure is finished, you can go ahead and add fussy cut elements to the cover. This is the fun part!
TIP: Mat images on black cardstock to really make them pop!
TIP: Add foam dimensionals or waste chipboard between the layers to create depth and dimension.
Decorating the Spine
I dug into my stash of retired Staples Metals to find these lovely metal butterflies. First, I ran them through an embossing folder to add texture and design. Then I tapped them with Distress Paints in colors that complemented Nature Sketchbook. The bottom layer is flat, the middle layer has shaped wings and the top layer is made with one of the small butterflies. Layers are connected with a Staples Stamped Metal Brad, which fits perfectly through the opening in the center of the butterfly body.
Decorating the inside of The Nature Sketchbook Correspondence Kit
After covering the interior of the box with more beautiful 8″ x 8″ papers, I got to work on creating the correspondence kit. Lined envelopes, note cards and a handy address book are housed within.
Store chic lined envelopes inside this improvised pocket page. First, score an 8″ x 8″ piece of Nature Sketchbook to fit the cover liner. Then, fold the extra piece of paper to form a sort of pocket. Next, secure black and white houndstooth ribbon to the back side of this mechanism. Finally, wrap the loose ends around the mechanism and tie a bow to create the closure.
TIP: To create elegant lined envelopes, trim designer paper about ⅛” less than the width of the opening. Then slide the cut paper into the envelope to make sure it fits well and adjust if necessary. Next, round the top corners with a ¼” corner rounder. Finally, with the paper inserted in the envelope, mark the fold line, score, and glue in place.
Follow a Recipe!
Use the same “recipe” when making a set of note cards:
- First, create four 4.25″ x 5.5″ kraft cardstock bases.
- Next, cut four pieces of ladybug paper to measure 4″ x 5.25″.
- Cut four pieces of black cardstock to measure 4 1/8″ x 5 3/8″.
- Now mat the ladybug print on the black cardstock.
- Trim four strips of Wildflower Bouquet to measure 2.25″ x 5 1/8″ .
- Now cut four mats from black cardstock, and mat Wildflower Bouquet
- Next, cut four strips of Plant Kingdom to measure 1.5″tall x 4 1/8″ long.
- Then cut four 4″ strips of Olive Burlap Woven Ribbon.
- Now cut focals from Beautiful World. Mat on Black cardstock.
- Assemble card as follows
- Card base
- Black Mat
- Ladybug (Diary of a Botanist)
- Wildflower Bouquet
- Plant Kingdom Belly Band
- Olive Burlap Woven Ribbon
- Staples Stamped Brad
- Matted Card Focal
Using this assembly line method, you should have all 4 cards finished in about an hour.
Nature Sketchbook Correspondence Kit: Address Book with Stamp and Address Label Storage
First, I created a simple ring bound book cover with chipboard and “O” rings.
I altered this envelope with designer papers and Tropical Travelogue Alpha Stamps.
These address book pages have been in my stash forever. I designed the book cover to fit them.
This envelope is altered to hold address labels. The small policy envelope on the inside back cover provides a little extra storage spot. It also flips down. This way, you can add a small photo to the inside cover.
I had a blast creating this Nature Sketchbook Correspondence Kit for this month’s 3×3 Challenge at Graphic 45. I hope I’ve shared some tips and tricks that you can use in your own crafty adventures. If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Thanks for stopping by!