Project Art Journal: Page 2


After my flaming experience with Wreck This Journal, (See Ignite the Spark), I thought my days of playing with fire were over, but I was wrong.  It turns out a match is a fantastic craft tool for an art journal!  This week’s page utilizes a number of techniques, including singed edges and a little paper stitching.  I have to say this is one of my favorite pages!

Click for full-size image


  • card stock
  • pages from old travel books
  • crafter’s chalk (my favorite is Craf-T Decorating Chalk)
  • mini brads
  • rubber stamps (words or alphabet)
  • black ink pad
  • jewelry tube or bottle
  • metallic thread
  • match or lighter
  • marker
  • paper piercer
  • cross stitch needle
  • matte finish sealer (aerosol spray)
  • double-stick tape
  • Glue Dots

Layer 1: Foundation

Cut a piece of brown card stock into a square slightly smaller than the paper bag journal page.  Set it aside.

Layer 2: Background

The background for this page is created by using three pages from an old travel book.  I used pages from a 1999 tour book for Ireland.  Libraries and use book stores often have these obsolete editions for a bargain price (mine was $1).  The way I see it, the book may out of its intended use, but it still has a purpose in the craft world.

Use a foam applicator to smear chalk over each of the three travel book pages.  To create a textured look, vary the pressure used to spread the chalk.  Choose a color that has at least three shades in the palette.  I used three shades of brown that compliment each other and the card stock foundation.  Tip: Foam eye shadow applicators work really well with crafter’s chalk.  They are larger than the applicators that typically come in a set of chalk and they are inexpensive.

To seal the chalk, use a matte finish spray sealer, (an easy thing to find in the art section of most craft stores). Spray from at least 6 inches if not further to prevent moisture spots.

Once the pages are dry to the touch, grab a match or a lighter.  Very carefully, burn one edge on each page.  It only takes a few seconds so be ready to blow out the fire before it eats up the whole page.  Tip: Complete this step over the kitchen sink for quick access to water in case something goes wrong.

Use double stick tape to layer the pages one on top of the other, leaving about an inch and a half to two inches of space between each layer.  Be sure to arrange the layers so they will fit the width of Layer 1’s card stock square. Measure and cut the layers to a size that is a little smaller than the card stock square.  Attach Layer 2 to Layer 1.

Layer 3: Spiral Stitch

I used a stencil to create the spiral on this page, but it’s just as easy to free hand a design.  With a paper piercer poke a series of holes along the design as evenly as possible.  Eyeball the spacing between the holes to the size of a basic stitch.

Thread a cross stitch needle (with a thin eye) with metallic thread.  Push the needle up through the first hole and then down through the second, up through the third hold and back down into the second, then back up through the fourth.  Repeat this pattern for the whole design and tape the ends down on the back.  It takes a little time, but the result is worth the work. Tip:  Paper stitching is a lot like back stitching in cross stitch.

Choose a quote to incorporate into the spiral design and pencil it in before using a marker.

Layer 4: Embellishments

Pull another page out of an old travel book and chalk it up with a new shade.  Slice a strip off the page and cut it to fit the size of Layer 1.  Use rubber stamps to add words or phrases to the strip. Stick the strip down using double stick tape.

With a paper piercer poke holes along the strip and add mini brads.

The little tube along the right hand side is something I picked up in the jewelry/bead aisle at my local craft store.  Cut another strip from the last travel book page and stamp a new word or phrase. Roll it up and slide it into the tube, so the word is visible.  Secure the ends of the tube with small glue dots.

Attach the tube by tying metallic thread to the end loops, (leave long tails).  Lay the tube on the page and pierce holes through all layers at each end of the tube.  The thread should go right into the hole easily, but the cross stitch needle can also be used to pull the thread through.  Tape the ends down on the back.

Attach the whole thing to the paper bag journal page, using double stick tape along the edges and over any thread tails to keep them firmly in place.

Whew!  Sit back and enjoy your beautiful page.

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Next time, it’s all about collage and hardware.  Stay inspired!

c.b. 2011