WHEN CARDBOARD MET GESSO – A HANDMADE JOURNAL

Hello folks, Nancy here, and welcome to a tutorial for a handmade art journal using corrugated cardboard, ephemera and a number of great new stencils from The Crafter’s Workshop.

I’ve recently learned that the combination of corrugated cardboard and white gesso is a match made in heaven. The contrast of the brown with white and the chalky gesso with the texture of the cardboard is divine!

Open art journal with cardboard pages LEFKO

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

Supplies Used:

TCW713s 6″ x 6″ Birds on Branches stencil

TCW662 12″ x 12″ Tile Mania stencil

TCW684s 6″ x 6″ Bird Gathering stencil

TCW2144 6″ x 9″ Tree of Life stencil

TCW716s 6″ x 6″ Four Feathers stencil

TCW701s 6″ x 6″ Have Faith stencil

TCW622s 6″ x 6″ Mini Time for Love stencil

TCW658 12″ x 12″ Jungle Vines stencil

TCW659s 6″ x 6″ She said Yes stencil

TCW664 12″ x 12″ Bird Houses stencil

TCW White Gesso 

cardboard: corrugated, lightweight

TCW Matte Gel Medium

quick dry adhesive, glue stick

assorted ephemera: vintage copies, envelopes, tags, library circulation cards, decorative paper

fabric: muslin, Osnaburg cotton

paintbrush

foam spouncer/applicator

sewing machine & black thread

tea-dyed cheesecloth

masking tape

twine

TCW Heavy Body Paint – Black Licorice

alphabet rubber stamp set

fluid chalk ink: chestnut roan

Staz-On ink: jet black

black snaps, rusted washer, mini Scrabble letters

waxed linen cord

yarn darner needle

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Cut corrugated cardboard into five 6″ x 8″ pieces and fold into 4″ x 6″ “signatures.” Apply white gesso in select areas with paintbrush.

Apply TCW white gesso to cardboard LEFKO

Arrange ephemera and fabric on journal page, adhering with a glue stick for the papers and gel medium for the fabrics. Add stencils as desired. Make sure to mask off unwanted areas with masking tape and use foam applicator with Staz-On ink through stencil. Add rubber stamped text, if desired.

TCW713s stencil and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

Stitching randomly on the fabric (before adhering) adds interest to the page.

TCW713s stencil and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

TCW713s stencil and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

TCW713s stencil and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

TCW716s stencil and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

Collaged elements with TCW713s on art journal page LEFKO

Sometimes just the addition of a stenciled word…”truth”…can add so much to a journal page.

TCW701s stencil and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

Stamping a message on mini-tags and hanging from twine adds interest, especially when backed by tea-dyed cheesecloth.

art journal spread with TCW684s stencil and ink LEFKO

TCW701s stencil and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

TCW701s stencil and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

 A simple numeral, stenciled onto muslin and stitched, adds a nice element to the page.TCW622s and TCW684s stencils and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

TCW713s stencil and collaged elements on journal page LEFKO

On an open journal spread create an overall background pattern with Tile Mania stencil and ink. Add a library pocket and card and embellish with a bird in flight stencil. Tea dyed cheesecloth adhered with gel medium, plus a stamped sentiment, completes the spread.

TCW662 and ink for art journal page background LEFKO

TCW684s stencil on library envelope LEFKO

Using fluid chalk ink through a text stencil creates an interesting background on the simple, gessoed cardboard. The addition of feather stencils and cloth makes a striking arrangement.

TCW659s and fluid chalk ink LEFKO

TCW716s on art journal page LEFKO

  TCW Black Licorice heavy body acrylic paint, applied with a foam spouncer, works wonderfully well with stencils. Very little paint is needed to achieve a strong result.

TCW664 stencil and TCW black licorice acrylic paint LEFKO

TCW664 stencil on cardboard with TCW black licorice acrylic paint LEFKO

TCW2144 stencil and black licorice acrylic paint LEFKO

TCW2144 stencil with TCW black licorice acrylic paint LEFKO

Cut two copies of vintage text into 4″ x 6″ pieces and apply TCW Black Licorice paint through Jungle Vines stencil. Use these as end papers adhered to the inside front and back of the cardboard journal cover. The cover is created from cereal box cardboard, utilizing the side of the box as a spine and double thickness for strength.

TCW658 stencil and TCW black licorice paint for end papers LEFKO

TCW658 stencil and TCW black licorice paint for end papers LEFKO

 Add a final quote to the last end paper.Add quote to back end paper with TCW658 stenciled background LEFKO

With gel medium, adhere Osnaburg cotton to the spine of the journal cover. Let dry.  Bind the five “signatures” into the cover using waxed linen cord and a long stitch. (Tutorials for this stitch can be readily found online.)

Bind journal with waxed linen cord and long stitch LEFKO

Bind journal with waxed linen cord and long stitch LEFKO

Embellish corrugated cardboard with lightweight cardboard (gessoed & inked), fabrics, cheesecloth and rusty washer and adhere to the journal cover “base” with quick dry adhesive, slipping twine between the layers to act as a tie. Add gessoed corrugated cardboard to back and add twine also.

completed art journal LEFKO

completed art journal LEFKO

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial for a handmade journal and see how the fabulous stencils from The Crafter’s Workshop can take cardboard from basic to beautiful.

Thanks for visiting!

Nancy Lefko

The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

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