18th Birthday Altered Book

Hello! Tami Sanders here with a special project to share with you.

My oldest son recently turned 18 and I wanted to make him something special for this very special birthday but I wasn’t sure what. While perusing some of the latest posts here on the TCW Blog, I noticed Lydell’s post for CALENDAR CARDS. Her neat handprinted dates paired with multiple TCW stencils gave me an idea.

I design lots of altered books so I decided to make one for my son featuring 18 pieces of “life advice” that I would like to pass along to him.

I “rescued” a book doomed for the trash bin; it was a hundred year old book that had been VERY MUCH used and abused in an english class. I embellished the cover with gears as my son is into steampunk…

tcw - drews altered book wm

I know – there isn’t any stenciling on the cover, but I ASSURE you, there is a LOT of stenciling going on inside! I liked the art on the cover and didn’t want to cover it entirely.

I selected a set of ColorBox Mix’d Media Inx to use; I wanted to use pigment inks as they are creamy and blend nicely on paper. And although I was wanting a variety of colors on each page, I also wanted the book to look cohesive. Limiting myself to a set of colors helped me achieve this.

I started with the inside covers…

tcw - drews altered book - end papers cu wm

…using several colors of ink and TCW262S Gears 6 X 6 stencil to echo the gears on the the cover…

The Crafter's Workshop - 6 x 6 Doodling Templates - Mini Gears

Then I randomly pulled a BIG stack of stencils to use as I wanted each set of pages to have a different set of designs. I only used portions of each stencil, moving them around the pages to transfer the design to different areas. For those pages that had a definite theme, I used stencils that I thought represented the them…

tcw - drews altered book - 1 and 2 wm tcw - drews altered book - 3 and 4 wm tcw - drews altered book - 5 and 6 wm tcw - drews altered book - 7 and 8 wm tcw - drews altered book - 9 and 10 wm tcw - drews altered book - 11 and 12 wm tcw - drews altered book - 13 and 14 wm tcw - drews altered book - 15 and 16 wm tcw - drews altered book - 17 and 18 wm

TCW480 Number Stencil was used to number each piece of advice. I outlined the numbers with a fine black pen, then scribbled inside the lines to partially fill them in…

Scrapbooking Die Cuts Crafters Workshop Number Template 12X12

I used portions of blank pages found in the book to write out my “advice”. I either wrote them in a block and cut it out or I wrote out phases and cut them out individually. Once they were pasted in the book, I outlined them to make them stand out from the page.

thanks for visiting the TCW Blog!



Tami Sanders


The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

Stencils & Doodling

Hello there! Today I´d like to share some cards with you, for which I used various stencils and doodling with a black and an white pen.

I first started by cutting some watercolor paper into smaller pieces and misted them with various spray ink colors (reds, greens and blues). After the first layer was dry, I added some Tarnished Brass Spray Stain here and there for additional detail.Sanna Lippert

Next I took out a black and a white pen and traced patterns thru stencils onto the background. I first just traced along the stencil pattern and then did some doodling inside the traced lines. This is how one of those backgrounds looks like.

Sanna Lippert

After that I went along and glued some of the finished backgrounds onto card bases and added some embellishments and a sentiment.



If you don´t like such a bold pattern, you can also just use bits and pieces of these papers, like I did on the next three cards. For these I just punched some stars/hearts/butterflies out of the doodled papers and glued them on their places. This results in a totally different kind of look.

Sanna Lippert

Sanna Lippert

Sanna LIppert

It was great fun creating these cards and playing around with the stencils. I hope you get inspired to try this idea out. Have fun!!!

The Crafter´s Workshop Design Team Member

Used materials:
White pen – Signo Uni-ball
Black pen – Schneider Xtra Document
Spray inks – Dylusions, Distress Spray Stain
Other – watercolor paper, card bases
Stamp ink – Hero Arts, Ranger Industries
Stamp – Technique Tuesday
Geometric Art Layers (6×6 inch) – The Crafters Workshop
Beaded Curtain (6×6 inch) – The Crafters Workshop
Kelp Forest (12 x 12 inch) – The Crafter´s Workshop
Chrysanthemum (6 x 6 inch) – The Crafter´s Workshop
Abstract Leaves (6 x 6 inch) – The Crafter´s Workshop
Four Ferns (6 x 6 inch) - The Crafter´s Workshop
Folk Art Flower (12 x 12 inch) – The Crafter´s Workshop
CafeLatte (6 x 6 inch) – The Crafter´s Workshop

Mixed Media Beach inspired board

Hi Everyone,

Beck BT back again with another share.  I was away on my holidays and our holiday got unexpectedly extended, well for the boys and I anyway… We have been having so much fun at the beach, that well I seem to now be doing through my ‘Beachy’ artistic phase LOL While we were away the Caravan park helped up out moving our caravan so that we could stay longer (I had no car for a week) so I thought it nice to give them a little something to brighten up their VERY new office as a way of saying thanks.

Beach canvas

The stencils I used on this board are these divine beach inspired stencilsTCW495SeaBubbles

TCW495 – Sea Bubbles 6 x 6″ stencil


TCW496s – Sea Creatures 6 x 6″ stencil

I have even created a short video for you showing you how I applied my stencilling to the background.  I just love layering different patterns and textures.  I teamed up the layering in the background with some carpet tape adding some great varied textures and patterns to the finished piece.

After I had my divine beach inspired base, I then embellished it in the main with products from Kaisercraft’s ‘Sandy Toes’ collection – it was just perfect!

Here is another detail picture so you can see all that lovely stencil texture!

Beach canvas detail 1

I hope you enjoyed my share today and are inspired by your surroundings as I was when I created this.

Happy Crafting!!
xxxBeck BT

Stencils & embossing

Hello there! Sanna here today to share a little start to finish video with you. I have used various 6×6 inch stencils on this layout and combined those with different embossing media. I hope you get inspired to try these techniques and create your own interesting background patterns!

And here is the finished layout:

Sanna Lippert

Now it´s your turn! Have fun creating!!

The Crafter´s Workshop Design Team Member

The Crafter´s Workshop stencils: Texturized (12×12 inch), Viva La Art, Star Fall, Dash Circle Dash (6×6 inch)
Sticky Embossing Powder – Ranger Ind. Inc.
Distress Glitter – Ranger Ind. Inc.
Papers – 7 Dots Studio
Embellishments – 3rd Eye Craft
White Ink – Liquitex Titanium White
Oil Slick – Tattered Angels
Black and white pen
Aleene´s Tacky Glue

Giving the Gift of Art Journaling

Hello Creative Friends.

How was your holidays? Did you make it through or did you totally enjoy it? There is definitely a difference isn’t there?

Sometimes the holidays bring out the not so good parts of life and you have to decide whether to let it eat away at your soul or let it out.

Art Journaling is a great way to do that…slap paint on a page…write the words you would never say out loud…tear up pretty paper until it’s not so pretty anymore. Pour your emotions onto the page..rather than letting them weigh down your spirit.

Today, I want to share an art journaling piece I did recently for my 8 year old niece. Her parents are going through a rough patch and while she was at my house, it was obvious that she was struggling.

She kept asking about my art and I told her I had a piece to do for TCW…would she like to watch me make it? BOY…her eyes lit up! So she sat next to me and asked questions (and sometimes said “sorry…am I asking too many questions? LOL)

About half-way through it she asked “Can I have it?” I said “of course!” And if you’re like me…sometimes you sit down without a real plan and just see where things go. When she asked if she could have it, I instantly knew that I wanted to make her something that when she looked at it, she would have a visual reminder that I was there for her always.


I started with a clean sheet of white watercolor paper. Then I used the clear gesso through The Crafter’s Workshop Brick Stencil. To dry it, I hit it with my heat gun and allowed the gesso to bubble up to add extra texture.



I complete my background, I used 3 colors of spray ink from the Marion Smith Designs Color Lab: 

katies world

I mixed up 3 colors for this page: Cupcake, Sublime, and Cola.

Next, I layered an older TCW Flower stencil (so old…I can’t even find the name anywhere!) using Grey Faber-Castell gelatos and Ronda Pallazzari’s “Spinning Top” Stencil using Purple and Aqua Smooch by Clear Snaps.

Spinning Tops


I added some polka dot stamps using Ranger Archival Ink in Jet black, before sponging yellow acrylic paint through the “&” on Ronda’s “And So On” Stencil. (I used the leftover paint on the sponge to add some yellow to my edges as well.)



I outlined my “&” and my flowers with Faber Castell PITT Pens in white and black and highlighted my “&” with Faber Castell Gelato in white.

I finished my pieces with some black THICKERS from American Crafts that I outlined with my white Faber-Castell pen.

This piece will be going home with my niece tomorrow and I hope that it gives her peace and reminds her that she is loved and never alone. And I hope it reminds you too that YOU are never alone either.