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

4 thoughts on “18th Birthday Altered Book

  1. What a great idea. Inspirational quotes would be another idea. Like the way you limited yourself to one set of inks to keep each page cohesive even though you used loads of stencils. Brilliant!

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