Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hand Stitched Mini Art Journal by Cassandra DeGrace

Cassandra here, waving at you from Ontario, Canada. I am delighted to be kicking off the first guest designer post here at the Mini Album Makers Challenge. Today, I am sharing a tutorial on how to create a mini (3 x 4") multi surfaced hand stitched album.  The beauty of this album is that it can be used as a mini scrapbook or art journal alike. Your imaginative use of the various background surfaces and textures awaits.

To get started, gather a few supplies. I used:

  • text pages of an old recycled book, 
  • 90 lb cold press watercolor paper,
  • 140 lb cold press watercolour paper
  • burlap
  • waxed dental floss
  • a large embroidery or upholstery needle
  • paper piercer and foam pad

You really can use whatever you have on hand... replace burlap with canvas, recycled cloth, denim or felt... change the book text print for dictionary page or patterned paper... change the watercolour paper for cardstock... this really is a great album for using up supplies that you have and/or upcycling some materials readily available in your house.

1. Cut a variety of page pieces to 4"x6" size and fold each in half creating a crisp crease along the centre.

2. Compile them into an order of your choosing.

I went with...

  • 90 lb cold press watercolor paper,
  • top half of text page of an old recycled book, 
  • burlap
  • 140 lb cold press watercolour paper
  • bottom half of text page

3. Stack the pages together and place the pile face down on a foam pad and using a piercing tool, pierce holes evenly about a 1/4" apart through all 5 layers along the centre fold line.

4. Measure out a 26" piece of waxed dental floss, thread a large needle, and then begin stitching the spine using a backstitch* starting from the outside second hole from the bottom. Be sure to leave a 3 1/2" - 4" piece of floss hanging at the end to be used to tie the spine together at the end. Once through to the layers, come back to the outside through the bottom hole.

5.  Then go through the hole two up (which is the one above your original entry point) and then come back through your original hole from the inside. Continue using a backstitch until the spine is completely stitched.

* Backstitch diagram to help understand stitching sequence:

6. To finish it off, tie the two ends together along the centre.

7. The inside centre of the book stitches should look neat and tidy like this.

Close the book and you are ready to create with it!  Here is another look at my completed cover along with a collage of other completed pages from my album.  Click to enlarge.

Thanks to Autumn for having me as a guest. I really hope I have inspired you to give this simple textural mini album a try. I would love to see your version of it. Be sure to share your creation in the challenge link up here or at anytime down the road, share your project in the comment section below with a link. If you are on Instagram, you can always tag me @scrapsavvy.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Mini Album Tutorial by Nancy Wethington - September Simplicity

Hi Everyone. Nancy here with a simple mini from things I found in Nancyland.  First, I found this:

I love the old K&Co. papers and this collection from Brenda Walton is one of my faves.  The clipboard is also from my stash. I have no idea where that came from.  Here's a similar one you may want to try:

(found here: Funkie Junkie)

After measuring the clipboard, I wanted to use cardstock that was 8 x 8".  Scored and folded in half would allow the cardstock to be a perfect size for the clipboard.

1.  Cut 4 pieces of cardstock 8" X 8".
2.  Score on one 8" side at 4". Fold in half and set aside.

 3.  Create hinges: Cut 3 pieces of cardstock 8" tall X 1" wide. On the 1" side, score at 1/2".

4.  Apply score tape to each of the 1/2" sides but not over the fold.

5.  Working with one taped side at a time, apply one side of the score taped hinge to one side of the folded paper, matching folded edge of the hinge to folded edge of the cardstock.

6.  With the leftover 1/2" taped hinge, apply a second cardstock page to the hinge, matching the folded edge of the hinge to folded edge of the cardstock.

7.  Continue to do this until all folded papers are attached to each hinge. You've created a simple booklet.  Round the corners of each page at the top of the booklet.

You could keep your booklet just as it is, but I love pockets. So let's do a bit more.

8.  Cut 14 pieces of cardstock 3.75" x 1". Score each on the 1" side at 1/2". These will become additional hinges.

9.  Apply score tape to each 1/2" side without covering the score line. Miter the corners of each end of these hinges. (The corners are mitered to make anything pulled in and out of the pocket run smoothly.)

10.  Add one hinge to each side of the pages of the booklet - one on each end with the folded edge of the hinge facing out.

11.  Remove the tape and fold up the page prior to the score taped hinge.

12.  Repeat until all pages are hinged together on the side, creating 8 pockets.

Now to decorate and add to the clipboard.
First, I stain the chipboard with TH Black Soot Stain. For those places hard to get to, I add stain to the craft mat and paint it on.

Next, choose your favorite paper and cut a bit less (about 1/4") than the chipboard. Round the corners, ink the white core edges and apply to the chipboard with wet glue.

Do the same with the front cover of your booklet/pocket book.

Add embellishments to the front of the pocket mini.  Create dimension by using Crafty Foam Tape (or similar), heavy chipboard and layering.


Here are a few things I did to the front of the clipboard pocket mini.  Add heavy chipboard to layer papers and embellishments.

Add inserts to each pocket.

Add Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts (Victorian Corners IIstained with TH Black Soot and use as staggered pocket insert pulls.

I also added Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts to the front of the album.  These are the newest embossed keys and locks from Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.

Because they're cut by a laser, there's *soot* on the top of each.  Take it away without harming the embossed design with a piece of tape.  Dab the tape on and off the top of the laser cut.  The embossed design will show thru beautifully.

More Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts corners.  These are art deco corners with Sparkle & Sprinkle Sandstone Embossing Powder.

Thanks for sticking with me on my first tutorial for Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog.  Hope you enjoyed it.  See you next month, Nancy Wethington

You have just over two weeks left to play along in our September challenge.  We can't wait to see what you come up with!  One lucky winner will receive this amazing collection of stamps and stencils from our sponsor Seth Apter.  

Friday, September 1, 2017

Mini Album Makers Challenge Blog Launch!

Greetings makers!  It is with great pleasure that I officially launch the first ever challenge at the Mini Album Makers Blog.  The blogosphere has been sorely lacking a challenge that focuses on book arts, but that day has ended!  Helping us celebrate our grand launch today is bookmaker extraordinaire, the one and only Seth Apter.

Seth's books are truly phenomenal and inspiring to us all!  He loves incorporating found and vintage elements in his work and does so in such clever, artistic ways.  Working on a small scale is a recurring theme throughout his pieces, but always with big impact.  He teaches classes worldwide and sells instructional DVDs through links found on his blog sidebar.  Do check those out.  Seth has graciously offered to sponsor this month's prize with the package below.  The prize includes three stamp sets and three stencils - wow!  Thank you Seth!

For more information visit Seth's social media links:

Now onto our follower's giveaway winner.  We had well over one hundred followers join us these first few weeks!  The $25 gift voucher to the Funkie Junkie Boutique goes to Margaret Misfud
Congratulations!  Please email me at to claim your prize.

Thanks to each of you for your overwhelming response thus far!  I am so pleased to have found such an amazing group of talented book artists to form our design team.  We are committed to teaching and creating community with book artists through this blog.   Without further ado, let me introduce to your the team and their beautiful work...

I hope this has whet your appetite with inspiration and you will play along with our challenge, which ends at midnight on September 30.

Our challenge follows a few simple rules:
Enter any form of handmade book, including mini albums, scrapbooks, journals and other book arts.  Our focus is on completed works, so no individual layouts or spreads that are not part of a complete handmade book.  You do not have to provide a tutorial, but we wish you would.  Feel free to use one of the DT tutorials to make your project and give proper credit where due.  No back linking allowed.  Share the love by visiting and commenting on other entries.  Please become a follower and show our team some love as well.  That's it - have fun!  One random entry will receive this month's sponsored prize.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter