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.

24 comments:

  1. Cassandra, your little album has such a wonderful mix of textures, it immediately makes me want to hold and touch it! The cover is so beautifully striking and I just love the burlap page and the gorgeous rose design you created on it! A wonderful little album! Thank you so much for sharing with us. Anne xx

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    1. Thanks Anne! It is very textural to the touch and fits into the hand so easily. :)

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  2. Fabulous tutorial! Love that you gave various page suggestions. Thanks so much for being our very first guest designer.

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    1. Thank you Nancy! I am a big fan of upcycled projects. I really hope that readers give it a try with whatever they have. :)

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  3. Cassandra, what a great post! I love the idea of using floss for binding, and even think my clear sewing thread would be a great alternative. My last book was bulky and didn't fold and I think it was due to the thick cord I used, so I am happy to learn your tricks. Love love your gorgeous collage work! What a treat for the eyes. Many thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. Thanks Autumn! Makes me happy to know that you liked my post and that I sparked a binding idea. It has been a pleasure being your guest. :)

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  4. this is beautiful! I love the variety of pages in it.

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  5. Another great tutorial here, and it looks fabulous.

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  6. Cassandra, this is just beautiful! Love all of your bright and happy pages! Thank you so much for the step out!
    Jackie xo

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    1. Thanks Jackie! Your sweet comments are much appreciated. Hope you give it a try and share your results. :)

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  7. WOW - a wonderful journal - and a fabulous tutorial as well! Thank you!

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  8. Amazing and so very creative. Unique and absolutely stunning x

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    1. Such sweet and kind words Mable! Thanks a bunch. I am so pleased that you liked it. :)

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  10. I am in awe of artists who make hand-stitched books! It is such a lovely skill! Your journal turned out spectacularly!! Great tutorial!

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  11. What a fabulous mi I album and a cool tutorial! Thank you so much for the inspiration! xxx

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  12. What a gorgeous hand-stitched journal - beautiful work, and I love the variation in the papers used.
    Alison x

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  13. stunning album and I am so look forward to trying the stitching out...always great to have a tutorial
    TFS and best wishes
    Annie x

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