• Art,  Blog

    How to start your first art journal page

    Art journal pages

    Art journaling was somewhat of a mystery to me for several years. I kept seeing people’s art journal pages on Pinterest, but I didn’t have a clue as to what it was all about.

    As an artist, anything that has to do with art is going to interest me. Moreover, I also keep on hand a supply of paints, brushes, canvases, etc. This means that I need some way to use all these supplies that are sitting around in my house with nothing to do.

    So even if you don’t think of yourself as artistic, or you have never done any artwork since your school days, I can show you a simple way to get started in art journaling.

    Supplies needed

    First thing you should do is to find an old book that has been sitting on your shelf, perhaps collecting dust, and get that thing off the shelf! Don’t have an old book? Buy one at the library, or a garage sale. You could even ask a family member for one of their old books they might not want anymore.

    Here is a list of a few supplies to get started:

    • Some glue- Mod Podge is good, or if you don’t have any, use a stick glue, or liquid glue such as Elmer’s glue.
    • Some paint- you can get some cheap bottles of acrylic paints at Walmart or you local art supply store. It’s not necessary to buy expensive paints. The cheap stuff will do!
    • Markers-any kind of markers you have will do. I like Arteza’s markers.
    • Paper- this can be from left-over greeting cards (you have been letting them pile up in a drawer, right?), old calendars, magazines, old book pages! Old sheet music is great, too!
    • Scrapbook paper- I put this separate because you do not necessarily have to use scrapbook paper, but if you have some or want to buy a few sheets, by all means do!
    • Stickers of any kind- from planners, or even kids stickers. Also ribbon, lace, even old scraps of fabric.
    • White gesso- this is a primer for paints. I know the Walmart where I live carries it. Amazon also carries gesso. But if you can’t get any, don’t worry about it.
    • A few paint brushes- small to medium, not tiny brushes, but not large. This is for painting on a page. And one or two brushes should be enough.

    Gesso your page

    Blank page adding white gesso
    Starting with a blank page

    First, if you have white gesso, you need to use a small paint brush and spread some gesso across your page. However, it is not necessary to add a lot. Use it sparingly because it’s just to help make your page ready for paints or whatever else you are going to put on it.

    If you don’t have any gesso, you can put a light coat of glue, or ModPodge on your page to glue down any paper or stickers that you to lay on your page. It doesn’t need a lot, because it is going to dry anyway, but hopefully not before you glue down your papers.

    Decide how to decorate your page

    Snoopy page

    Do you have a theme in mind? For instance, I love Snoopy and Charlie Brown, so I made a few art journal pages dedicated to them. If you wanted to use Charlie Brown and Snoopy, you could get a newspaper clipping with the cartoons, probably Sunday papers.

    If you use a theme, then look for something to go with it. I used newspaper clippings, I found a Charlie Brown day calendar at Hobby Lobby, and then I painted my pages blue, and yellow. Then I sketched out and painted Snoopy’s dog house. It turned out really cute, and I am looking forward to more Charlie Brown and Snoopy pages.

    No Rules are Necessary!

    The great thing about art journaling is that there really isn’t any rules. You can do what you want. If you want to just paint flowers, or doodles, then do that. Maybe you want to glue some old greeting cards to your page. You could do that and maybe attach a flower or ribbon, maybe even some lace.

    Adding gesso on top of the paper
    Adding gesso on top on the paper

    Glue old clothes tags, pictures from magazines, or an old book, or maybe pictures from an old text book. Once you have done this, paint over the page with watercolors or acrylic paints, or just add washi tape to the pages or ribbons.

    Another great item to add to your pages is old pieces of fabric if you have any. I had several pieces of fabric from when I would sew pillows for my grandchildren. They can be cut or ripped into small strips and glued onto your page. This is actually quite fun to do!

    Adding a title

    Once you have filled the page with all your decorations, or embellishments, then you will need a title for your page. This can either be a word paper pad purchased at the local arts and crafts supply store (or Walmart, if there is one close by), or write your own! That’s what I do!

    Using my own calligraphy
    Using my own calligraphy’s Spring is here!

    Once you have your words, or title, on your page, once you are satisfied with how it looks, you can call it a completed art journal page!

    Now, you are done!

    Finished product!

    Now, do me a favor, would you? Please comment below with your picture of your work, and let me know your thoughts. How was the process? Did you struggle in any area? Let me know if I can help you with anything that might have given you some trouble. I will do my best to help. Also, check out our other posts, and please follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.

  • Blog,  Posts

    How to make a sticker book

    A few days ago, I was on Instagram and a lady that I follow named Andrea from @createmorehappy, had shared a video on Instagram stories that I really liked. It was a sticker book, and I would love to share it with you.

    So what is a sticker book?

    Front cover of my sticker book
    The front cover of my sticker book.

    A sticker book is a wonderful book used for organizing all your planner stickers for the year in one book. Andrea made her sticker book with lots of dividers for categorizing and this keeps them in an attractive order.

    Divider label for birthdays
    Divider label for birthdays
    Dividers labeled by category
    Dividers labeled for different categories

    I watched Andrea’s video, and saw how she created the book. This inspired me to make one of my own, so I commented on her post about how much I loved her idea. I would love to share this with you if you are interested.

    Using Andrea’s instructions, first you need a notebook of some type. The size is up to you. You can use either a size 8 1/2” x 11” or a small one, like a 5” x 7” notebook. It’s entirely up to you.

    If you use a small notebook, you will need to do some measuring and cutting. The dividers will need to be added to the notebook either by punching holes to match the pages or you could use a small 3-ring binder and loose papers with it.

    Categorizing your Sticker Book

    First, determine how many different categories you will be needing. I have a few examples.

    • Birthday
    • vacation
    • kid’s school
    • doctor appointments
    • hair cuts
    • holidays

    If you have any other ideas for categories, by all means, add those to it! This list is just to get you started.

    Most planner stickers come in pads with several sheets in them with a variety of types. These are so cute and very useful for planning, and this book will help keep them organized in one place.

    I had all my stickers thrown together in one plastic container, and every time I needed a sticker I had to dig through it to find that one perfect sticker! Now they can be easily located altogether in one book!

    You need to pull your stickers out of each sticker pad that you have and separate into the various categories. Using dividers, label each category by name like “birthdays”, “vacation”, etc.

    If you use a smaller book like I did, firstly, you need to measure the width and height of the pages of your book. Next, you will need to measure that same size for each divider that you are using. If you are using 5” x 7” paper then you will either have to cut the dividers to that size or if you can find dividers to fit the size of your book, that’s great. I had to cut my dividers.

    Once these are all divided into each category, then you can begin to place one sheet of the stickers on each paper. Andrea suggested gluing just at the top of each sticker page, so that you can lift up the stickers off the paper and pull a sticker off when you need it.

    Types of glue

    There is no right or wrong when it comes to glue. It’s entirely up to you. There is no need to go out and purchase some expensive product when you may already have something at home. Try a few different types of glue and see what works best. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Modpodge-very popular, but you may not be able to find any
    • Elmer’s or an off-brand glue stick
    • Any kind of liquid glue, Elmer’s for instance
    • Gesso-it’s a painting primer, but it also works as a glue
    Sticker sheet glued to page
    The sticker sheet glued to the page

    After you have glued each sticker paper onto a page and they are separated by the different sections that you have prepared, now you have them all arranged in one pretty, easy to find book, and my suggest-decorate the book cover!

    I hope you enjoyed reading this, and if you have any other questions about this project, leave me a comment below. I’ll reply back as soon as I see it. Also, if you decide to try this out, send me a picture in the comments. I’d love to see it!

    Please follow me on Instagram at @amatte1963, and my sister Janine at @jannaq. Let me know if there is another project that you are interested in learning about or if there is arts and crafts projects that you have had any questions about.

  • Posts,  Tags

    Using buttons on a Tag

    The first thing about art that you learn is that mistakes are as common as the successes. I don’t even like to call it a mistake because sometimes its just a different path that you didn’t plan on taking. With mixed media, this is especially true.

    I love making tags, all kinds of tags. I’ve used tags for my art journal, as well as using it on a book cover. Recently, I used a very small tag from a clothing item. I painted it and embellished it with feathers. Then I added a lovely button that I thought would be perfect. It was about an inch in diameter and had white swirls like bicycle’s spokes. It looked great but I like to add some bling to a project. I placed a rhinestone in the middle of the button and thought it looked great. But then I realized that it looked like an eyeball. I sent a picture of it to my sister. Boy, did she get a good laugh out of my so called “mistake”. We both laughed about it! But I wasn’t sure on what to do.

    After a few days, it occurred to me that I just needed to add more buttons. Angie suggested adding 2 more so that it would make 3 total. Of course I knew about this. When it comes to adding more of anything, odd numbers are visually more attractive. So I added the buttons and viola! It looked so much better. Now it doesn’t look like some weird eyeball staring at me!

  • Angie making art journal pages

    Why not learn something new?

    Have you ever thought about learning something new, something you have not tried before? Learning a new craft can be fun and exciting.

    I am such a Pinterest geek! I used to spend hours almost every day on my iPad, looking for new ideas, or information on how to make something that would be fun and easy to learn. I have been painting with acrylic paints and with watercolor paints for several years. I used canvases, watercolor or acrylic paper, and I have always enjoyed it, but the canvases were starting to pile up in the house!

    But I wanted something more!

    I saw blogs about art journaling, and I started to wonder, is that something I would like? I didn’t really know what was involved in art journaling. How do you do this anyway?

    I started watching YouTube videos of people doing art journaling and I was intrigued. I was inspired by the art that others were doing. The creative wheels in my head began to spin. I like this! I was hooked. I realized that this was something I wanted to share.

    Every time I completed a page, I would send it to my sister Janine. She then, also began to do art journaling, and we have been enjoying this craft together ever since. It’s been about eight months now, but I feel like I have been at it for years because I enjoy the freedom of expression that comes with art journaling. And because I have 13 grandkids, this is a way to enjoy more arts and crafts and sharing great memories together.

    There are some really good reasons to start art journaling:

    • You can do it really cheap-it’s very inexpensive to start out.
    • You do not have to be an artist! Really, I mean it!
    • There are no set “rules”- do it however you want.
    • It’s easy to find inspiration. Just ask me or Janine!
    • It’s relaxing!
    • its so much fun!

    Angie working on some art journal pages at our scrapbook crop!

    So now that I have shared with you about my love for art journaling, are you ready to give it a try? Even if you are not sure if you would like it, just check it out. Look us up on Instagram @amatte1963, or @jannanq, we post our art work there also. And please comment below, and let me know what you kind of arts and crafts you like. I’d love to hear from you. And please check back with us, because we are very soon going to start making available a weekly newsletter, full of fun ideas and tips on different arts and crafts! Till next time!

    Two pages that I painted on and then added stickers and tape