Eight Hair-Raising Halloween Projects

September 25th, 2014

Halloween and Autumn Collection

Alright everyone, fasten your cape and grab your broomsticks, we’re getting ready for the spookiest time of the year with 8 creative Halloween projects! Transform your home into an eerie haunted house with our home décor projects, or plan the perfect monster bash with creative party favor and invitation ideas.

The possibilities are endless when you take some of our ideas and run with them. Let us know which of the following projects you’d like to replicate and which you would change up with some personalized flair. Do you have your own scary projects? Let us know in the comment section below!


Eight Hair-Raising Halloween Projects:

Antidote Apothecary Project

1. Antidote Apothecary Project:

These dangerous-looking tubes will make the perfect Halloween party favor. It’s such a simple project, and it’s full of creepy potential. Test tubes are always a great theme for scary parties, but you always have to be cautious and very careful when using glass tubes. Fortunately, the new plastic versions are now available at The Shoppe and they’re safe for food and beverages. All you’ll need for this project are some colorful skull beads and a set of 7gypsies Rubbing Apothecary stickers.

Spooky Silhouette Card Project by Sarah Meehan

2. Spooky Silhouette Cards Project by Sarah Meehan:

Now, if you’re going to have a Halloween party, you simply must have proper bone-chilling invitations. These cards may look simple, but the black silhouette against the orange background sets a dark and mysterious mood. For this project you’ll need to distress the edges of some kraft cards with black ink, then glue on trimmed square pieces of patterned paper and, for your finishing touch, a cut-out bird silhouette from the Birdsong collage sheet. You can also personalize your cards with a stamped-on message

Treat (Not Trick) Bags Project

3. Treat (Not Trick) Bags Project:

Nothing says Halloween like a trick-or-treat paper bag, although I remember using pillowcases in my younger days! These bags are charming and spooky, and they can be used to collect candy or you can stuff them with tissue paper and use them as goodie bags for a party. Start by painting a rough white square onto the front of each black paper bag, then stamp them with your favorite Halloween-themed designs, finish it off with some torn book pages and you’re all done.

Chalkboard Pumpkins Project

4. Chalkboard Pumpkins Project:

My favorite thing about Halloween is getting together with all my family and carving into some freshly picked pumpkins. It’s a complete mess and somehow our pumpkins never turn out exactly how we envisioned them — but it’s still tons of fun. You won’t need to carve into these chalkboard pumpkins, but you will be able to erase your mistakes and rewrite on them over and over again! Simply paint a paper mache pumpkin with two coats of chalkboard paint, and then add your doodles or messages using a chalkboard marker. If you want to add a touch of elegance you can create leaves using washi tape and gold wire.

Wicked Witch Card Set Project

5. Wicked Witch Card Set Project:

Halloween-themed cards are so much fun to make, whether you’re using them as party invitations or just to send your friends some spooktacular greetings! For these cards we used Dina Wakley’s stamp set, All the Gals, and turns them into crafty-looking witches. Making this set of cards is easy, and can be done in 10 minutes or less. Just use patterned paper, some blank cards, torn black tissue, Dina’s stamp set, and whatever interesting touches you want to include.

Halloween Kraft Packages Project

6. Halloween Kraft Packages Project:

The beauty of kraft-colored paper bags is that they make the perfect canvas for almost anything! This set of creative treat packages veers away from the normal orange and purple colors associated with Halloween, and instead focuses on black, white, and a pop of yellow. Although these treat bags look elegant, they’re easy to make. Simply embellish some kraft paper bags with pieces of washi tape, some divine twine, and a pre-cut black bird cage. Once you’re done embellishing the bags, you can fill them up with candies, cookies, or even little crafting essentials.

Embellished Enamel Tags Project

7. Embellished Enamel Tags Project:

These embellished vials are another great party-favor idea. The blank enamel tags by Tim Holtz are perfect for altering, especially with small creepy pictures or personalized messages. We used various images from 7gypsies Numbers Rubbings and added a coat of matte medium to keep them from fading. When you’re done embellishing your tags, just fill the vials up with your favorite candy and secure the tags onto them with black scrapper’s floss. You’ll have to be extra careful with this project because the vials are made of glass, so we don’t recommend you give them to small children.

The Frightful Family Trio Project

8. The Frightful Family Trio Project:

These quirky and goofy characters from the Stampotique collection are absolutely charming. They’re the perfect subjects for an extra creepy home décor project. This set of three paper mache books are carefully altered with paint, stamped tissue paper, and collage sheet cut outs. The best thing about this project is that once you’re done, you can fill the books up with treats. What’s better than a scary Halloween decoration? One that you can use to hide delicious candy!


Halloween and Autumn Collection

Halloween and Autumn CollectionIf you’re starting to think about homemade costumes and pumpkin carvings, rest assured that you’re in good company. We’ve curated a collection of colorful papers, hand-dyed tags, and die-cuts featuring vintage Halloween and autumn designs. From ready-to-alter pumpkins and coffins to eerie gothic creatures, there is something for all of your fall crafting needs.


Click here to visit our Halloween and Autumn Collection.


The Bella Grace Blog Hop

Don’t miss our newest unlocked link. See what the exceptionally talented Kelly Rae Roberts has to say about Bella Grace.


Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

Sarah HolidaysHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,,

Alright everyone, fasten your cape and grab your broomsticks, we’re getting ready for the spookiest time of the year with 8 creative Halloween projects! Transform your home into an eerie haunted house with our home décor projects, or plan the perfect monster bash with creative party favor and invitation ideas. The possibilities are endless when […]

Creating a Clear Vision + Sea-Inspired Collage by Guest Artist Kelli May-Krenz

September 22nd, 2014

Sea-Inspired Collage by Kelli May-Krenz


This started months ago. I was sitting in a meeting, bouncing around ideas for potential blog posts, when someone brought up that lady. I marveled as my co-worker explained the story of an artist who had visualized her success and then achieved it. It would take a full two months before I was able to introduce myself to that talented lady — Kelli May-Krenz.

Kelli created a vision board, upon which she assured herself that she would one day be published in a Stampington publication. It wasn’t arrogance that led her to create a physical manifestation of her certainty, but faith. She had faith in herself, in the process of her artwork, and in her finished creations. Her work isn’t just well-made and beautiful, she herself is a breath of fresh air. Lighthearted, positive, and full of life, Kelli happily accepted our invitation to stop by Somesret Place as a guest artist. Today she’ll be sharing a little more about her creative process and giving a step-by-step tutorial on how to recreate an exclusive project that she made for us.


I live my life as a graphic designer, illustrator, and artist. I have a fine art degree from Iowa State University. I create every single day. For me, creating is like breathing. I live in a home that was built in 1846 in a charming little river town called Galena in the great state of Illinois. I live with my husband and Pearl Button, our little Jack Russell Terrier. My business card says, “Artist, Designer, and Lover of Life.” And it couldn’t be more accurate! I do love life and I celebrate mine every single day. I have a unique way of creating. It starts with being able to recognize when I really want something in my life. It can be anything. Once I know what I want, I create a vision board. Seeing dreams and goals written down makes them real for me. You see, I am a very visual person, so for me, being able to see the plan is key to following through. Seeing my dreams looking back at me from a vision board fills me with even more passion, which helps me to act on them and bring them to life.  

Breaking Down Dreams into Goals


Vision Board by Kelli May-Krenz


Breaking down your dreams into manageable goals is the first step to making them come true. Last year, one of my biggest goals was to be published by Stampington. So I put it all down on a vision board, then I put aside all the self-doubt, and I stopped asking, “Why would they pick my art?” I’ve learned that until you start putting yourself and your art into the world, you’re only ever creating for an audience of one (yourself). So why the heck shouldn’t you try your very best and send your art into the world? What’s the worst that could happen — what’s the best that could happen?

My dream of getting published is what inspired me to create the vision board pictured above. As artists, we have to stay true to ourselves, we have to know what we’re passionate about, and we have to believe in our dreams so we can set the right goals to achieve them. We have to make sure we take time out to give ourselves positive affirmations and we have to make the time to create, create, create! And then, when one of your pieces of art jumps out at you, you have to make sure that you submit it quickly for publishing. If something about that artwork spoke to you, maybe it will speak to others. Get your art seen. Take a chance. It makes all the difference in the world.

Since creating my vision board I have been fortunate enough to be published in Somerset Apprentice, Somerset Memories, and my work was even selected to be on the cover of Art Journaling. I am beyond giddy.


Creating a Vision Board for this Blog Project:

Creating a Vision Board by Kelli May-Krenz

When I was asked to create a project for Somerset Place, I started with a vision board. I decided that my project would reflect all the changes that had transpired in this past year. In a nutshell, I’ve had to make two major moves in that time. First, my hubby and I sold our home in Minneapolis, MN and moved everything in it to Sarasota, FL. We did this so I could fulfill a lifetime dream of creating by the ocean and focus on becoming a professional artist by growing my own brand. I have mainly created for big fortune 500 companies, and have worked through a representative for nearly 20 years. I finally decided to take the leap and create a line of cards and paper products so that I could inspire and spread joy.

Finished Vision Board by Kelli May-Krenz

I have found it incredibly healing to create in Florida. I have also found that it is not really where I belong. So yet another dream is happening (yes, I created a vision board for this one too). We are currently in the midst of moving to a small historic town called Galena, IL. This town is rich with history and has tons of charm, plus a huge bonus for me is that it’s a town filled with artists.  I have secretly wanted to move to this town since I was a child, and now it’s finally happening. Now that my priorities are finally right, I am ready to shine. I am so grateful that we are making this happen and this collage is a celebration of this new chapter.

Now, are you ready to make a Sea-Inspired Collage?


Sea-Inspired Collage Project Supplies:

-Gold Leaf Sheets (they’re tricky but fun)

Acrylic Paint

Paint Brushes

-Pencil 3B

White and Black Journaling Pen

Watercolor Paper

Vintage Book Pages

-Sewing Machine

Glue Stick



Sea-Inspired Collage Project Tutorial:

Sea-Inspired Collage Step 1 by Kelli May-Krenz

Step 1 – Get your watercolor paper ready. Start by applying bits and pieces of ephemera. These can be cut out or torn into shapes. Adhere them down with your glue stick or sew them on for added texture. I made wave shapes out of mine.

*Tip: I use a dual quality thread in my sewing machine. It shows up better when stitching on heavy papers. Use a color you love. You can match your colors or mix it up and contrast if you want it to pop even more.

Sea-Inspired Collage Step 2 by Kelli May-Krenz

Step 2 – After you have your ephemera down on your paper, make a wash with your acrylic paint and apply it around the edges. Go back and add more bits of ephemera, torn painted paper towels, vintage book pages, and any images you feel need to be added. Keep adding and painting until you feel it looks balanced and you like it. I love layers.

*Tip: I cut out my mermaid from collage sheets of paper and applied bits of gold leaf, and then stitched it onto the watercolor paper. I then added white pen and ink onto her tail and some more gold leaf to the paper.

Sea-Inspired Collage Step 3 by Kelli May-Krenz

Step 3 – Once you have your bits and pieces and your main image down, start playing with lines, doodles, and drawings. Use your white pen or a black journaling pen. You could also use colorful makers.

Sea-Inspired Collage Step 4 by Kelli May-Krenz

Step 4 – Take the top of a brown paper shopping bag, leaving the handle intact so that you can use it to hang your artwork. Adhere your collage onto the paper bag. You can use a glue stick or sew it on. Feel free to add some illustrations to the brown paper bag with your white pen. The contrast between the white ink and the kraft-colored bag is beautiful.

Sea-Inspired Collage Finished by Kelli May-Krenz

Step 6 – Finally, make sure you sign your art! Be proud of everything you create; it is all a part of your journey to becoming the very best you can be. Hope you enjoyed the process! You’re all done.


Please join me in giving Kelli May-Krenz a big Somerset Place thank you for taking the time to create such a lovely project for us. Reading more about her creative process has been fascinating, and if you want to learn more you can visit Kelli on her blog: Here’s Another Way of Looking at It?


Get More Project Tutorials by Kelli May-Krenz

1APP-1402-Somerset-Apprentice-Autumn-2014-300x300Do you want to see more of Kelli May-Krenz’s artwork? Pickup a copy of Somerset Apprentice and get even more tips and techniques from this fabulous artist.

Use the coupon code BLOG0914 to get $5 off this new September Publication. Be sure to hurry, coupon expires 9/30/2014.




The Bella Grace Blog Hop

The Bella Grace Blog HopToday’s unlocked link comes from Staci Austin-Ducharme. This insightful posts is about the correlation between gratitude and death, and it urges us not to wait until tragedy strikes to give thanks for what we have. Visit Staci’s blog and leave her a comment about what you’re grateful for and you might just win a copy of Bella Grace.

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop



Sarah Art JournalingMixed-Media Art ,,,,,,,

  This started months ago. I was sitting in a meeting, bouncing around ideas for potential blog posts, when someone brought up that lady. I marveled as my co-worker explained the story of an artist who had visualized her success and then achieved it. It would take a full two months before I was able […]

Editor Spotlight: Card Therapy + Unearthing the Artist Within by Devon Warren

September 18th, 2014

devon_ edit

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is just around the corner. The days already starting to get shorter and my daily drive to work has been taken over by the sight of bright orange pumpkins, which are just starting to peek out from under the pumpkin patches that have been growing for the past month and a half. Soon it’s going to be time for corn mazes, pumpkin carving, and glorious turkey dinners with mashed potatoes and peach cobbler. However, more important than all that (yes, even delicious leftover turkey sandwiches) is the fact that soon it’s going to be time to start sending out greeting cards. Although sentiments of appreciation, birthday wishes, and just-because cards should be sent year round, there’s something wonderful and magical about holiday themed cards. Whether you live right down the street or clear across the country from friends and family, this is the perfect time of the year to send those very special people warm reminders of your love and friendship. Besides, who doesn’t love getting a card in the mail?

Today we’re very fortunate to have the new managing editor of Take Ten, Devon Warren, visiting us here at Somerset Place. As a new editor, Devon has some very interesting insights into the world of publishing as well as a newfound love for the art of card making. If you’ve ever only bought ready-made greeting cards during the holiday seasons, let Devon inspire you into trying something new. All you need are a few stamps, some cardstock, some bits and pieces of ephemera, and a willingness to unleash your imagination.


Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Diana Pisanelli and Kris Lancaster

Stampington & Company offers so many wonderful, varied publications that it’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite.  But as one of the newer editors, I was thrust into the colorful world of cards and rubber stamping. The Stampers’ Sampler is our original and oldest publication (a tradition I’m more than pleased to uphold, as I love tradition!), and it has been such an honor to work on this magazine.

As children, many of us enjoy the art form of stamping. Just go ahead and give a child a stamp and some paint — you will probably regret to tell the tale, but you might also be amazed by what happens. My very first inkpad was the ColorBox Tropical Pigment Stamp Pad by Clearsnap (I still remember!), which was mostly used harmoniously with my collection of Ed Emberley drawing books. A curious and enthusiastic toddler, I claimed Grandma’s dusty organ as my arts and crafts station, and proceeded to stamp all over a mini Merriam-Webster dictionary with a rubber butterfly stamp. This action prompted Grandma to sternly ask, “What are you doing to my book? Do you think that’s nice?” No, it wasn’t nice. But these days I think it’s strangely ironic that I became the editor of a publication all about stamping: a bit of foreshadowing there. Also, I feel that it shows our intuition sometimes can be trusted. I always dreamed that one day I would have a job that I loved and now it’s a reality!


Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Barb Pladziewicz and Kris Lancaster

Like many people, I lost touch with my creative side and not until very recently did I begin to explore that side of myself again. Often when I edit articles or read emails, I realize that I am not alone when it comes to suppressing one’s creative side. Ella Wilson, for instance, a very talented artist who has been published in both Take Ten and The Stampers’ Sampler many times, shares that she has trouble focusing her energy at times. My sister, a talented artist by her own right, once shared research with me that stated around the time we enter primary school, we stop playing with finger paints, drawing, and coloring because either we realize we’re not good or someone (perhaps a teacher, parent, or “frenemy”) tells us we shouldn’t keep pursuing art since nothing will come of it. Obviously, that simply isn’t true. Taking that creative path is not an easy route: It opens us up to doubt and rejection, but it’s also a path of endless potential. Even bad art can be better than no art at all because it means that the artist is still expressing their passion.


Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Laurie Davis and Mary Walden

Take Ten was the first publication I worked on from day one when I walked through Stampington’s doors to the day when I inherited it from Andrea Rangno, the former editor. All it takes is 10 minutes a day to find your inner artist, starting with making a homemade birthday or thank you card. Of all the publications we offer, I still feel that Take Ten is one of the most accessible and provides an easy introduction to beginners, whether they’re budding fine artists or those who know they can create but don’t know how to start expressing their passion.

Shortly afterward, I became quite friendly with The Stampers’ Sampler, which in the beginning had my head spinning with its intricate and inspiring techniques. It was a phantasmagoria of stamping splendor! One of the most rewarding parts was the realization that something as simple as greeting cards could indeed be artwork. I always marvel at the way card artists blend inks, layer ephemera, and use the same stamp in completely different ways.


Take Ten - September 2014Artwork by: Barb Pladziewicz

As clichéd as it may sound, the only way to truly find your potential as an artist is to put yourself out there — to be open to criticism and put time aside to create art. I’m a major advocate of daily projects and monthly challenges because they motivate you to set aside a small amount of time to be you. And why not spread that inspiration to someone else? That’s the beauty of greeting cards; you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to write a note — you can create a card and send them just because! In fact, the majority of cards published in Take Ten and The Stampers’ Sampler are sent purely for that reason. Or better yet, why not create a beautiful card and write a special note to yourself? You deserve it!


It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know the managing editor of Take Ten, Devon Warren, a little better. Being such a fan of Take Ten, The Stampers’ Sampler, GreenCraft Magazine, and Somerset Home, it’s wonderful to have some insight into the editor’s thought process. Please join me in giving Devon heartfelt thanks for stopping by Somerset Place.


Use code BLOG0914 to get $5 off Take Ten

Take Ten - September 2014In addition to our typical array of quick, easy, under-ten-minute stamping projects and colorful card ideas, this issue of Take Ten features a designated holiday section — including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Season’s Greetings, and more — that offer tips to make cards that take less time than grabbing your car keys and driving to the bargain mart.

For a limited time you can get $5 off this inspiring publication by using the coupon code BLOG0914 when prompted at checkout. But be sure to hurry because the promotion ends on September 3oth!



The Bella Grace Blog Hop

The Bella Grace Blog HopOur latest unlocked link comes from Olga Sledlecka, who shares how she gathers her creativity from the forest floor. Join her as takes a walk under the harvest moon, and discover all the treasures she finds. Leave her a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace.


Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop



Sarah Uncategorized

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is just around the corner. The days already starting to get shorter and my daily drive to work has been taken over by the sight of bright orange pumpkins, which are just starting to peek out from under the pumpkin patches that have been growing for the […]

Discover Artisan Avenue

September 15th, 2014

Artisan Avenue

Video Credits: Wendy Vecchi and Debbie Tlach
Art Credits: Fabric Scrap Jars by Vanessa Spencer and Mini Art Quote Quilts by Jennifer Swift

As most crafters will tell you, there’s nothing quite as fun, exhilarating, and challenging, as going to an art fair. It’s fun because you’re surrounded by inspiration and you might even get the opportunity to meet and interact with top artists. It’s exhilarating because once you get that tiny bit of inspiration you sought, your imagination takes flight. However, it’s also challenging because first you have to find one, make the trip, and —  once you finally arrive —  you have to avoid buying everything in sight. Trust me, it’s harder than it sounds.

Artisan Avenue, our monthly newsletter, is like a virtual art fair that gets delivered right to your inbox. This bright and colorful newsletter is filled with deals on art supplies, creative project ideas, free downloads, information on artistic retreats, and top-quality DIY videos. If you’re looking for a good balance of freebie perks and fantastic retail finds, then you’re going to love Artisan Avenue.


What’s in Artisan Avenue?

E-Crafting - Artisan Avenue

Art Credits: Wonderland-Inspired Cards by Wendy McGowen and Junk Mail Journal by Nelda Ream

Free Digital Downloads:

They say that the best things in life are free. We couldn’t agree more! You’ll find stunning free ephemera downloads, plus a featured creative article from one of our publications in every Artisan Avenue newsletter.


The Shoppe - Artisan Avenue

Art and Crafting Products:

With products from top artists like Dina Wakley, Tim Holtz, and Dyan Reaveley, we’re certain that everyone will find something to complement their creativity. We strive to showcase and bring you only the best crafting products available. That’s why we feature crafting essentials from a wide variety of vendors like Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies, Spellbinders, Ranger, Calligraphy Corner, and many others.


Artful Gatherings and Retreats:

While having a digital art fair delivered to your mailbox is very handy, it doesn’t quite replace the feeling of actually gathering with other artists and exploring new products, projects, and ideas together. Artisan Avenue will help you stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the craft world. From special themed retreats to artful gatherings with your favorite artists, and even digital workshops, you’ll be the first to know with Artisan Avenue.


The Studio - Artisan Avenue

Project Tutorials:

Sometimes your creativity needs a little push. Let us inspire you with creative projects. We feature detailed step-by-step tutorials for things like artful packages, colorful mixed-media cards, artful home décor projects, and much more.


We Want to Hear from You!

paper-packDoes Artisan Avenue sound like something you would like or are you already a subscriber? Tell us what you think! What would you change? What would you leave the same? Leave us a comment for a chance to win a 25-Sheet Artist Paper Pack.

[This giveaway has ended.]





The Bella Grace Blog Hop:

“A grateful heart is not only the secret to captivating beauty, it creates a deep sense of joy, and unlocks and releases our creativity!”

Today’s unlocked link comes from Becky Stewart. Join Becky as she explores the idea that creativity comes from a place of gratitude, plus leave her a comment for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace.

Click here to follow the Bella Grace Blog Hop

Sarah Contests and GiveawaysFree DownloadsHow-To Project TutorialsMixed-Media Art ,,,,,

Video Credits: Wendy Vecchi and Debbie Tlach Art Credits: Fabric Scrap Jars by Vanessa Spencer and Mini Art Quote Quilts by Jennifer Swift As most crafters will tell you, there’s nothing quite as fun, exhilarating, and challenging, as going to an art fair. It’s fun because you’re surrounded by inspiration and you might even get […]

Mini Junk Journal Project with Guest Artist Lindsay Ostrom

September 11th, 2014

Lindsay Ostrom Junk Journal

“When I think about why I journal now, it’s more of, why wouldn’t I? I journal on my lunch break, in the car while waiting for an appointment, and every night when I come home. Ideas pop into my head during my day-to-day routine and it seems that I cannot sleep until I get them out onto the paper.”

~Lindsay Ostrom from the pages of Art Journaling Summer 2014

Today we have a very special treat for our wonderful blog followers! The incredibly talented Lindsay Ostrom, who has been featured in a number of Stampington publications such as Somerset Studio, Art Quilting Studio, and Somerset Apprentice, has agreed to share an exclusive project with us. If you happened to have read Lindsay’s article in Art Journaling, then like me, you probably fell head-over-heels in love with her colorful and clever Junk Journal. After gushing in an email about how much I enjoyed her article and artwork, Lindsay agreed to create a mini junk journal just for us. So get your crafting supplies ready, and please join me in giving Lindsay a warm Somerset Place welcome.


Today I want to walk you through the process of creating one of my Junk Journals, like the one featured in the 2014 Art Journaling magazine. I usually start by coming up with an idea in my head and sometimes a theme. For this project, my theme was fortune cookie messages. You know when you go to a Chinese place and you get a really good fortune in your cookie, and then you pray that it comes true? Kind of like that.

Mini Junk Journal Material List:

Paper Ephemera

Pieces of Fabric



Paper Cutting Tools

Paper Binding Rings


Black Journaling Pen

White Journaling Pen

Acrylic Paint Markers

Mini Junk Journal Project Tutorial:


Step 1 – First collect bits and pieces of “junk” to use in your journal. I love to combine paper and fabrics so for this one I chose a lot of old papers, ledger pads, book paper, manila folders, envelopes, receipt books, etc. I like to pull everything out to see what strikes my fancy at the moment. Everything else gets put away and I only use what I have selected.


Step 2 – Next, start assembling your pages. I never really know where I am going with my own pages until I lay them out. I just start pulling bits and pieces together. I hardly ever cut and rarely use a paper cutter. I love to fold and tear, and to create pockets with lots of nooks and crannies.


I rarely ever decide on a certain number of pages when I begin a book. I just make them until I feel satisfied. I knew for this project I wanted a shorter/smaller book and the pages just started appearing.


Step 3 – I save cardboard boxes for my covers, but you can use whatever sturdy material you want. Personally, I love cardboard because you can tear back a bit of the outer paper to expose the rippled corrugated inners. You can easily cut it with scissors or a craft knife. The only tricky part is sewing bits and pieces onto it.


Step 4 – I have about 5 layers of fabric, lace, and doily here. It was a bit tough, but with a slow and steady foot, it will all sew together nicely. Like I said, I love to use fabrics with paper, and sewing is a must. Adhesives just never seem to do what I want, and I know that if I use a sewing machine, things tend to be more securely attached.


Step 5 – When I start working in a journal, I usually haven’t completed the front and back covers yet. With this journal however, I embellished the cover at the same time as the pages in order to give you all a better idea of what a completed book will look like.


Step 6 – Once you have your pages just right and you’ve sewn everything into place, you can start to assemble them into a journal. I usually sort the pages in the order of how I want them to appear in the journal, but I never seem to stick to it. Silly, I know.

Step 7 – Next, using a large punch (I used a Cropadile), start punching holes in the pages. Once the cover is done, you can use it as a template for the other pages. Don’t be afraid to punch some pages so that they sit higher and lower than the others. It will make your book look more interesting.


Step 8 – You can use any type of binding you like. Sometimes I take mine to the local printer and have them spiral bound. If you own your own binding machine, you can do it yourself. For this journal, I chose to use just a simple “O” ring.


Step 9 – Lay the book out in front of you, and then slide the rings through the front and back cover, leaving them open in the middle. This is the easiest way to add pages. You can add one to the front and one to the back until you get to the center. That way the hinge on the rings is in the back. You can also tie bits of fabric, lace, and fibers onto the rings to disguise them. Step 10 – Next, close the rings and take a look at your completed book. So pretty, right? I love just flipping through the pages and seeing what I created out of “junk.”


Here is the cover in all its glory!

I usually make a pouch out of junk for each book. That way I can carry them around with me and they don’t get dirty. I can also toss in bits and pieces that I want to use in the book later on when I am journaling. In this pouch, for example, I am saving some fortune cookie messages. I used scraps of fabric as well as upholstery swatches from furniture stores to make this pouch, but that’s a project for another day!


Step 10 –
Embellishing the pages of your junk journal is the next step. I usually do this over a period of time, but I will do two pages for this project. Being an ex-scrapbooker, I like to do a two page spread that is somehow tied together. In this case it’s circles.

Step 11 –
For this book I decided to use fabric instead of paper on the pages, and to adhere it, I used Mod Podge instead of sewing thread. You can use any adhesive you like. I broke one of my cardinal rules because I felt there was enough sewing on the page already, and the Mod Podge dries quick and clear.

Step 12 – Pick a fabric that has a circle pattern on it, and then cut into the edge of the circle and cut out a ring. You can use both the ring and the left-over circle. When you glue or sew the ring into your book you won’t even see the cutout line.


Step 13 – I incorporated fortune cookie messages with my own special take on them. I added some journaling, drawing, and coloring around messages that hold a particularly important meaning to me.  You can use the envelopes and pockets to hide some of the more personal messages.

Want to see more? I hope so! This mini-journal isn’t finished yet. I have just begun. I hope to finish it in time for the next installment of Art Journaling. Hopefully this project has inspired you to create your own Junk Journal. You can even make it a party. Invite your friends over and have everyone bring their own bits of junk and swap. Until next time!


Thanks Lindsay for sharing such a wonderful project. With the holiday season fast approaching, this is the perfect time to start making art journals. Keep track of special moments, write down how your feeling, and strive to be creative as often as you can inside the pages of your very own junk journal.


More about Lindsey Ostrom:

Lindsay Ostrom BlogTo learn more about Lindsey, the self-titled Creator of Cuteness, and see more of her amazing work visit her blog.







Sarah Art JournalingHow-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,

“When I think about why I journal now, it’s more of, why wouldn’t I? I journal on my lunch break, in the car while waiting for an appointment, and every night when I come home. Ideas pop into my head during my day-to-day routine and it seems that I cannot sleep until I get them […]