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Decoupage Papers Three Ways: A Trio of Journals for Mom by Christen Hammons

I’ve always loved making gifts for my mom. It’s probably because she’s always been overjoyed to receive them — whether the gift was a crayon-scribbled family portrait or a knitted scarf — no one appreciates handmade presents quite like her. Like many of us, she’s always looking for a place to jot down a quick phone number and make her shopping list, so I thought I’d make a trio of journals to give her this Mother’s Day.

Journals are one of my favorite things to give — they’re just so quick to alter and personalize! My favorite journals to work with are by Moleskine, but even a simple composition notebook will do. I have a nice collection of decorative gift-wrap, which is perfect for altering journals with. When planning out this project, I was instantly drawn to my Cavallini & Company papers. Though they are gift-wrap, I consider them to also be good for decoupage papers because of how lightweight they are. Their designs are perfect for just about anyone, and I know my mom will love the romantic butterflies and flowers. I first considered using a different paper for each journal but decided to use just one sheet to make the set look more cohesive.

For the first journal, I cut the decoupage paper to size and adhered it with gel medium. To remove any bubbles I gently rolled over the paper with a brayer. When dry, I used a craft knife to remove any excess paper. I then used my fingers to apply a light coat of white acrylic paint to the middle of the cover. When dry, I stamped “journal” on it.

For the second journal, I cut butterflies out from the decoupage paper and adhered them randomly to the cover with gel medium. I wanted to keep it simple, so I only did a few.

For the last journal, I applied a wash of white acrylic paint, and then followed it with green acrylic paint. This was applied with a dry paintbrush. When dry, I cut a section of the decoupage paper and adhered it to the cover. To complete the look, I added a couple strips of washi tape.

Once all journals were done, I wrapped them with a length of ribbon and tucked in a nice pen that my mom can write with. You could also add some colored pencils or markers.

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