Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday's {Tip} Altering a Notebook

Many of you saw the notebook I made for BSF using Our Daily Bread Designs stamps. Well, I received an e-mail from Eva asking the following:

"What kind of journal or notebook do you buy? I have seen some but they don't have lines in them. What do you recommend? Also, what adhesive do you use? I have found that sometimes they come off after you use the notebook for a while (I attempted one years ago and it did not work very well)."

I then received a few other inquiries, so today I thought I would share how I alter a notebook.

Type of Notebook
The notebooks I use I buy either at Wal-Mart, Target, or my local grocery store. They certainly are nothing fancy. Here is the style I love:
These notebooks are made by Carolina Pad, and you can see a list of stores that carry their products by clicking here. The artwork on the front varies every single year but I don't buy it for the front artwork since it will be covered up anyway. What I love about this particular notebook is the size (8.6" x 6.5"), the number of lined pages (120 pages), the two-subject plastic taps with a folder pocket in the front, and the fact that they are easy to alter.

Adhesives & Getting it to Stick!
This can be the most frustrating part about altering books--getting things to stick without them falling off years later! I have found a combination of Scor Tape, Mod Podge, sand paper, and a brayer work great for me! The sandpaper is key to getting it all to stick so please don't forget the sand paper! :) I use a Tim Holtz sanding block but you certainly can use just a plain piece of sandpaper. Here is what I do to alter the notebook:

1. Sand the front of your notebook (sand the back also if you are finishing the back).

2. Wipe off dust with a very damp paper towel and set aside until Step 6.

3. Paint the edges of your notebook with acrylic paint if you don't want the original pattern to show through. I use a very small paint brush to get under the wire. It goes very fast, and I much prefer doing that than taking the wire out! If you notice in my samples below, I don't always paint the edges.

4. Next create the front of your notebook. I create it by sewing and adding all of the flat embellishments before adhering to the notebook.

5. Once the front is complete with the flat embellishments attached (die cuts, sewing, rub-ons, stamps, stickers, etc.), you can adhere it to the notebook.

6. I adhere the front in one of two different ways. I have used both ways. Both hold up, and I like both.

Option 1: Put a thin layer of Mod Podge or Matte Medium on your notebook and on the back of the paper to cover the notebook. Place on cover and use your brayer to make sure the bond is strong!

Option 2: Cover the back of the paper with Scor-Tape. It does take a lot of tape but it is worth it. I have found if you just do the edges, you get too many bubbles when adding the Mod Podge or Matte Medium. Once you have the tape on your paper, put a thin layer of Matte Medium on the notebook and place the paper on top. Use your brayer to make sure the bond is strong!

7. Once you have attached your paper, add a thin layer of Matte Medium on top of the paper to seal it! Let dry. You can add a second layer if you wish but it is not necessary.

8. Once it is dry, attach your lumpy embellishments (buttons, brads, ribbon, Dymo labeler, chipboard, felt, etc.) to finish!

Note: To attach lumpy embellishments, I always use Glossy Accents. That stuff holds up forever. Love it!

Finishing the Back of the Notebook
I like to finish the back of my notebooks too; however, I don't use a lot of my nice papers and of course I don't use any embellishments. I make it match but I make it easy also. :) I add a scrap of paper that matches the front, stamp my name, initial it, and put the date I created the notebook. I adhere it the same way I adhere the front, and I also put a sealing layer of Mod Podge on the back too.
To see information on my personalized stamp, please see this post here.

Finished Notebooks
Here are just a few of the Carolina Pads I have altered with the first photo being the most recent. Notice how some of the edges are painted and some are left "as is."

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I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section, and I will reply there. :) Have a blessed Tuesday!


Tassie said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial. I have never attempted to alter a notebook - I've seen a lot, but did not know EXACTLY how to make it look nice. Thank you for all the tips!!

Mod Podge Amy said...

I love these! They look great!

Noel said...

Love BTS sales....this is when I pick up my comp. books for .25 each great for altering and using for journals....thanks for the tutorial....great ideas from your finished ones!

Heather said...

These are fabulous … thanks for sharing!! :)

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