Crafty Purple Frog Shop

Monday, June 6, 2022

My first paper bag book

  This is the final part of my AECP (Altenew Educator's Certification Program)  level 2 challenge. If you have not seen the first part of the challenge it is all in my previous blog post HERE

For this part of the challenge I need to make an altered Item/upcycled Project. I thought about this for a while before coming up with this idea. I knew straight away that I wanted to use the same colour pallet as I used for the first half of the challenge which is blue and yellow. This time I changed the black for a grey though and went for a slightly darker yellow. This was mainly to fit with coloured card that I have. So the inks I have used are as follows:

Honey Drizzle and Aqualicious are Altenew Crisp dye inks and the Soft granite is from Hero Arts. The card was some I had in my stash and I used my swatches to match up the inks to the card.

TIP: Swatching your supplies to make comparing colours easier and saving you testing them each time which would use up more ink, paint etc.

I have not got them in this picture but I also used some copic markers to add details so did the same thing to match these colours as closely as possible. The copics I use are: C5, Y38 and BG49

While thinking about the various things I might be able to do I suddenly remembered that I had a few paper bags which I had been intending to make into a photo book and so this seemed like the perfect time to have a go at it 😀

I have taken inspiration from so many of Altenew's amazing online classes for this project but my main inspiration has come from the following classes:

Masking Unleashed - I used masking with the stencil to ensure I only inked the areas I wanted

In the mood for color - Blue for calm and yellow for happiness

Polychromatic - Tone on tone stamping

These are the paper bags that I am using for this project. They are just white paper bags which are about 22.5 cm x 17.5cm

I have used 3 of them to create my book.

As well as the 3 bags I used 3 A4 sheets of each colour card, 2 sheet of A4 white card and 1 piece of frosted shrink plastic.

I started by folding the bags in half to form the pages. I used an Altenew bone folder to make sure the crease nice and clean.

This is now the base of my book. The openings at the top of the bags allow for large pockets which I will add some cards into that could be used for journaling or putting photos on. Mementos such as entry tickets could also be slipped into these pockets. The bottom of the bags could be stuck flat but I am also going to use these as little tuck pockets so I did not glue them at this stage.

I arranged the pages the way that I liked so that it does not have all of the bottoms of the bags together. Then I tied some twine around the pages just to temporarily hold them together while I get the measurements I need and so I remember which way round I want them to be. You could also write page numbers in pencil on the middle of each page and this would probably be what I would do if I did this again as then later you can lay everything flat to add the card panels and do your stamping and stencilling. But I was learning as I went so you can learn from my mistakes 😂

Once your bags are folded you can then measure the size of each page to work out the size of the card panels you will need. I wanted to cover the bottoms of each bag as well so that needed a smaller rectangle for them.

Then I cut my panels out. For my book I needed :

9 x larger panels (10.8cm x 17.2cm)
3 x smaller panels (8cm x 17.2cm)

Having cut all of the panels I then used wet glue to stick them all onto the pages which strengthened the paper bags so they can support the photos which will be added. 

Looking through my Altenew stamps I was drawn to the beautiful Wallpaper Art stamp set. I knew that I wanted to do a lot of tone on tone for this book because I do not want the decoration to distract from the photos. 
I started with the front of the book and I added yellow card to the front and back as yellow is a colour that evokes happiness. So I lined my stamps up with a stamping platform and stamped them across the panel in Honey Drizzle.
I stamped the main flower outline and then masked the flower to add the leaves as if they are coming from behind the flowers. for the back of the book I stamped two of the flowers at the bottom of the yellow panel and then added leaves reaching up the panel from them. Again I used masking to make the flowers appear to be overlapping as they would be in nature.

Then I wanted some more flowers for both the outside and inside the book. If you are new to Altenew inks then one of the things that I love most about them is the way you can buy them in colour sets where you have 4 shades of a colour making stamping the layering stamps a very simple process. For my project as I am using the honey drizzle and Aqualicious colours as my main focus I used the Sweet Dreams and Pocketful of sunshine ink sets to create my flowers. This means they tie in perfectly with the rest of the colours in the book but still have the shadow and high lights that give the them a 3D look.
For the layered flowers I have used the Build-A-Flower Hawaiian Coral stamp and die set

I stamped the layers in the following colours:
Outline: Jet black
Base layer: Yellow flower - Citrus Burst
Blue flower - Dew Drops
Second layer: Yellow flower - Maple Yellow
Blue flower - Aqualicious
Third Layer: Yellow flower - Honey Drizzle
Blue flower - Teal Cave 
Stamens: Hero arts soft granite

Once stamped I used the coordinating dies to cut them out so they are ready to use and I can play around layering them onto my pages like embellishments.

Going back to the front of the book I used one of the blue flowers on the front to contrast against the yellow. The band across the cover is a 10.8cm x 3.7cm grey card strip with a 10.2cm x 3cm white strip layered onto it. The sentiment is from the Handmade tags stamp set.

I have kept the back page more simplified an used the same 10.8cm x 3.7cm grey strip and layered a 10.8cm x 2cm yellow strip then a 10.8cm x 1cm teal strip on top of that.

The internal tuck pocket pages (the ones that are the bottoms of the bags) I have made sure that I have one in each of the colours and I am going to do the same design on each one. I am again keeping the tone on tone feel for these panels. For the leaves that I have stamped all across the panel I have used the Build-A-Flower Hawaiian Coral stamp set. I felt like the panel needed some more interest than just the stamping so I used a copic marker to add some dots around the leaves.

I used the following ink colours and copic colours.

Grey panel- Soft granite Hero Arts ink, C5 copic marker

Yellow panel - Honey Drizzle Altenew ink, Y38 copic marker

Blue/teal panel - Aqualicious Altenew ink, BG49 copic marker

Next I used the Altenew Layered Dahlia stencil to add a bit of colour and more texture to the bag behind each pocket. For each one I have used a contrasting colour. Finally for these tuck pocket pages I have used double sided tape to stick down just the edges of each tuck pocket.

This will just make sure that the little extra inserts I am adding will not fall out of the pocket. 
I made small 7.5cm x 5.7cm rectangles (3 in each colour) and then rounded the corners before slipping them into the tuck pockets ready for the person I give the book to to use any way they want.

 The pages next to the tuck pocket pages I kept simple so a larger picture can be added later. I cut an 8cm x 14cm rectangle of white card and fixed that the the centre of the page before adding one of the flowers that I had previously stamped up. 

With these flowers I only stuck the bottom half of the flowers so photos can be slipped behind the flower.

I am intending to gift this photo book to someone special so I have left the photo areas blank and just written sizes in the places so they know what size to cut the pictures to.

For the larger pockets I have made larger inserts that are 17cm x 11cm two of each colour and rounded all the corners again.

For the last pages I have two double page spreads. One is blue and the other is grey. I did the same thing on both again keeping them tone on tone. I used the both the A and B layers of the Layered Dahlia stencil and They Aqualicious ink plus a little tumbled glass distress oxide on the teal pages and Soft granite on the grey ones. Before I started the inking though I made a mask to ensure that I was just inking one flower in the corner of each page.
To get my mask I drew around the area of the stencil that I wanted to keep with a pencil.

Cut just inside of my drawn line so it would overlap the stencil slightly and stay in place.

Fix the stencil and the mask where I want it and ink through it.

I then repeated the same steps with the second layer and because it doubles up the ink in that area it looks darker even though it is the same coloured ink.

The last things for these pages are some white card cut to the sizes shown to just create places for pictures or journaling. Plus some little strips of card, which like the flowers are just fixed at one end so pictures can still be slipped under them.

To finish my book off I used a pokey tool to pierce holes all along the spine of the book before using thread to stitch it together. To cover the stitching I would the twine around the spine. 

Before tying a bow it the twine I also made a little shrink plastic charm of the Hawaiian coral flower. To do this I stamped the black out line in Kraftin' Kimmie hybrid ink and then did the layers in the Altenew crisp dye ink as I had for the others in the book. 

Here is a little video showing the steps for the shrink plastic charm.

And that finished my little paper bag book off. 

This little video shows all of the pages 😀

I hope this has inspired you to have a go at making one of these little books and recycling any paper bags that you have.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog.
Huge hugs

Amy xx

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