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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Another birthday card to inspire you, and a handmade nature journal too!

Hi everyone

Today we'd like to share with you an 8x8 birthday card and a nature journal, both made using Craft Consortium's Riverbank collection. The papers in the collection are gorgeous, and the toppers allow you to create realistic river scenes.

For this card, you need an 8x8 card blank. Take one of the papers - we chose the one which looks like water - and use it as the base layer. Then cut out lots of the lovely toppers from the inside cover of the paper pad, using a craft knife and scissors with a small curved blade, and build up a pretty water scene complete with reeds, bullrushes, dragonfly and damselfly, an otter looking for a meal, a frog resting on a lily pad and a kingfisher watching over everyone, or any other combination you choose. Just lay out your scene, play around with it until you're happy, and then glue all the pieces in place. We love how this scene comes together so easily but with such impact.

Stamp the sentiment using any stamp of your choice - we chose a Ranger Letter It stamp set because the words are a lovely size - and stamp it with black archival ink onto white card. Cut the sentiment card to a pennant shape and apply Pumice Stone Distress Ink to tone it down.

Inside ....

.... Use a paper of your choice to cover both sides - you can see we chose one covered in fish! Then cut the centre sentiment shapes (we used Tim Holtz's die set Stacked Baroque). The word "celebrate" is again from a Ranger Letter It stamp set. Cut more toppers from the inside cover of the paper pad and add these to the centres. And finally add some decorative corners to finish.


And here's the front again - isn't it effective, and so dimensional?

Next is a handmade nature journal. You can make journal covers using dies - there are quite a few on the market, or you can go old school, like we did, and make one without using a die at all.

Take a piece of 2mm thick chipboard double the size of the journal you want to make and score it from top to bottom twice to create a 1-inch "spine" in the centre. Paint it with white acrylic paint on the inside and around the edges.

Cut a strip of paper to cover the outside of the spine and glue it in place, making sure it's long enough to continue up into the inside of the spine a little way. Tear strips of paper from a couple of sheets and ink the edges with Pumice Stone Distress Ink to age them. Glue them randomly onto the front and back covers using clear drying glue and trim all the edges as necessary. Apply a thin coat of sealer on top to help protect the cover from wear and tear.

Cut a wider strip of another paper and turn this into a band for around the centre of the journal to hold it together when not in use, or you could use ribbon or an elastic band if you prefer. Make sure the band isn't too tight around the journal, or you won't be able to slide it on and off. Use strong double-sided tape to fix the two ends of the band together.

Decorate the front cover however you choose - we used more toppers from the Riverbank paper pad.

Punch a hole at each end of the spine.

Now for the inside.

Decorate the inside front and back covers with paper of your choice, we used the same paper as for the band.

Cut out lots more of the toppers from the inside cover of the paper pad.

Create slots and pockets (we used Tim Holtz's Stitched Slots and Gift Card Bag dies for these) using more papers, to hold all the toppers, and glue these to the front and back inside covers. Fill with your toppers. The idea behind this is that you can use a quickie glue pen to glue them to your journal pages when you spot any of these creatures or plants when out on your nature walks and then write notes alongside, such as where you were, date, etc., when you spotted them.

Finally, take some Baker's Twine or other strong thread and thread it through the holes. We added a Dragonfly charm from the Riverbank Collection to decorate the thread on the outside of the journal. Take sheets of your favourite art paper (be it watercolour, cartridge or something else) and cut them to the right size for your journal. Feed them through behind the Baker's Twine, and you're good to go!

We hope this inspires you to make something unique and special.

Bye for now!

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