Geodisic Paper Ornament
Inspired by Holidays Handmade

Teach the Children

This guest post is from Diane Marra.  She shares how to transform an ordinary board book into a hand made treasure.  There is a lot of stamping and heat embossing used in this project.  In case you're unfamiliar with heat embossing, here is a link to a video that shows the basics.  However, I'm warning you that it is an ad for a very noisy heat tool.  But it was the shortest video I could find that covered the basics without a lot of useless chit chat.   

The book has lots of fold outs and pockets for hidden journaling.  The techniques in this tutorial would work for any topic.

I wanted to make a book for my children and grandchildren to read each Christmas season.  This Christmas story is about Santa reminding us to “teach the children” the true meaning of Christmas. The author is unknown, and I love the word pictures the story creates. 

Teach the Children entire book 2010
To read the complete story, Download Teach the Children story Faith Sisters 2008. I have also made a free printable copy of the story that I used in my book and you can get it at my store on Adore Him Creations. I first read the story over at Faith Sisters a few years ago.

Thanks for letting me share my vision with you all.

Prepare the Book

I used a children’s board book with 5 pages.

Blank book
Blank book
You can find them at a dollar store.

Cover the entire book with gesso.

Adding gesso
Adding gesso
Depending on the colors on the pages, you may need to do 2 coats.

Paint over the gesso to color the pages.  (You need to use gesso first because gesso is a primer and grabs onto the shiny surface of the board book.)  Here's a quick video that explains the overpainting technique.

I used 5 colors of blue, a light, med and dark. I painted and wiped to get the soft grungy look. I use inexpensive acrylic paint you can find at Michaels.

You can decorate your book any way you wish.  I am going to share some of the techniques I used to decorate mine.


You'll notice that throughout the book I've used vintage Santa pictures. I downloaded my vintage Santa pictures from the internet.  Here are some sites to try for images: Here, here, here, and here.  The shine on the paper is from Stickles (glitter glue). 

Technique of note: I used a stamp from the Tim Holtz “Urban Grunge” collection around the “A Happy Christmas" sentiment on the card, and embossed with Zing: brown sugar.  

Page 1

We're going to create a little booklet for the first part of my story.  I decorated the page base by stamping and embossing snowflakes.

Page 1 stamping snowflakes
I printed my text onto patterned paper...

Page 1 inside story
...and folded it lengthwise to create the booklet.  Punch the corners. 

Page 1 border punch (2)
Adhere one side of the folded text page to the first page of the board book.  Embellish your page with a matted vintage Santa picture.  Add a tab to open the story up. 

Page 1 inside story
Page 2

Stamp an evergreen tree stamp (Penny Black Pine & Star 3034K) and emboss it.

Page 2 embossing tree
Print your text (I used “The Christmas Tree” story) on Christmas paper and attach to the page.

Page 2 adding story
Using a stencil (Dots all Around Crafters Workshop TCW78) use a white pen to fill in the circles, add your text with a pen, and then add Stickles to the dots.

Page 2 stencil
Page 2 stencil
Page 2 stencil
Page 2 stencil
To finish off the page stamp the word "hope" above the story and emboss it with white embossing powder.

Page 2 Hope
Page 3

You may have noticed that I like to embellish my printed vintage images with Stickles. 

Page 3 top
I used an actual star ornament on my page. (Mine is from the Dollar Tree.)

Page 3 inside story
The rest of the page consists of a library pocket (template here) stamped, Glimmer Misted, and with text added.

Page 3 adding glimmer mist

Page 3 adding glimmer mist
Page 4

I used a tree/branch stamp (Stampscapes Oak Branch 203G), and stamped it onto vellum.  To create the Christmas ornaments, I stamped TPC Studio “Christmas Glamour Clear Stamps” onto a separate piece of paper.  I cut them out and “hung” them from the stamped tree.  I also added Stickles to the flourish design.  

Page 4 ornaments
I added text using handwriting, stamps, and even a printed image.

Page 4 complete
Page 5

Page 5 silver bells complete
You can do a lot of the design work digitally.  For this page I printed the story over my image and adhered it to the page. I added a pretty silver ribbon for some decoration and dimension.  I also added tiny silver bells on a string.

Page 6

Page 6 Shining Light
I mixed up stamps, stickers, and computer journaling for the text on this page.  The large image is actually a card that opens to reveal more of the story. 

Page 6 complete
I think it's important to include a tab so that the viewer knows to open the card.

Page 7

We are going to create a hidden spot for our story with a patterned paper cover. Print your text onto vellum and attach the left edge to a piece of patterned paper that is larger than the piece of vellum.  Create a fold at the left edge of where the vellum and patterned paper overlap.

Page 7 inside
If you have any decorative border punches, punch 3 sides of the patterned paper.

Page 1 border punch
Adhere the vellum to the book page.  Add a vintage Santa picture, and mini candy canes (you can find them at the dollar store, sold as an ornament for mini trees).  I added Stickles and a snowflake (from Dollar Tree) for even more dimension.

Page 8

Wreaths are a very popular symbol of the season.  Here are four easy steps to create your own:

  1. cut a circle
  2. add Stickles 
  3. add a small red bow on top. 
  4. stamp and emboss the Teresa Collins “Christmas Circle Stamp" TC-8144 from Stampers Anonymous

Page 8 wreath
Page 8 wreath
For this page, I once again created a card that folds out to reveal the story. I used the same method as in page 7, but I didn't punch the border.  Instead, I decorated the inside of the cover with a Santa image.

Page 8 inside card
The glittery circles along the left edge are stamped and then I added Stickles on top.

Page 8 complete
Back of Book

Page 9 complete
Along with the other decorations, the back of the book has the end of the story on a strip that fits into a pocket.

Page 9 inside story
To create the pocket:

  1. Start with an envelope. 
  2. Decorate the front as desired. 
  3. Use a circle punch to create a half circle at the top of the envelope.

Attach the envelope to the page and insert the story strip.

Congratulations, you have created an heirloom Christmas Story book for your family to enjoy year after year. Please post your pictures so we can all be inspired!

Diane pink My name is Diane Marra and I am a mixed-media Christian artist.  A mother of 6 (3 boys, 3 girls) I have been scrapbooking, art journaling and doing mixed media faith art for 10 years. My work is characterized by combining words of faith with color, texture, paint and paper. I have a passion for creating faith art as well as teaching others how to creatively pursue art (journaling, scrapbooking, mixed media and painting) as an expression of worship.  Adore HIM Creations was created to showcase and inspire people to create art from their heart to His.

Blog:  My Soul Sings
Website: Adore HIM Creations

Etsy:  Adore HIM Creations