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Guest Post: Stenciled Folded Booklet with Marit


Hello everyone, and a Happy New Year! I hope your year will be filled with creativity and bright colours. Those bright colours are of course up to you to add... However, in the grey and boring month of January, you might need a little push towards the brightness so here's a tutorial to create a fun and colourful booklet that will make you smile. Because, after all, we can all do with a smile every now and then. Enjoy!

Phase 1: Cutting and folding the base for your booklet

Collect your tools (see photo) and a large sheet of thick paper. (The example booklet in this tutorial is 26.5 inch wide, but if you don't have paper that size, you can go for less pages - see construction drawing)

Measure the booklet on the paper and cut it out. Use the embossing pen (or a bone folder) to crease the paper and fold the pages.

Phase 2: Creating the background with spray ink and templates

Next step is to create a colourful background using spray ink and templates. I used Dylusions spray ink and Julie's TCW 6 x 6 stencils Pomegranate and Layered Beads. And really... using only two stencils is more than enough to create a fun and messy background, you'll see!

Here's where the messy work starts... I recomment you protect your work surface as spray ink tends to end up in places you don't want it to be. You can of course use colours in the same colour range (i.e. shades of blues) or create a 'cold' (blue, green) or 'warm' (red, yellow) background but for this vivid example I use it all to make it real colourful!

Wet your paper and spray some ink onto the blank booklet. Move the paper to make the ink flow. Keep on spraying ink onto the paper, through the stencils (flip the sprayed stencil over to 'stamp' the ink on the other side onto the paper) and so on... just play and make it a fun background! Create a fun background on both sides of the booklet (let one side dry before you start working on the other side - I'm impatient so I use a heat gun to speed the process...)

Phase 3: Stitching the binding cord

Next it's time to decide with which cord, ribbon or lace you want your booklet to close. Choose a colour that fits the colours of your booklet. I use my sewing machine to stitch the cord onto the booklet but if you don't have a sewing machine, you can use staples as well.

Sew the cord onto the booklet (see photo.) I find that using a zigzag stitch works best and the shape of this stitch looks real nice. 

Fold the booklet and close it with the cord. You can now see how the front and back looks like... You may want to mark these areas before you start gluing all kind of images in the book. I find that when you in the process of collaging the booklet, you easily forget to think about the cover/back and before you know it, you accidently glue a picture on a page that ends up (half) showing on the cover... you don't want that to happen!

Phase 4: Adding images to your booklet

Now another fun phase starts... collect all sorts of images, stickers, journaling pads, etc. Cut out images (or words/sentences) that you like. The images don't have to have something to do with each other.. just go with what you like. Choose your favorites, shove them around on the pages to make a nice composition and glue them onto the pages. Do this on both sides of your booklet (mind the cover and backside of the booklet!)

Phase 5: Doodling it all together

You now have a booklet with randomly glued images on the pages. Images without much meaning... I, for instance, picked a plane, a chicken, some cut-out circles, rubber boots, a stamped image and a cut out painting ('Klimt') of a lady...

... on the other side I glued a collaged face, a beetle on a grass halm, a hand holding a herb and a cut out circle from a left over gelatin print.

Now its time to use those markers and bring those images all together. Connect them by drawing lines, doodles, dots, quotes... do whatever you like! ! I like to use only black and white markers, but you can of course use coloured markers too.

When you are satisfied, close the booklet and finish the cover. You can glue litte image, or add a title... it depends on what you want to do with your booklet. I myself like to give them to friends for their birthdays. In that case I add the date as a title to the cover... (I usually hand-carve the date or numbers and emboss it for more texture.)

It's up to you to finish the cover and make this booklet your own!


Additional Supplies:

  • Large sheet of thick paper (at least 83 lbs - preferably thicker)
  • Piece of leather lace (or ribbon)
  • Cut out images, stickers, journaling pads etcetera for collaging

Marit-bio-photoMarit Barentsen – Born at the Seashore – Daughter of Creative Parents – Music from the Sixties – Flower Power Girl – Dreamer – Rationalist – Creator – Art Teacher – Poet – Writer – Art Journaler – Artist – Story Teller – Wannabe Mermaid – Blogger – Pedagogue – Mother – Lover – Insecure Little Girl – Wise Old Lady – Free Spirit

Marit is a passionate art journaler, mixed media artist, art instructor and creative text writer from the Netherlands. After living in a different part of the country for thirty years, she and her beloved moved back last year to live near the sea in the province Marit was born and raised: Zeeland.

From her mom, who is a poet and a writer, Marit inherited a passion for words. She combines her poetic nature with the analytic and visual side that she inherited from her dad. The combination of the two almost automatically lead her to study to become a teacher in the arts. After art school, she went on studying on a more theoretical level and the arts got pushed to the sideline. Years later, when she worked as a creative digital designer, she picked up working with ‘the real stuff’ again.

It was, however, not until she discovered ‘art journaling’ that her art took a big flight. In art journaling, Marit re-discovered the combination of words and images in a way that truly combines all her different sides. She now creates full time and teaches workshops in art journaling.