I love creating fabric covers for plain books and albums. I think it is a great way to tie in the look and feel of the inside of an album to the outside. I also love to sew so it helps me tie another love into the love of paper crafting. Since I love the shabby look, I tend to create covers that have exposed edges. Not only are they super shabby, they are super easy and quick to make.
Want to see how easy? Check out the tutorial I created for Tim Holtz’s blog featuring his Eclectic Elements Fabric- Thankful Gratitude Journal.
The base album is a wonderful chipboard album from Seth Apter’s collection for Spellbinders. I love the 7.25″ x 9.25″ size, which makes it work with many of the pocket pages out there. There are refill pages available as well as a die for cutting your own pages. I used fabric from an older collection from Sweetwater. To create a focal area for the cover, I added layers of Ranger Sticky Back Canvas and cotton batting.
I stamped the Sticky Back Canvas with my Dear Ruby stamp using a brown archival ink. (Do you know Dear Ruby’s story? Read it HERE.) I love that it is just imperfect enough that you can read bits and pieces of it but it isn’t so clear that it becomes the focus.
For the next layer I added a strip of vintage woven stabilizer fabric. Stabilizer like this can be called many things, including Horsehair… Yes, this is a piece of the actual fabric that my Horsehair Embossing Folder was created from!
In the center of the book I added my main feature by building up more layers. At the bottom is a wonderful twill ribbon that has words about art and journaling. I have had that piece in my stash for over 10 years!! I have always been hesitant to use it, knowing that if a better project for it came along I couldn’t get more. Finally, the right project was there!
Although it is hard to spot, there is a wool felt and batting heart quilted to the cover. The wool felt is cream with a bit of staining and aging thanks to some Spun Sugar and Gathered Twigs Distress Spray Stains.
Next I added one of my Frayed Tabs die cut from manila cardstock to serve as a great between the ribbon and the vintage paintbrush. Without it, the paintbrush would not stand out as much against the busy print of the ribbon.
The main focus of the grouping is a pair of crinoline flowers created with my Pinked Posies die and coloring with Distress Spray Stains. A simple cluster of pearl stamens in the centers give them a really sweet look.
The leaves are also die cut from crinoline using the single leaf from the Pom Pom Posies set. Did you happen to notice the hint of sparkle on the leaves? After inking them with Distress Inks and Sprays, I brushed them with the Wink of Stella Clear Glitter Brush Pen. It totally shows up on the fabric and adds a really sweet subtle shimmer!
Interested in learning more about how I make my crinoline flowers? Check out my tutorials in the millinery gallery!
Want to learn more about crinoline, the fabric used in most of my flower tutorials? Check out my crinoline help & facts page!
I love and collect vintage buttons, especially those with rhinestones in them. I wanted to add a couple to the cluster of embellishments but wanted them to have a touch of color to make them stand out. I solved that by simple drizzling them with Lettuce, Sailboar, and Mushroom Alcohol Ink. I also gave a Tim Holtz Typed Token a drip or two to help it match.
I finished the whole thing off with a sweet little Crinkle Ribbon bow colored with Picked Raspberry and Spun Sugar Distress Spray Stains.
I love the way it all turned out. It is just so sweet and shabby and vintage. I originally made the binder to serve as a display at CHA. I had a page for each of my dies in it. Once it is retired from its current life as a sales sample at the office I plan to use it as a personal journal with art journal style pages.