Mini Album Makers July Challenge . . .

MAM July A

Combining three of the Mini Album Makers Challenge Sponsors was so much fun. This mini was completed with help from Eileen Hull's Travel Journal, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Steampunk chippies and Seth Apter's Baked Textures. 

This project started with Eileen Hull's Travel Journal die available from Sizzix and your favorite craft store.


The die will cut the front & back cover as well as 3 labels.  Although this is a large die, it will definitely fit through your Big Shot. You will need the longer plates.

Since this die cuts around the covers and scores the page inserts, you will need to use matboard or chipboard for the covers. Using this die to cut paper will cut through the score marks of the die.

Here's what the covers will look like:

Journal Die
One of the spines will overlap the other spine slightly. Take a look at this PDF that Sizzix put together:

I also found this YouTube video very helpful:


Once you have the covers cut, choose decorative paper to cover the chipboard. You will need 2 pieces of decorative paper for the front cover and 2 pieces for the back cover. Using the die, cut out all the decorative paper.

Using wet glue or scor tape, cover both sides of the front & back cover with the decorative paper.

String as described in the instructions/video above.


I tweaked my journal a bit by adding a decorative cover over the spine. Here's how:

  1. Cut a piece of decorative paper 5.5" wide X 8.75" tall.
  2. Score on the 5.5" side at 1.75" and 2.75".
  3. I then used a decorative edge punch and punched both sides of the paper. If you are using a punch with a very wide design, you might want to cut the paper 6.5" wide instead of 5.5".
  4. You have 3 sections to this paper. Add scor tape on the back of the paper only on the right and left sides (no scor tape in the 1" middle section).
  5. Attach the front portion of the paper to the front cover.
  6. Attach the back portion of the paper to the back cover.
  7. The 1" center spine cover remains loose.

MAM July C

Once the spine cover was secured, I added another piece of chipboard to the front cover. (I like building up a cover.)

Mam July D

And a second smaller layer to the cover:

MAM July E

Now that you have the basic journal put together, it's time to add the pages. I used 3 pieces of decorative paper for each signature.

  1.  Cut 3 pieces of decorative paper 7.25" tall X 7.5" wide.
  2. Score each piece on the 7.5" side at 3.75"
  3. Sandwich the 3 pieces of paper together = 1 signature

Repeat the steps above 2 more times to create 3 signatures total.

Once that's complete, each signature will tuck behind one of the elastic bands. 


Now that Eileen Hull's Journal is put together, I'll show you how I used our other two sponsors products, Seth Apter and Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts products I used:


Dress Forms with Wings


Gears Shape Set

Collage Border Steampunk



Steampunk Light Set


Texture Sheet Gears

Seth Apter Products used (available through Emerald Creek):




Combining Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts and Seth Apter Baked Texture powders is a match made in heaven. Begin with raw chipboard.

Of course, because the Baked Textures work as embossing powders, you need something for the powders to stick to prior to heating. I used a combination of burnt umber & rust acrylic paint and Prima's Rust Effect paint in dark brown.

Mam July D

Prior to attaching to the cover, I randomly painted burnt umber and/or rust. Before the paint dried, I sprinkled on Seth Apter's Baked Textures. I used all 3 colors on each of the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. 

To create chunky areas, I painted on the Prima Rust Effect. It's very chunky and comes in dark brown - perfect for a rust effect. Before it dried, I sprinkled on a bit of the Baked Texture again and heat set.

MAM July J

MAM July I

After using the Baked Textures, I had a bit of it left in my tray (three different colors). 

MAM July M

Instead of throwing it out, I took a tag and a pad of Versamark ink and scraped the sides of a tag. Then dipped it in the Baked Texture mix I had left and heat set.

MAM July K

Once everything was where I wanted, I added some prills to the front cover.


MAM July L

MAM July H

Thanks for riding along with me on this Steampunk venture. I appreciate your visits and comments.

Now it's your turn.

Join this month's 

Mini Album Makers Challenge

Our July 2018 Sponsor is Lindy's Stamp Gang

Enter for a chance to win a $25 Gift Certificate!

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See you on the

Mini Album Makers Challenge blog!


Hometown girl makes good . . .

. . . STENCILS. Mary Beth Shaw is the owner of Stencil Girl Stencils and I am happy to say lives near me. I've been a fan of her stencils for years.  This month, we're thrilled to be sharing some of her stencils on our Mini Album Makers Challenge blog.

Since I'm waiting for paint to dry, I'll share one of the first projects I ever did with Stencil Girl Stencils.


Love the detail she gets in her stencils.

And the list of artists who design for Stencil Girl is a who's who list!


(Stencil used on the above book: Bird in Window)

This month on Mini Album Makers Challenge blog, I've re-created a book I did a loooonnnnnggggg time ago. It's a super-easy binding with a flexible spine. Let's get started:

Book 3

For the binding you will need:

  • 2 pieces of chipboard for the covers, each measuring 5" wide X 7" tall
  • 6 pieces of cardstock for the page binding, each cut 6-3/4" tall X 2-1/8" wide

Jun B

  • You will also need decorative paper for the covers, binding and inside pages.  I used an A-4 pack from Prima Marketing.
  • Scor-Tape or your favorite wet glue. I used scor-tape.

For the binding:

Score each of the 2-1/8" pieces of cardstock at 1" and 1-1/8".

Jun C

I call that middle section a gusset and the left & right side a margin.  There is a *right* way to fold on score lines. One side of your score line is a valley (indented) and the other side of the paper shows score lines as a mountain (bursting up). Always fold towards the mountain. It will give you a crisper edge.

So you'll end with 6 pieces that look like this:

Jun D

Working with just one side of each binding piece, place scor-tape on the left and right margins. DO NOT OVERLAP tape on the gusset. 

Tape one margin of one binding piece to the next binding's margin, until you get a look like this:


Jun F

Notice that there will be left & right wing margins that will not be attached to anything. That's how we'll attach this binding to the book (later).

Jun E

 Time to decorate:

1.  Cut 2 pieces of decorative paper for the outside covers. I'm wrapping the cover so I will be cutting my paper 1" larger (all around) than the chipboard.  My chipboard is 5" X 7" so my decorative paper will measure 7" x 9".

2.  Place scor-tape on one side of the chipboard.

Jun G

3.  Remove the scor-tape and center the chipboard, tape down, onto the center back of the decorative paper.  Repeat for the back cover.

Jun H

 4.  Next, I fold all the edges in towards the raw chip. This makes it easy to tape the paper.  Miter the corners being careful not to cut too far into the paper. The idea is to cover the corners without chipboard showing.

Jun I

5.  Place tape on the edges and fold over onto the chipboard.  Repeat with the back cover.

Jun J

NOTE: If you fold the top and bottom over first on the front cover, do the same on the back cover. Looks a bit more professional ; )

Jun K

Adding the spine to the covers.

Cut a piece of decorative paper 3" wide X 7" tall. This paper will show on the outside of your book.

With the front & back cover facing up and the decorative spine paper in the center (also facing up) . . . 

Jun L

attach score tape to each side of the spine paper - 1" on each side - leaving a 1" center spine paper showing:

Jun M

Remove one piece of tape and attach one of the covers to the tape, up to the 1" tape. Repeat with the 2nd cover. 

You will see both covers + the spine paper showing in between the covers.

Jun N



Jun O

Open the book to insert the binding system. This binding system is not attached to the spine. Rather, we will be using the two wings (left & right margins) and attach those to the front and back cover, avoiding taping anything to the spine.

Place scor-tape on the underside of both the left and right margin of the binding.  Attach the left margin to the front cover and the right margin to the back cover. The margins will not touch the spine at all, but will sit securely onto the covers.

Jun P

 Add pages to the binding:

  • There are 5 pages in this book and 5 fins sticking up from the binding.
  • Cut 10 pieces of cardstock measuring 4-1/4" wide X 6-3/4" tall.  
  • With scor-tape, attach one piece of cardstock to each side of a fin.  If you wish, you can add scor-tape to the top and bottom of the cardstock to create a side pocket.
  • Cover each page with decorative paper.

Cut 2 pieces of decorative paper 4-3/4" wide X 6-3/4" tall for the inside front & back cover. 

  • Attach decorative paper to the inside covers.

Book 1

Next up, the cover and Stencil Girl combined with Prima Marketing:

Book A

Select the Stencil Girl product you want to use. I chose this Pressed Leaf pattern.  

  1. Place the stencil on top of the paper (or the substrate chosen). You might want to tape the pattern down with painters' tape so that it doesn't move. 
  2. I'm using Platinum Crackle Texture Paste for my medium and spreading it on top of the stencil.

SG 1

I don't worry about getting it smooth. Let dry thoroughly.

SG 2

 Once dry, there's a shimmering crackle that looks beautiful with a simple pattern.

SG 3

I chose to use the crackle in it's own color. You can add color to the crackle with Prima Marketing Artisan Powders.  Mix the powders in thoroughly with the crackle before applying to the stencil.

Instead, I chose to color the background with Artisan Powders and a small round paintbrush, giving it a bit more depth:

SG 4

And the finished product:

Book 2

Thanks for taking the time to view this Mini Album Makers tutorial.

It was so much fun working with Stencil Girl Products.

Join the Challenge fun on the

Mini Album Makers Challenge blog this month

for a chance to win a prize package 

from our generous sponsor

Stencil Girl Products

Stencil Girl Blog

Stencil Girl Tutorials

Also entering this in the

Vintage Journay June Challenge

Attache for Father's Day . . .

Attache z

My latest Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts is up on the gslcuts blog today. Just in time for Father's Day, this attache is easily put together.

Need a Mother's Day or graduation gift? Change up the paper and you're ready to go.

See more including the inside pages and a quick video on the Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts blog today:

Thanks for visiting!