Painty Papers Journal Tutorial

Hello hello! I know that it’s been a while since I’ve posted here on the blog. Between special projects, art challenges and playing in my planners, time just seems to fly! There’s lot’s going on in the world of Art & Whimsy, but blogging is something I’m going to be better about from here on out. Today I’m excited to share a fun and super easy Painty Papers Journal tutorial with you. But first, a little about what I’m using mine for.

If you’re on Instagram you may have seen that a couple of months back there was a 30-day art challenge hosted by Rae Missigman called ArtMarks. If you missed it, you can read more about it on her blog. I didn’t participate in that round, but she decided to host another beginning April 1st, so I decided to jump on board. My decision to participate was rather last minute so I decided to just whip up a journal rather than buy one and I’m so happy i did.

There are countless methods for making mini journals to be found online, but this is what I came up with and was able to put together in a short while. Please keep in mind that my sewing technique is what you’d call “wonky” at best, but I didn’t let that stop me and you shouldn’t either. There’s something glorious in the wonkiness that makes it “imperfectly perfectly” once it’s done. So let’s get started, shall we?

I started by gathering painty papers. Some I had in my stash, either created by me or shared with me, and others I whipped up right before I started. Now, while I call this journal a Painty Papers Journal, you can add nearly any kind of substrate you’d like… canvas, specialty papers, recycled packaging… etc.

I added more texture, color, and visual interest to my painty papers using stencils, like these here from StencilGirl Products. Some of my current favorite are:

Next I tore the painty papers into my desired size and arranged them in the order I wanted them. I also separated them into 3 signatures (groups of pages) of 5 pages each. While this particular art challenge is 30 days long, this set up will yield 60 individual pages. It’ll give me some flexibility to do single or double page spreads, or even go back and complete the first round of ArtMarks, if the mood strikes me. Once you have your pages arranged, use clips to secure them in place.

Using a ruler and pencil, find and mark the center of each of your signatures. This is going to be your stitch guideline.

Stitch along your line. If you don’t have a machine, or if you’d prefer to do this step by hand, that works just as well.

Repeat for each signature.

Now that your signatures are stitched, this is a great time to add a few more layers and details to your painty pages. You can use stamps, washi, other papers, ribbon, etc.

Once that’s done it’s time to fashion a cover for your mini journal. In my stash I had this piece of gelli printed canvas that I created using the Circles Circles stencil from StencilGirl. I may add more paint & pen work to my cover as the month progresses, but it’s a good start.

I roughly eyeballed the size that I needed my cover to be and stitched the edges using my machine.

Next, I trimmed my canvas down to size and stitched on some bits of my Hand Dyed Ribbon to use as a closure,

For the last step, I needed to stitch the signatures to the inside of my canvas cover. You have the option to use your ruler, find the center, and draw a line, then draw lines on either side, to use as a guide when stitching in your signatures. Me, again embracing the wonkiness of it all, I just eyeballed it. A few quick stitches to the top and bottom of each signature, and done!

And there you have it, a unique, handcrafted Painty Papers Journal just waiting to be filled.

It’s not too late to get in on the ArtMarks fun, over on Instagram. If you decide to make your own journal and jump in, please please TAG ME so I can see your glorious work!

Thanks for following along, I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful. I wish you a beautiful week.

Happy Arting!








16 Comments on Painty Papers Journal Tutorial

  1. Kathy Marie Gerber
    April 3, 2017 at 8:17 am (3 months ago)

    I just love this challenge to be creative! The bright colors catch my eye and are so inspiring!

    • Belen Sotelo
      April 11, 2017 at 5:48 am (2 months ago)

      It’s such a fun challenge, isn’t it?!

  2. Mischelle Smith
    April 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm (3 months ago)

    LOVE it! Such happy, gorgeous colors!

  3. gerrie
    April 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm (3 months ago)

    This is amazing! Love your colors, design and stepouts!

    • Belen Sotelo
      April 11, 2017 at 5:49 am (2 months ago)

      Thanks, Gerrie. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it!

  4. Michelle P
    April 3, 2017 at 5:20 pm (3 months ago)

    Such a beautiful journal! Your painted papers are so yummy!

    • Belen Sotelo
      April 11, 2017 at 5:50 am (2 months ago)

      Michelle, you’re such a sweetheart, thank you!

  5. Julie
    April 11, 2017 at 6:16 am (2 months ago)

    Love the colors of your papers, the design, how to make into a book. Visual eye candie from beginning to end. Thanks so much for sharing and for inpsiring!

    • Belen Sotelo
      April 16, 2017 at 8:57 am (2 months ago)

      Thanks for your comments, Julie. These little books are fun to make and great to have on hand for a place to just play.

  6. Jennifer Nelson
    April 13, 2017 at 6:41 am (2 months ago)

    This is inspiring me to get back into my craft room and start creating again! I’ve been in a dry spell, but these great colors, the whimsical flow of this and yes, your wonkiness make me want to have fun again!

    Thanks for inspiring me!


    • Belen Sotelo
      April 16, 2017 at 9:00 am (2 months ago)

      What an awesome comments, Jennifer, thank you! And yes, do it… make your way back into that craftroom and just have fun! Wishing you a great week.

  7. Carol
    May 4, 2017 at 2:24 am (2 months ago)

    Absolutely gorgeous!!!! TFS

  8. Rochelle Malone
    May 6, 2017 at 4:29 pm (2 months ago)

    Belen thank you for sharing this! It is beautiful! You have inspired me !
    I can’t wait to make one !

    • Belen Sotelo
      May 8, 2017 at 4:33 pm (2 months ago)

      Thank you, Rochelle. I’d love to see what you create, if you’re inclined to share!


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