Friday, July 24, 2020

A Story for Girls Tag Book

Hello friends,

I am working on a kit for the fall using Dylusions Mixed Media 12" Journaling Tags.  I needed the lower half of each tag, which left me with about 1 million "tops" (of course I saved every single one "just in case I need it").  I kept walking by the pile in my craft room and I couldn't take it anymore, I had to make something with them.  My idea was to create a little book, so that is todays tutorial: building the book.  Because if you can make one this size, you can make ten more other sizes...really limitless.  

I gathered 6 tag tops (mine are cut 3 3/4" wide) and lightly sprayed each piece with Speckled Egg and Antique Linen Distress Stay Spray.  I blotted after spraying to remove parts of the speckled finish (not a fan of speckles).  I dried them with the Heat It Tool then repeated on the other side.
I chose this large stamp from the Lady Rose set and added it to a Grid Block.
I sprayed three colors of Distress Stain onto the Glass Media Mat - Shabby Shutters, Scattered Straw and Speckled Egg. Then pressed the stamp right into the stain.  
Picking up the stamp you can see that it's wet but there should not be liquid dripping off...that is too much stain.  If you are unsure, test the stamp on a scrap piece of paper so you know how much liquid to use.
I stamped each tag top one at a time to get this watercolor look.  Some are strong impressions and some are light.  It will not matter how the impression looks in the final book - so unique is good!  
Once one side was dry, I turned the cards over and stamped the other side.
My favorite part are the places I stamped the tiny leaves that are on the end of the stamp. I inked only this area of the stamp to add this detail on each card.
I wanted to add another stamped image - a polka dot.  This time only Speckled Egg Spray Stain was used and no Grid block (again, test on scrap piece of paper first).
Roll the stamp onto a portion of the tag top.
The stamp looks pretty uniform at first.
Before the spray dries, use two fingers to press a paper towel in a few spots.
You can see that pressing paper towel into the wet stain make the polka dots look more organic rather than just stamped on.
Randomly stamp all the cards (front and back) with the polka dots.
To connect the cards I cut six strips of Dina's Media Tape and stamped Speckled Egg Distress Ink and Bundled Sage.

I matched up cards and taped them together with the Media Tape. Be sure to leave about 1/16" between the two cards so they will fold easily.  Note: there is tape on both sides of the card sets.
To make the pages into a book, I cut a small piece duck cloth the same length as the card.
Starting on the right side of the duck cloth, I sewed right down the middle between the two cards.
Fold the first set closed then line up the second set of cards with a bit of space between the first and second set.
Open the second set and sew down the center.  Repeat steps for the third set of pages.
I thought this might be helpful to see each set of tag tops individually stitched to the duck cloth (or spine).
I needed a cover so I cut a 12" tag to fit my leftover tag tops. Mine is 8" long - I just estimated how long it should be by wrapping the paper around the 6 tag tops.  I sprayed the paper on both sides exactly the same way as the tag tops.
To combine the two pieces, I simply glued the duck cloth to the cover with Collage Medium.,
So that is how I built the book.  Super easy to do if you have a sewing machine handy.  Like I said at the beginning, you can make any size or shape of book to suit your needs.

As I move on to the inside of the book.  You will find that anything goes, vintage paper mixed with idea-ology Found Relatives and Photobooth.  The one constant is flowers.  Some have been trimmed and some chopped up to create a new idea.  Flower crowns are fussy-cut individual flowers made to look like they belong together.  I will try and note bits of information throughout, but since I chose a very limited amount of materials to work with, it's not hard to figure out what I did.  I find this freeing (limiting my choices) because it forces me to work with what is "at arms reach" as my friend Deb Crouse taught me way back in our 7gypsies days.  I love a good challenge!

This is what I used on the inside
4 Photobooth
4 Found Relatives (cut out)
Field Notes Ephemera pack
Classic Stickers
Clippings Stickers
paper from a vintage Reader book
Tiny Toadstools stamp set - text stamp 
Field Notes stamp set - small numbers
Archival Ink: Black Soot
vintage lace
6 pieces of ribbon
ps) if you know me, you already know all the images were colored with Distress Crayons.

I used Collage Medium to add dyed cheesecloth over the spine portion of the book.

Here are all the Found Relatives and flowers I used on each.  You might notice the girl on the bottom left card. The hat on the lady was too good to pass up, so I added it to the girls head on the front cover.
I used 4 of these Photobooth.  I tried to arrange them so you can see the flowers used.  The girl at the top (with the star background) and the lady on the middle right share the same group of flowers.  When you see each of their respective pages you will be able to tell which flowers I used where. 

Detail shots of each collage
Just random ribbon bits from my stash.
The 365 stamp on the Classic Sicker is from Field Notes Stamp set.  I also tried to add stitching to each page but this is totally optional.
A magic carpet of flowers!  I thought she needed striped tights so I painted them on.
The blue halo around the pink Classic Sticker is done with a water brush at the very end.  More water than's just loosely washed around the image to create a drop shadow.
I love how the text stamp from the Toadstools set 'pops' against the neutral background by stamping with Black Soot Archival ink.
Don't be afraid to use "chopped off" people!
Added lace at the top with Collage Medium.
In the Found Relative photo she is holding a teddy bear.  I cut it out and replaced with clipped flowers.
I hope you have enjoyed the book. I sure enjoyed making it. I love the fussy cutting, figuring out what flowers to use where. I also loved the easy stamping technique that leaves so much room for error that no one needs a do-over. We could all use a little more of that in our life, right?

thanks everyone...
now carry on,


  1. This is so beautiful and innovative Paula! I really enjoyed learning the binding technique. I’d love to try that! And I have yet to fights Distress Spray stamping but it’s so beautiful and soft I really need to do it soon. Thanks for the Friday inspiration!

    1. It took me a few tries to get it close to what I wanted. I also found that every stamp is different as to how it holds on to the ink/stain.

  2. I am currently getting into making mini albums and this gives me great inspiration. What a treasure you created ♡♡

    1. thank you Freddie. I know I need to make more!

  3. This is absolutely amazing! Thank you for the inspiration!

  4. Great little treasure, love all the bits and pieces you combined....

  5. Magnificent, Paula! What a great way to use those bits and pieces that always accumulate, it seems everywhere... I really like the flower theme throughout the little book! Thanks for sharing!❤️

    1. Thank you Nancy. Appreciate you stopping by the blog!

  6. So, so, so, SO perfect! another winner! Gonna have to give this one a go too!

  7. So beautiful with lots of ideas. Love this!

  8. Oh my word, so much to comment on. First, I didn't know you weren't a fan of Still in shock. Next, the fact that you stitched on the pages after the book was bound together is pure stitching yoga. I can't even imagine the are a true seamstress. Then, stitching the pages to the binding was genius. I would never even have thought to use the media tape, much less stamp on it like that, but the fact that it takes stitching is awesome. You are awesome and what a brilliant design. LOVE every gorgeous chic page, and all the cutting and flowers. Truly a little work of Art and oh the time. You never cease to amaze. I'm also working on a little book, but I hate doing the Thank you for the inspiration I needed.

    1. thank you Anita. I loved working on this one because of the challenge to get flowers on every page. It is my first time using the Media tape but very cool for stamping and inking. I think you would like that stuff.

  9. Paula, this is so very wonderful!!!! Every bit from the tags used to the construction to the final decorating!!!! Sometimes I wish I could just come watch you create while hearing your thoughts as you but all the bits together.

  10. I absolutely love this! I have all the products. I must try something similar!

  11. I just love this! You had me at the stamped tag tops and then oh wow, such a great binding! Fabulous layering and details, so typical of your style and work, this is an incredible piece and tutorial, thank you for the inspiration xx

  12. Speechless as always! fabulous projecy fabulous tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Stunning as always Paula! But really you had me at "creating a fall kit"!

  14. This is amazing!! I love the combination of elements. Thanks for your awesome, detailed post and for sharing this beautiful creation!!

  15. Thankyou for sharing. So many beautiful details. Absolutely stunning. You have really inspired me to create. xx

  16. Thankyou for sharing. So many beautiful details. Absolutely stunning. You have really inspired me to create. xx

  17. Thankyou for sharing. So many beautiful details. Absolutely stunning. You have really inspired me to create. xx

  18. I am very much in the early learning stage in mixed media. Just a note to say Thanks! for your post and for generously offering your list of supplies.

  19. Paula - clever clever clever. Wonderful tutorial as always & you have a great way of explaining the steps in a clear & concise manner. Thank you. Be well