Friday, May 14, 2021

Salvaged Patina Fabric Journal

Hello friends,

I am sharing a project from the Salvaged Patina release today, my mixed media Fabric Book.  This was such a fun project to create!  Lots of Collage Paper, Spray Stain and Distress Paint in the mix, along with Paper Dolls (both Solos and Groups)!  The Fabric Book is compact...or rather, it is just the right amount of space for Paper Dolls and ephemera and not so much space to be overwhelming.  Just my kind of substrate.
Lets start with the book itself...
The idea-ology Fabric Journal is made up of Cover and two, 4 page signatures. In the picture below, you can see the cover on the left and I am folding over one of the signatures.
To make the book I will be showing you today, I am only using the cover and one signature. Can you use the whole book and never take it apart? Of course you can. I just found it easier to unstitch each signature seam, work on the book using only the pages that I wanted.  The second signature will be use at a later time, so there really is no waste.
In the picture below, I have removed one signature from the Fabric Book and laid the two pieces I will use at the bottom of the picture.  I still need to remove the second signature so I can free up the cover.
And here we are...a cover + a large page + a small page, leaving one signature leftover. When I sew the book back together, I am going to switch the pages, placing the small page in between the cover and the large page. No real reason, other than I thought it looked better when turning the pages.


To begin, I quickly painted the INSIDE of the front cover with a layer of Collage Medium.  This will serve two purposes, it seals the fabric so the Spray Stain (next step) does not soak through and it will make the cover stronger once dry and cured.  
Spray Salvaged Patina Spray Stain right over the wet glue.  NOTE: I tactually urned my surface to spray from the left side to create a fade to the right or center of the book.
I also added Rustic Wilderness and more Salvaged Patina to the page. I did a much better job at spraying slowly/dribbling the Rustic Wilderness ink than I did in my original sample.  I guess 'practice makes perfect' rings true.  You can dry the surface with a heat tool to speed things up.
I love how the Spray Stain looks over the glue, you can still see the fabric and really, once the glue is dry you will be able to feel the texture of the book again.  So cool.
Once the inside of the cover is sprayed, move on to the Collage Paper that will be used to cover the outside of the cover and some of the pages.

Using different techniques to alter Collage Paper

Rip varying sizes of Collage Paper Entomolgy
Use Salvaged Patina Distress Paint to paint the BACKSIDE of any image.  Keep the paint thin, you do not want to overwork the thin Collage Paper.
This is what it will look like on the right side of the paper once dry.  Very cool, right?

Lightly spray with Salvaged Patina Distress Spray Stain. Practice pushing the nozzle down with a scrap paper to test out the spray/splatter pattern before moving to the Collage Paper. Keep some of the papers light (not too much spray) so once you adhere it to the Fabric Journal, you will see the fabric texture through the paper.

On other pieces, add more colors to the mix. If you leave the colors as you sprayed them and dry with a heat tool they will stay dark/deep. For lighter color, pounce over paper with a paper towel before drying.

For the cover and one of the pages, I went heavy on the color. I did pounce to get lighter shades, but added more spray. One thing to take note, was that I sprayed Salvage Patina at the start, then added the other colors and dried with a heat tool. Then I went back and added more Salvaged Patina to a few bare spots. This really brought back the bright blue. So leaving a little white space is good!

Once the Collage Paper is complete, you can start to adhere it to the book. Using the large piece as an example, I covered the entire canvas with Collage Medium making sure to work quickly so it stays wet enough to adhere the ALL the Collage Paper.  Press the paper into the fabric (you must have clean hands) until you can feel that it is adhered to the surface.  Add a layer of Collage Medium over the top - this will seal the paper and make it transparent. Collage paper can be dried with a heat tool so you can move through the book quickly, but it will not be fully dry or "cured" till the next day.  In fact it is always surprising how it changes overnight. The Collage paper portions will feel like oil cloth.

You might notice that I added paper from Backdrops 1 to the back of the large page. I like that the eye has a break from all the sprayed pages. 
Once you are to this stage, get the pages in the order you want and stitch them up the center. Now you are ready to embellish the pages with what ever you wish!
I have kept the inside simple to really show off the Collage Paper, adding just Paper Dolls, Backdrop paper, Clipping stickers (all words) and ephemera from both Field Notes (standard and snippets size), as well as a few cards/tickets from the Ephemera pack, Keepsakes.

The gold paint behind his head is Dina Wakley Acrylic paint in Gilt. This thick body paint is my go-to gold for all my projects. The white dots were made with a POSCA paint pen.

I could have left the alphabet card in the background alone but I decided to add the POSCA pen work to add more visual texture.
I created the pattern on her yellow colored dress - all with Distress Crayons and a Detailer Water brush. The clothing here was colored directly on the surface with the crayon, then rubbed till I got the right transparency of color.  The pattern was added by dotting the surface with the end of the Detailer Water Brush dipped into the crayon color.  If you want to know more about working with Distress Crayons, please refer to this blog post HERE.

The dots made with the POSCA pen add such detail to the clothes!  The faux tweed on his pants was all done with the damp bristles of the water brush and crayon.

Here is where you can see the mix of the two Field Note SKU's. The bird is from the standard size Field Notes and the small pieces, the rose and blue circle are from the Snippets pack.  
I also used crayon to color the bird and the grass - this is most successful if you coat the ephemera with collage medium first, giving the card a slick surface.
The journal cover embellishment is again a mix of small and large.  Large label from Field Notes and small blue label from the Snippets pack.  The button is from the Mini Flair pack and the words from the Clippings Sticker book.  
The twill tie comes with the Fabric Journal.  I sprayed it with Salvaged Patina Spray Stain and water, then dried it with the heat tool.  Once dry, I was able to use Archival ink to stamp the words, "tell your story" on one side of the ribbon, from the Stampers Anonymous Simple Sayings stamp set.
I had already added the Paper Doll on the inside so I could not sew the label directly to the book.  My solution was to stitch the label then glue it to the book with Collage Medium at the top and bottom, allowing the tie to move freely.
I love making little books and this is no exception.  From the spraying, adding the paper, to coloring the Paper Dolls I just love it.  I guess I like the fact that anything goes!  I'm ready to make another one!

Now carry on,


  1. I love your books too! I've made many and given as gifts, with each one being unique to the recipient.
    This one is right up my alley, so I will be trying it too!

  2. Wow Paula this is so stunning.
    All the beautiful pages you made, I love the colours.
    The Salvaged Patina is such a aweosme colour.
    Thank you so much for sharing this and the tutorial, stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Thanks for sharing Paula. I love what you have made with the fabric journal. So clever and gorgeous project. Big congrats!

  4. This is so cool. I just love that new color patina so pretty.

    1. It is a great color isn't it? thank you for stopping by!

  5. How awesome is this! I can’t wait to try this tutorial out! Thanks for all your hard work and sharing it!

    1. thank you for stopping by to read the tutorial! Hope it helps in the process.

  6. Love how you created the cover, looks beautiful and so vintage. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Really stunning. And, it looks like a fun item to make. I love the sewing finishing touches.

    1. thank you! I love the sewing too (and all the long threads)

  8. Oh my goodness! This is so fabulous! Love it so much. Thanks for the tutorial...I definitely want to “try”.

  9. Simply stunning! A must try project!

  10. wow Paula! This was an amazing blog post! Brilliant idea with painting the backside of the collage paper! Who Knew! Thank you for sharing with us! I always learn the best techniques from you!

  11. OMG!! It is so perfect from start to finish. Love it and thank you so much for the tutorial.

  12. Awesome awesome way to incorporate the tissue! Man, this makes me miss book making! I haven't had the mental space for some time and hope that changes soon. Thanks for another inspiring project!