Hey, y’all! Can you believe there are only two months left in 2022? Wow!
Here in the States, we have entered our Holiday Season – fully. Granted, I was listening to musical Christmas Trees after walking past the still-fully-stocked Halloween aisles, but I digress…
Anywho, on to the second best part of the Holiday season – the food! (The first is, of course, the people you choose – or don’t choose – to celebrate with – or without.) And what better way to encompass both the family and the food than with a customized recipe book? Whether you already have “old family recipes” that are a staple at your holiday table, or you are starting your own traditions, this month’s Cards, Tags, & More Kit from Tres Jolie Kit Club has what you need to get those recipes in order!
If you haven’t already seen the video, it is one of my more edited, cut, and put-back-together videos. I think, if I had tried to just have the video in the same order of creation, it would have been A) longer and B) absolute confusion! So, to get a look at how I (finally!) managed to get my recipe book together, make sure you check out the video!
My cover evolved quite a bit during the process – I just couldn’t seem to get it going the way I was thinking! I really wanted to add some age to my recipe book – give it the appearance that it had already seen a kitchen or two in its life. That’s why I didn’t way a “perfectly clean” cover and why I sectioned the interior sectioned the way I did. I wanted to have a story to tell – to look like others had already been adding to it over time.
There have been a few red paints in previous Tres Jolie Kits, and I grabbed a few of them up to use here. I didn’t use an actual gesso as a basecoat for my chipboard, I just used some Tres Jolie Red Paint as my base coat, worked it in a bit with the brush, and coated the outside of the front and back covers the edges of the interior sides, and around the edges of all the interior pages.
To save some reading time – and possibly confusion – I am just going to give the overview of the finished front cover. In my video, I do show the entire process because I think the layers you can no longer see helped to create the finished product, but I don’t know how to point those out now that they are unseen! I’ll just say that there is some embossing powder under the layers of embossing powder and Foundry Wax that you see now!
Now, for what can be seen. I added some (red) Impasto paint to the cover to give it a bit more protection while I worked since it is a heavy-bodied paint, added a couple of splatter layers of Rustic Wilderness Distress Oxide Spray, using MicroGlaze between the layers to add a little depth. I used a holly stencil with some StazOn and metallic red paint since both are permanent (i.e. not water-reactive) mediums, and cut a couple of slits along the top and bottom of the title section so I could add my ephemera cluster behind it.
It doesn’t show up in the photos, but there is some light inking behind the ephemera using Rustic Wilderness Distress Oxide to create a little of a shadowy effect. To get the ink in the correct areas, I used a white Stabilo pencil to trace where the pieces would be going and added more MicroGlaze to help hold the Oxide in place. You can see which ephemera pieces I chose for my cluster, I just cut the cluster and tucked the cut edges under the title block to give the appearance it was one piece that when all the way behind, stitched it to the cover and added stitching to the title block. I coated the ephemera with MicroGlaze, but not quite thick enough, so it ended up with a little too much Oxide splatter on it – which then required me to re-whiten it some using white gesso and my white Stabilo. Then, to get “Grandma’s Cookies” to pop, I traced over the text with a black gel pen.
For the title block, what you see is some Gilded Foundry Wax and some Lindy’s Holly Berry Red Gold embossing powder. I used my Candied Apple Distress Marker to trace over the title text to add the Lindy’s to – using the brush tip for “Homemade” and the fine tip for “with love & butter.” However, there are layers under all that can be seen, and I’m sure they helped give “Homemade” a bit of extra lift!
The rest of this project should take a lot less time to explain! Mostly because the insides are, more or less, the same process, just different layouts. However, before I get to the interior, I’ll get the back cover, uh, covered! After I added a layer of the Impasto paint and it had dried, I just used an Echo Park stencil from my stash, some clear embossing ink, and some white embossing powder for the first layer. Then, after heat setting the white embossing powder and letting it cool back down, I added some Candied Apple Distress Ink to the whole surface, watered it down, wiped up a bit, sprinkled on some of the Lindy’s Holly Berry Red Gold, brushed off any areas I didn’t want and melted it down. That was it! Far easier than the front cover!!
Before I ever got started with any decoration or assembly, I used a couple of acrylic blocks to try and figure out (approximately) how much extra space I had to work with given the size of the book rings provided with the kit. When I did the measurement, I hadn’t decided if I wanted to use the Simple Stories dividers as they were, or if I wanted to glue them to the chipboard – and I came up with about an inch of wiggle room. I exceeded that inch, but I still was able to use the rings from the kit – barely! The good news about a build like this is that the spine of the book isn’t permanent, so as recipes get added, the book rings can be replaced if needed!
As you can see in the photos, I used the ribbon from the kit to create hinges and “spines” for a few of the sections. Essentially creating a few mini-books – maybe they would be closer to folios – inside the main recipe book.
I wanted to give my pages a layer of protection, so I used a lot of laminating pouches to add some strength, stability, and moisture protection. I talk a bit about different options for protection in my video, so I’ll just give a little overview here. You could use page protectors, cut them down to size, and stitch them to what you want to protect (warning: they tend to be hard to machine stitch because they are so slick!), you could use laminating pouches that are self-sealing, so you don’t need a laminating machine, in some areas, for example, edges of pockets or the book ring holes, you could use packing tape. Packing tape is relatively strong, however, I’m pretty sure it isn’t acid-free, and it would eventually begin to deteriorate.
In addition to my lamination, the other constants throughout this project (that may not be immediately noticeable in the photos, like all the stitching) are the use of some Fuse pockets that I’ve had in my stash FOR-EV-ER and the use of the pink and white patterned paper or stripes of the packing that I used to (re)create the edges of the Simple Stories dividers. I also used the packaging from the ephemera and dividers to punch out my hole reinforcers. I didn’t use my Fuse tool with the pouches, I decided to stitch my pockets together, and I used Gorilla Clear Grip glue when I needed to attach any of the plastic(s) and it wasn’t in an area I wanted stitching. For my flaps and closures, I added small magnets or made tie closures to keep them in place, or I used some up-cycled blanket edging to make wrap-around closures.
On the inside of my front cover, I just wanted a simple pocket, so I cut one of the patterned paper sheets down to use as a flap and the pocket front. I have some light magnets on the flap and a couple of paperclips behind the background paper to help keep it closed, and, since I was giving the example in the video, I used packing tape along the top edge of the pocket so the paper would (hopefully!) not tear with use.
In some areas, like the back of the “Favorites” divider and the chipboard page that faces it, I used some tie-closure pouches. Part of the reason is that it was what I had available, and part of the reason is they could be used to hold notes or spare recipe cards. For the front side of this chipboard page, because I stitched through from the other side, and because the pockets are clear, I gave it a coat of the Impasto paint and some of the holly stenciling before gluing the pouches in place. On the back of the chipboard page, I added a waterfall recipe section with four numbered pockets. I thought those pockets worked great in the “Favorites” section of the recipe book!
These pockets and flaps are stitched directly to the chipboard, and I just eyeballed the distance between them since I only really had to space pockets “2” and “3” between “1” and “4.”
The next section is a combination of “Appetizers” and “Soups & Salads.” I used a length of the ribbon from the kit to create a hinge between the two Simple Stories dividers and when I added everything to the book rings, I place a chipboard page between the two dividers.
On the back of the “Appetizers” divider, I added some pre-made 4-1/4”x4-1/4” Fuse pockets and used the image from the front of the paper pad, backed and hinged with some of my up-cycled blanket edge, to create a flap. On the opposite page, I have more pockets, held in place with a piece of the ephemera pack that I laminated and stitched to the length of the blanket edging.
On the back of the chipboard page, I laminated the Santa card to the bit of patterned paper, stitched it to more blanket edge, and stitched on the (laminated) tap at the bottom to create the closure.
To hold the pockets in place on the back of the “Soups & Salads divider, I stitched a laminated card from the ephemera pack to the edge of the divider that just acts as a little tuck-in/catch for the pockets.
Next up, “Side Dishes”! That little banner piece at the bottom of the divider can be used as a tuck-in spot if, for example, you have a recipe pulled out and just want to keep it held in place while using it. But, its second function, is to allow the brad to be the catch for the magnet on my snowman closure on the other side!
I have my snowman laminated fully on the back and partially on the front. I laminated from the top line up and the bottom edge of the snowman so the lines would still be able to be used. Then I just tied the string under his arms so he would swing around and have fun!
Facing the snowman is one of my wrap-around closures. I attached the “Joy” card to the length of the blanket edge and created my own tie closure on the backside of this chipboard page.
That leads us up to the “Main Dishes” section of the recipe book – and it really is a section all on its own! I used a length of the ribbon from the kit to connect the divider card to the following chipboard page, and added a closure across the front to hold them together.
Because I added a closure for my main dishes section, none of the interior pockets have any flaps or closures holding them in place. However, the pouches on the back of the chipboard are held in place by the little tag at the bottom. It turns on the brad holding it to the chipboard and is used to catch the bottom-left pocket, which in turn holds the other pockets tucked under it in place.
Only three more sections left! Probably my three favorite food groups – breads, cookies, and dessert!
My “Breads & Baked Goods” section is made up of pouches and a couple of small pockets. I know a lot of bread and baked goods exist, but, for me, I have about three bread dough recipes that get expanded on, and biscuits. I just found it unnecessary to make a lot of space to just repeat the same base!
I can almost smell the cookies baking just thinking about this section! I don’t have any type of flap for the pouch and pockets on the back of the “Cookies & Candy” divider – there are only two pockets and one pouch, and I’m thinking that they should stay fairly well put. On the front of the chipboard page, however, I used the snow globe ephemera piece to create a closer in the same fashion as I had done the snowman previously. I had the four decorative edge pouches you see in the photo, and I couldn’t help but think of adding some sequins – because they made me think of sprinkles – to three of them and stitching the filled edge up so the sequins would stay in place.
For my cookies section, I have an extra step for the length of ribbon I used to create the “spine.” I added a 1/2” length of lamination to the ribbon, right down the center, to give it a little extra space, and it makes that area stand out a little more when you look at the spine of the entire book!
I didn’t cover every surface with pockets or pouches, I really loved the “Gingerbread Kisses…” and “Baking Christmas Cheer” sheets from the paper pad, and decided to leave them in plain view at the end of the cookies section and on the front side of the chipboard page in the “Desserts & Pies” section. I only added a pocket that was small enough as to not cover any of the text.
For the pockets on the back of the desserts divider, I used a single piece of string to go from the top pocket to the bottom pocket, instead of doing them separately. It’s the dessert section! I know I’ll want to get to the recipes as quickly as possible!
I have finally made it to the last page and the inside of the back cover! Once again, I used a single string for the two small pouches tie closure, and then to hold all the pockets, I made a swing-arm type of closure. The tag and card are both laminated, I stitched them together, and then just used a brad to attach them to the chipboard.
The back cover has a large, Fuse pouch that I stitched the laminated (Mrs. Clause?) card along the sides and bottom to create a smaller pocket before stitching up the side of the large Fuse pocket. To close it up, I just tucked in some small magnets and a paperclip under the bit of patterned paper and the tab.
Thank you for joining me here in my corner! I hope that this project gave you some ideas of what you can do to create your own unique recipe book.
Stay Crafty, Friends
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In addition to this month’s Cards, Tags, & More Kit (*from previous Tres Jolie Kits), I used:
DecoArt “Festive Red” Metallic Acrylic Paint , Tres Jolie Kit Club “Red” Acrylic Paint , Finnabair Impasto “Poppy Red” Heavy Body Acrylic Paint , Lindy’s Gang “Oakleaf Olive” Embossing Powder , Lindy’s Gang “Holly Berry Red Gold” Embossing Powder , KaiserCraft “Holly Leaves” Mini Stencil , Echo Park “Candy Cane Stripes” Stencil , Ranger Big Emboss It , Ranger “White” Embossing Powder , Distress Oxide “Rustic Wilderness” , Distress Ink “Candied Apple” , Distress Marker “Candied Apple” , Distress Oxide Spray “Rustic Wilderness” , Distress Paint “Rustic Wilderness” , Distress Foundry Wax “Gilded” , Distress Watercolor Pencils Set 3 , We R Memory Keepers Craft Knife , We R Memory Keepers Hole Reinforcer Punch , We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile II , We R Memory Keepers Fuse Pockets , StazOn “Olive Green” , blending brushes , Sakura Glaze , paper clips , Basic Grey Small Magnetic Discs , Magnet Source Neodymium Disc Magnets , small unbranded magnets , Ranger Water Brush , JudiKins MicroGlaze , JudiKins Diamond Glaze , Finnabair Brushes , Amazon Basics Laminator , Scotch 4”x6” Laminating Pouches , Scotch 8.5”x11” Laminating Pouches , Art Glitter Glue , Fabri-Tac , LineCo PVA , Gorilla Clear Grip , 1” double-sided tape , 3/8” Scor-Tape , red thread , eyelets , sequins , large glitter , upcycled red blanket bias edging , hole punch , Fiskars 1” Circle Squeeze Punch , Duck HD Clear Tape , *spray bottle