Hey, y’all! How’s everyone doing? Have you been having fun playing with your Tres Jolie Kits this month? I know I have, and this week I have a mini-album for you using the beautiful 49 & Market “Tranquility” Collection, and, for good measure, I added the Stamperia rice paper from the Mixed Media Kit.
I have my video up and ready for you to check out to see how I put this all together! Make sure you swing by and check it out!
Are you joining the Tres Jolie challenge this month? All of the kits this month work wonderfully with the “Spring Flowers” twist! As you can see, the flowers were definitely a factor in my project, but I also worked the two pink doilies from the kit (and mood board!) in as well!
Be sure to place your entries in the March 2023 challenge folder on the Tres Jolie Kit Club Café Facebook page. This challenge ends on March 31st, 2023 at 11:59 pm CST. All entries must be in this folder to be eligible for the prize (to have everyone eligible to win, we limit the same winner to once every 3 months).
I don’t know if it’s really a “cheat” or not, but it is quite a bit easier than cutting thick chipboard – I used two 4”x6” (approximately 101-102mm x 152mm) canvas panels for my front and back covers! Then all I had to do is grab up some scrap chipboard to create my 2-1/2” x 4” (approximately 63-64mm x 101-102mm) spine.
I honestly couldn’t decide if I wanted to use the rice paper from the Mixed Media Kit or one of the papers from the Scrapbooking Kit for my cover – so I decided on both! – especially since rice paper makes a wonderful top layer on a collage. I cut one of the 49 & Market sheets (almost) in half, so I had two 6” (or so) by 12” pieces, lined up two of the ends – creating a 6” (or so!) by 24” strip to use as my album cover. To “cut” my rice paper, I used a water brush to outline the section I wanted to use, then just gently tore the paper apart. One of the best things about rice paper is that getting it wet is – in my opinion – the best way to cut it because it’s easier and creates a feathered edge. Of course, the other “best thing” about rice paper is that the white areas of a print become practically invisible as soon as you add your collage medium – which for this project was some Soft Matte Gel from Prima-Finnabair.
After the gel dried, I added my canvas panels and chipboard spine to the cover paper, lining the center of the spine to the seam between the two strips of patterned paper, and to make sure my cover would fold like it is supposed to, I used a 1/4” (a little over 6mm) fiberglass rod (it’s what I have, a wooden dowel rod would work just as well!) to create the necessary space between the spine edges and the canvas panels. After the glue had dried, I gave the cover a coating of matte varnish to help seal the rice paper and 49 & Market paper, let that dry, then trimmed the excess away, leaving about one inch to fold over the edges. I trimmed the corners – more than I normally would since I was going to add some pink doily corners – and a little at the top and bottom of the folds to keep the bulk out, added double-sided tape and glue, then folded everything up!
I gave the doily I was going to use for my corners a coating of matte varnish to help protect and strengthen it, cut the doily into four pieces, and wrapped all four corners of my cover with those pieces – just using more varnish as my glue.
Once everything on my cover had dried, it was finally time to get to work on the inside and add my closure. I used a couple of strips of linen hinging tape on the inside folds for more stability, coated my second doily with the matte varnish and cut it in half, and cut my end papers down to size – 3-3/4” x 5-3/4” (about 95mm x 146mm).
I added the two halves of the doily I had just cut to the edges of the endpapers that would be closest to the spine and glued the finished pieces into place after I added my closure hardware (see below). Although I didn’t add the ephemera until closer to the end of the project since I am talking about the cover already, I thought I would just try to keep things a little more “together” here on the blog and show the finished insides – plus it allows you to see how the inside doily pieces look in place!
I added a few pieces of the 49 & Market ephemera – a spot to mark the date on the front, and a little spot for journaling on the back.
After I had my end paper in place, it was time to add the spine cover/page holder. I cut a strip of paper 6-1/2” x 3-3/4” (165mm x 95mm) and added a score line every 1/2” (12-13mm) so I could create four tabs sticking up to hold my sleeve pages in place. For all of the folds that would be against the spine, I added linen hinging tape to help strengthen all of the hinges, then I glued all of my tabs together so I would have the finished piece ready and be able to trim off any excess from the left and right edges – which ended up being about 1/16” (1.5mm) from each edge – before gluing it in place.
For my closure, I used a D-ring and a short slotted head screw, leaving the smooth side of the slotted head screw showing on the outside of the covers, but covering everything on the inside!
To keep the D-ring from twisting under the paper with use, I added some 3D Matte Gel to the surface that would be again the canvas panel cover, some Loctite to the screw threads, and more Soft Matte Gel over the inside screw head and edges before finally getting the end papers in place.
I carefully used my bone folder to shape the paper around the screw and to make sure everything was smooth and wrinkle-free!
Finally, with my cover together, I was able to set it off to let it dry completely and get to work creating my pages. I decided to create sleeve pages to allow for more areas for photos, ephemera, or journaling since this is a mini, 4-page album. So first, the easy part – the inserts! I just cut four 5-1/4” x 3-11/16” (133mm x 93-94mm) rectangles. Why that size? So when they were in the pockets – which would have those tabs holding them in place – they would still have a little peeking out of the sleeves which were also cut 5-1/4” (133mm) wide and I shaved off the extra from the edges to make sure they would slide freely.
With my inserts cut, I just set them off to the side and got to work creating the sleeves. I cut four 8” x 5-1/4” (203mm x 133mm) pieces – trying to mentally keep in mind where my folds would be and which side of the pages would have the image right-side up and which side would be up-side-down! (Although, to be honest, it isn’t really that big of a deal – just more for personal preference!)
To help make sure my pockets wouldn’t be too tight – allowing photos or other flat ephemera to be added to the inserts – I gave my sleeves rounded edges with an approximately 1/16” (1.5mm) “gap.” Along the long edge of the paper I was using for the sleeve, I scored at 3-7/8” (98mm), lined that score up on one of the “bumps” of the scoreboard, and added a second score to the right of it. My scoreboard has 1/8” spacing – so moving over to a bump, gave me the 1/16” (or so) spacing I was looking for! Plus, I did add some light markings on my paper before starting the scoring process to help!
After the first edge fold was scored, I moved the paper back to the corner of the scoreboard, added a score line at 7-3/4” (197mm), moved the paper over half a tick again, and added another score to the right.
I have a thin metal ruler with smooth edges that helped me shape the edges – since making two folds that are so close together isn’t the easiest thing to do! I just wrapped the folds around the edge of the ruler, used my bone folder to help shape them, and kept the ruler in place until I had everything glued down so I wouldn’t crush the edges while burnishing to get a good seal!
And, with that, the hardest parts were done! All that was left to do is start adding photo mats and ephemera to my sleeves before sliding them onto the tabs in the spine!
I did turn some of my photo mats into 3” (76mm) circles – depending on what I wanted to show on the background – but most of the photo mats are 3-1/2” (89mm) squares.
I added a bit of decoration to the tops of my inserts, strengthening the edges and making them a little easier to hold on to.
After I had added the sleeves to the spine, I did go back through and added the dimensional flowers from the flower vine found in the kit. I took a pair of wire cutters to the vine, chopped it up, and just popped the pieces in place. I waited until the album was fully together to make sure I didn’t add too much bulk between the pages!
When the time came for me to add my sleeves, I wanted to make sure they weren’t going to be flat against the spine, which would keep them from flipping smoothly, so I cut a couple of strips of chipboard and used them as spacers on each side of the tab when adding the pages.
With the pages in place and the ribbon knotted to the D-rings, my album was done!
Thank you for joining me here today on the blog! I hope you enjoyed this mini album and it gave you some ideas of what you can make using the Scrapbooking Kit and rice paper!
Stay Crafty, Friends
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In addition to the Scrapbooking Kit and Mixed Media Kit from this month, I used (from previous Tres Jolie Kits):
Finnabair 3D Matte Gel, Finnabair Soft Matte Gel, Prima Water Brush, Spellbinders “Standard Circle SM” Nestabilities, We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile II, double-sided tape, 4”x6” canvas panels, heavy chipboard, Liquitex Basics Matte Varnish, LineCo PVA, LineCo 1.25” Linen Hinging Tape, Art Glitter Glue, Fabri-Tac, washers, Loctite Blue Thread Locker, D-Rings, slotted head screws