Earlier in January, I’ve created multiple little notebooks from my son’s old school exercise books. After decorating the first one, I decided to be more systematic in working the remaining 6 notebooks, following more or less the same sketch.
Most importantly, I decided that I MUST keep the cover design flat, so that I can write easily on the left side of the notebook. This means no adhesive pearls/crystals, no metal or wooden embellishments, no bows or 3D paper flowers. But I realised I can still create plenty of dimension by making plenty of layers with paper off-cuts and scraps.
There are of course many other ways of adding dimension to a design without adding a lot of bulk: stamping, dry embossing, heat embossing, fringing. I’m not using any of these techniques though, simply due to laziness in breaking out another cupboard of supplies (I don’t have the luxury of having a craft room or even a craft corner). I decided to rely simply on my mountain of Maggie Holmes stash, which consists of not only papers from the Willow Lane and Chasing Dreams collection, but also ephemera pieces and a sticker book.
I had previously fussy cut several papers and kept the resulting ephemera pieces in transparent plastic ziploc bags. Now I break out all my paper scraps and started to layer them, building up more layers in one particular corner where I plan to put a focal large image.
To add dimension, I used my Stabilo Fineliner pens to draw simple borders around some of my papers. For others, I distress the edges instead. Glitter washi tape from my stash provided an easy way of adding interest & layers without bulk, as do the gold foil stickers from the Maggie Holmes Sticker Book.
For my main image, I used a 3 mm thick foam tape (from Daiso) to raise it slightly. I also inked the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink to provide more dimension. Then I highlighted the rabbit head with Nuvo Glitter Gloss Aqua Flow Pen.
I had added staples to the top of the banner shape for this particular booklet, but it turns out to be a poor decision. The cover doesn’t lie flat around the metal staplers. Fortunately I had placed them right at the top, so it does not interfere with my writing too much.
What I love about this method is that even small scraps of double-sided papers can be used! I had saved some of the paper scraps from my fussy cutting, and am glad I can simply trim small pieces to a banner shape to slot under larger papers or to layer my sentiments.
For the butterfly I fussy cut from the Willow Lane Flutter paper, I inked the edges with Distress Ink Dried Marigold, then cover the 2 wings using the Nuvo Glitter Gloss Aqua Flow pen. Once dry, I curved the wings to create a slight 3D effect, and maintained the curve by placing 3 mm foam tape under the wings only.
The sticker book is super useful, as it provided not only basic paper stickers, but also clear stickers and gold foil designs too. Makes it really easy to slip in little details while keeping the whole cover flat. Not to mention the designs blend in easily with the Maggie Holmes papers! Of course, if I make the mistake of layering the stickers over a thicker layer, as what I did with the gold foil hearts on the left, the difference in the height becomes rather obvious.
Am very pleased with these little notebooks of mine, as they’re not only pretty and colourful, but also practical and easy to use too! I don’t have to worry too much about tearing off any bulky embellishments when I take the notebooks in and out of my bag!