Transforming A Journal With Mixed Media Art

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I had just blogged about the fact that I needed to bling my journal.  I was having a real hard time getting motivated to pick up the journal and write in it.  The only reason for this, that I could come up with, is that the journal was just too boring.  Why would I want to use it if looking at was uninspiring?  The all black cover was quite dull and depressing.

I have been wanting to try some mixed media art and figured transforming my journal cover would be a great experiment in this art form.  Since I am happy with the outcome, I would like to share my tutorial with you.

The first thing I wanted to do was add some texture by decoupaging a scrap of linen to the cover.  The main thing I was after was to have some frayed edges around the cover of my journal.  I first brushed on a coat of Mod Podge over the entire cover.  Next, I brushed a coat of the Mod Podge to one side of the linen and then placed the fabric on the cover.  When I smoothed it out, the edges ran over the sides.  I didn’t worry about it at that time because it was real easy to trim was the decoupage was dry.  I ended with one more coat of Mod Podge over the top of the linen.

For more texture and color, I tore some images from a magazine.  I liked the torn edge pattern but you could also cut the images out.  The thing too look for, with your images, is really just colors.  The image can be anything.  It will be mostly covered up with paint later.  Once I had enough images to cover my journal, I decoupaged them, with the Mod Podge, right over the linen.  I left some of the linen showing, especially around the edges.  Again, when applying the pieces, put a coat of Mod Podge on the back side and then again on the front once your piece is in place.

As I was waiting for the decoupage to dry, I painted the spine of the journal with some creamy satin paint.  I purposely left some of the black showing through.  This was also a good time for me to start working on the items that I was going to use to embellish the journal.  I drew a bird onto some textured paper, from an old gift bag, and cut it out.  Then, I looped a piece of wire and glued it to the back to use for his legs.

Once the decoupage was dry, I was ready to add my paint layers.  I used a light pink, metallic gold, and a little of the creamy satin.  Using a wet brush, I applied one color layer at a time.  After applying each layer, I dabbed it with a paper towel to remove some of the paint, especially where I wanted some of the images to show through.  I wanted it to be very muted because I had very specific plans for embellishment.  When you enlarge the pictures you get a better idea of the texture and color.

Now I just added my bling!  I painted my bird and coated him with Mod Podge dimensional magic to give it a hard and glossy finish.  He needed a perch to stand on so I glued a birch twig to the cover first.  To get the bird at the same depth off the cover, I first glued a couple of wooden beads onto the cover right where I was going to place the bird.  Then I just glued the bird to the beads.  I had an antique key and some pink glass berries that I simply glued on.  To finish, I stenciled some letters onto a scrap of leather and cut them out.  I then painted over the leather with a gold metallic paint and glued the letters in place.  For the final zap of bling, I glued some clear glass sequins to the letters in a random pattern.

mixed media journal

mixed media journal

I'm addicted to crafting and decorating my downtown urban loft and up north rustic cabin. Read more about me.