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My Notes, My Thoughts, My Wishes, My Dreams: An Altered Journal

By: Von Pappe II
July 26, 2018

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My Notes  My Thoughts  My Wishes  My Dreams  An Altered Journal
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The design for my altered journal was inspired by the recent artwork by Gwen Lafleur. She creates the most amazing and incredibly colourful works of art and on many of them she uses hand-carved wooden stamps from India that are originally meant for stamping onto fabric. But they can also be used to create beautiful mixed media art. I have been hoarding (and only admiring) my own Indian wood stamps so far, but Gwen's work reminded me to also use them to create beautiful floral designs and have fun with them!

Cheap plain cardboard notebooks and journals can be found in many sizes and stores and I hardly ever manage to pass any of these by without buying a few. In my studio I always have some notebooks nearby, to turn them into one-of-a-kind journals whenever I have a new idea for a new design or when I need a self-made gift for a friend.

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Paste - White
  • Americana Spray Sealers/Finishes 12oz - Americana Matte Spray
  • Plain notebook
  • Old credit card
  • Hand-carved wooden stamps with floral designs
  • Palette
  • Brayer
  • Scrap paper
  • Detail Brush
  • White gel pen


Step One: If your journal has a rubber band closure, bring it out of the way to the back cover. Insert a sheet of scrap paper that has sufficient overlap between the front cover and the first page to protect the notebook from being stained during the painting process. 

Instruction #1 - DA July18Journal step1 1
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Instruction #2 - DA July18Journal step1 2
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Step Two: Apply small dots of Americana premium paints to the cover.

Instruction #3 - DA July18Journal step2
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Step Three: Move the credit card from left to right to drag the paint from the dots across the cover. Do not repeat this action more than twice in the same spots – otherwise, your paints will mix too much and turn muddy! 

Instruction #4 - DA July18Journal step3
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Step Four: Spread white DecoArt media Gesso on a palette using a brayer. If necessary mix a bit of water into the Gesso to thin its consistency. Use a palette knife to do so. Then spread the Gesso evenly with the brayer. 

Instruction #5 - DA July18Journal step4 1
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Dab the wooden stamp into the Gesso several times to provide good and even coverage – then press down firmly while stamping the images onto the journal cover. 

Instruction #6 - DA July18Journal step4 2
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Instruction #7 - DA July18Journal step4 3
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Step Five: Use a detail brush and Americana premium paints to paint the stamped on floral designs. 

Instruction #8 - DA July18Journal step5
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Step Six: Add more details and patterns with a white gel pen.

Instruction #9 - DA July18Journal step6
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Step Seven: Scrape on tiny amounts of DecoArt media white Crackle Paste here and there using only the very tip of the palette knife. 

Instruction #10 - DA July18Journal step7
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Step Eight: Add some handwritten words using the white gel pen again. Then seal the cover with matte Spray Sealer. You‘re done! 

Instruction #11 - DA July18Journal step8
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The bright colours from the premium paints and the Indian florals are a perfect match, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful summer! 

Instruction #12 - DA July18Journal detail
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Instruction #13 - DA July18 fin 1
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Be sure to visit Von Pappe II  for more projects and to learn more about Claudia.


Absolutely beautiful - I will have to try this. Thank you for sharing your technique.


July 26, 2018

This is gorgeous! Thanks for the tutorial!

Christine Dring

July 26, 2018

The perfect inspiration I needed to make my next planner cover for September! Thanks so much for the step by step, what a bright and juicy cover!


July 26, 2018

Beautiful cover!


July 26, 2018

Thank you so much, Maryann, Christine, Lys and Catherine! :) XXX


July 30, 2018

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