DIY Blank Canvas Board Book to Use as an Art Journal

I Made 11 x 14 Inch Blank Canvas Board Book Pages

Personalized cover is next.

Basic Instructions

I glued and taped only — no cutting (except cutting tape). Two sides board pages are covered wtih canvas paper, AKA acrylic paper. The board “pages” are ready for a cover. The cover will be made out of Kraft-tex fabric paper with something to stiffen the cover (some kind of paper board probably … whatever I find I have on hand). Time to make this portion of my canvas board book? About 30 minutes of hands-on time, give or take ten minutes, I didn’t time it. Making the cover will probably take more time, as I’ll decorate it.

Materials:

  • 10 of 11 x 14″ Soho Urban Artist Painting Panels
  • 10 sheets of Canson XL Acrylic Canvas Paper (NOT the Canson Montval paper!)
  • Reinforced Duct Tape (the wide roll size)
  • Scissors
  • About 6 or so Scotch Permanent Glue Sticks, the .28 oz size
  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, or something comparative that’s thick but that doesn’t dry too fast
  • Baby powder and and old, clean cosmetic brush, the large kind
  • Large, strong needle with a head wide enough for your string
  • Very strong carpet thread or bookbinding thread
  • Fabric for Cover — I’ll probably use Kraft-tex paper fabric I’ll cut to size, decorate, etc.

Method

On a stable, smooth, and flat work surface, I laid two of the Soho canvas panels side by side in portrait sytle mode — the taller sides will be verticle on my book. That means the book will stand 14 inches call and will be, when open, 22″ wide. The boards will nearly touch each other when they lay open, so I can use two sides of the open book for one finshed picture, save the first and last sides.

For taping purposes, the boards are facing canvas texture side down, with their bare “SpHo” printed backs facing you.

Before taping two boards together, I created a gap large enough so that once the pages are folded, they’ll fold flat without too much slack. This means the finished book will shift around less, making it less likely to come undone. The gap is minutely wider than the thickness of the boards, thus allowing for movement of the pages later.

I taped the pages together with the gap in place, making sure the pages and gap stayed even. I then folded the pages with the canvas paper side of the boards facing each other and the bare sides on the outside. I repeated this process until I had a stack of taped-together SoHo canvas boards. I got my canvas Soho boards from jerrysartarama.com, on sale of course.

Next, I got the glue sticks and bottle of tacky glue out. I got these at Sams Club and Walmart a while back and they need to be used up before they’re not any good anymore. That’s what happens when you buy glue sticks in bulk, I guess. Anyway, I rapidly covered one bare side of one taped set of boards with the glue stick, taking care to cover up to about a 1/4″ from the 4 edges of the board. When using the glue sticks, it helps not to press down to hard or at an angle — you don’t want them to leave clumps of glue all over your board.

Next, I rapidly squeezed out a thread of glue right by each edge and on the duck tape, not on the very edge but right by it, taking care to lay down just enough and not too much. I have previous gluing experience and that helped here.

Without wasting time, I then took one of the Canson XL Acrylic Canvas Paper sheets (which is much better than the Canson Montval or even the SoHo panel canvas panel surface) and laid it onto the glue, with the sheet’s canvas texture side up, facing toward me. I quickly made sure it was positioned correctly.

Using the outer side of a closed fist, I started rubbing the canvas paper into place on the canvas board, rubbing from one side to the other and then around each edge of each side, carefully coming right up to the very edge but without getting glue all over my fingers or hand. Rubbing from one side to the other of the canvas board helps ensure there are no air bubbles and that all areas have made solid contact with the glue below.

Using a slightly damp wet wipe or bit of paper towel, I deftly wiped away the minute bits of glue that were squeezed out during that process. I wiped, folded the wipe over the glue i picked up that way, wiped the next side, and so on. This meant my hands and the canvas paper surfaces stayed free of glue.

I covered only one bare side of each taped set of boards at a time. made sure the boards couldn’t stick together, and then routinely covered only one bare side on each set of taped boards, leaving one bare side for later. I had to go drive my daughter to work while it was drying, so that worked out fine.

I returned to my stack and then closed each set of taped boards so the sticky portion of the tape was peaking toward the outside of each folded set.

It was time for the baby powder. I dusted the strips of sticky tape that were barely showing with the baby powder.

I then poked evenly spaced holes so that the pages are ready to connect them, by way of sewing with the thread, to the cover once that’s done…

As For Sewing the Book Binding…

I had watched several book binding videos like this one. It shows a sewn binding method.

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Raised Scratch Foam Designs in Polymer Clay

Raised Scratch Foam Polymer Clay Designs

Raised Scratch Foam Designs in Polymer Clay

Raised Scratch Foam Polymer Clay Design Test, with notes, by Karen A. Scofield

KarenAScofield Spriograph Clay Texture SheetsNote: This page will be updated as examples are made.

The above picture is only a simple and fast test. It’s not meant to be a prime example, just an example to get your creative juices flowing (and mine). It shows a moon shaped piece of clay with a raised scratch foam design that was colored with Pearl Ex.

I haven’t yet seen others doing it, but yes indeedy, spirographs can be used on scratch foam (Inovart Presto Foam Printing Plate was used in this case) with a ball point pen, ball stylus, or Sakura Gel Pen.

Back at it, Dec. 2016.

KarenAScofield Spriograph Clay Texture Sheets

spirograph clay texture sheet by Karen a Scofield

The Basic Idea

Create a design on scratch foam with a spirograph set and a ball point pen. Press  polymer clay into the design and lift. Add bead holes, etc. You’re looking for spirograph sets that won’t make unintended scratches on the scratch foam. Mine came with “The Spiral Draw” Book.

Taking it Further

Pointillism elements or entire designs be be added inside or around the spirograph design with a ball point pen or ball stylus. The result creates raised clay designs once clay is preseed into it.

Ball point styluses that come in varying sizes can be used for added interest and then needles or beed hole makers can be dragged across the surface, at a slant, to add on to the design too.

Scratch foam designs are probably more commonly used for printing monoprints and other techniques … and also by metal clay artists. They can be earthy/rustic looking or linear and crisp ones.

One can create a bezel complete with boarder designs, with scratch foam designs. What you indent on the foam will be raised on the clay. If you add dimensional writer designs to the scratch foam ones, the clay pressed into it will have both raised and indented designs.

If you use Sakura Gel Pens for the spirograph scratch foam deisgns, many of their inks are oqaque and therefore show up on darker clays. You can press the clay into the fresh scratch foam design and then bake. You may want to seal your design afterward.

Any manner of polymer clay extrusions, applique, relief sculpture, lace impressions/molds, designs for faux enamels, crackling, or designs made with cutters/blades can be applied over the spirograph textured clay passages. If you’re worried about pressing clay together to cause adhesion, because you don’t want to ruin more delicate designs, you may want to use liquid clay or Bake and Bond for adhesion purposes.

With single layer or multi layered scratch foam designs, you create mixed media mosaic tiles, embellishments, beads, and larger clay sheets. You can create molds of the larger clay sheets if you want.

Raised designs can be colored with paint, Sakura Gel Pen ink, inks, or Pearl Ex powders (which are a brand of mica powder). I’d apply paint to baked clay but Sakura Gel Pen, Pearl Ex, and alcohol inks can be applied to raw clay that’s then baked.

You may want to seal baked polymer clay items that have Pearl Ex mica powders or Gel Pens baked onto them. Varathane Water Based varnish is a wonderful sealant for polymer clay pieces.