Friday, November 16, 2012

Recycled Book Christmas Frame with Tutorials

When my friend Rina sent me the link a couple of days ago to Trina McClune showcasing the gorgeous altered book she did for PAPERHAUS Magazine, I was totally smitten and couldn't wait to try my hand at something similar!

I decided to go with a Christmas version of her beautiful creation. What do you think? Wouldn't this look gorgeous sitting on your shelf this Christmas with a favorite family photo in it?

I'd like to share a tutorial with you on how I made this lovely keepsake.
WARNING!!!! This post is photo heavy!!!!

First I started with an old Reader's Digest condensed novel/book but any thick book will do.
I began by drawing my opening size on the front cover {mine is approximately 4"x6"}. I first cut through the cover with an exacto knife and a metal ruler.

After cutting through the cover I traced around the opening with a pencil onto the first layer of pages. Open the cover and with the exacto knife and ruler and start working your way down through the pages to a depth of about 3/4" deep.

I then rubbed some sandpaper over the inside edges to smooth away some ragged bits.

Next I adhered all the pages and the cover together with ModgePodge...I didn't do every single layer ..probably every six or seven pages.

 I then sealed all the paper edges with a generous coating of Modgepodge. I laid another book on top of it and went to make supper while it dried {what can I say...the natives were hungry!}.

After everything was dry, I painted the entire thing with a layer of gesso. I did the inside edges with a coat but only lightly washed the front facing page so that some of the text still showed through.{I noticed after I had glued the pages together that my facing page was from a murder story and all the talk was of guns lol..hardly great text for a Christmas project :) }.

I then painted all the outside with brown acrylic paint {I know, I know..the book was brown to start with but I wanted to cover up the titles on the spine}. So while all this was drying, I made my flowers to decorate the front. I used three poinsettias and five roses and a whole bunch of holly leaves . I cut the leaves on my Cricut with the Child's Year cartridge. Unfortunately, the leaves are cut out in  one piece that entails four leaves so I had to individually cut the leaves apart..I used a dotted green cs from Bazzil for the leaves and then inked all the edges with Distress Ink in Forest Moss. Onto the flowers...

I used a Lily Punch Bunch and Cherry Cobbler cs from Stampin ' Up. You will need five of each size petal. I used the two smaller petals for these poinsettias....

I inked the edges of the petals with Distess Ink "Aged Mahogany" and then I spritzed them with a homemade mist {five drops of Scattered Straw re-inker plus a little scoop of bronze Perfect Pearls and then fill the rest of the mini mister with water}. If you don't have any mist then just dampen the pieces with water. While wet, I crumpled them together lenghtwise and left them to dry.

When petals are dry, punch a 1" circle from the red cs and then assemble as follows:

First lay down a blob of hot glue {or liquid glue - it's your preference} in  the center of punched 1" circle. Add the larger five petals in a star shape. 

Add another blob of glue to the center and then layer the smaller five petals on the first layer, staggering the petals compared to the bottom, like so.....

Finish with a blob of Glossy Accents {or liquid glue of choice} in the center and sprinkle on some multi colored beads. I used a brown/gold mixture that I found at Wal Mart.

The white roses are my version of Vicky Alberto's sugarplum flowers. Click on her name and it will take you to her beautiful tutorial on how to make these sweet little rose type flowers.
I finished mine off by touching the flower edges with liquid glue and dipping them in a very fine gold glitter....

You will need to make five of these roses.

The reindeer was cut using this gorgeous Tim Holtz die.

 I actually cut out several with  different color inks {Prima music stamp on white cs} and facing both directions but eventually settled on a reindeer in red Cherry Cobbler from Stampin' Up and facing the left. Ink the edges of the reindeer with Distress ink "Vintage Photo" and finish with a bow tied around his neck. I used a 1/8 wide ribbon in brown from Offray.

OK... Let's start the assembling....

Adhere the reindeer to the right hand side of book and then cut a scrap of brown cs into a right angle and adhere to the left land side of the book. This will be your support base for the flower spray.

The first poinsettia is actually only partially on the brown support with the rest extending over the opening. I stacked a few pop dots underneath to support it. Stay close to the support as you want to be able to slip your photo in here when you are finished.

Add the next pointsetta here:

Using a pop dot, add the third poinsetta in the corner, raising it above the rest. Now fill in with four roses as demonstrated in photo.

Now fill in amongst the flowers with a combo of the two sizes of holly leaves.
Finshing touches.....
I glued a string of pearls around the edge of the opening, tucked in two Maya road heart pins, and added a single rose and two leaves in the upper rt hand corner. I totally forgot to take photos of the banner as I was making it {it was sort of an after thought}. The letters are 3/4" upper case from A Child's Year cartridge and the little banner pieces were cut free hand. I added them with pop dots and then finished with red pearls in the corners of the banner. A 3 1/2" x 5" photo would fit this opening best.
 I will be offering this class here in my home in early December. I can accomodate four crafters. First come, first serve!
Thanks for popping by today. Have a great day. Now I'd better get my arse in gear and get started on my Christmas cards! Toodles!


  1. Michelle, This is absolutely GOR . GE . OUS!!!
    I love how you've made all your own flowers, and cut out the deer and done everything yourself. Totally wonderful!
    I adore the design, the colours, everything and feel incredibly humble that you liked my initial project enough to give it a go.

  2. Wow, what a gorgeous altered projects. Your students will be very fortunate indeed!! ~ Blessings, Tracey

  3. Now this is a class I'd LOVE to take!! WOW, Michelle, a truly stunning project! Your photo tutorial makes the whole process so clear, I just might try to follow in your footsteps and make my own. Your patience and skill with all the handmade flowers and inked leaves....holey crow! I'm in awe! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh Michelle I sure wish I was closer this is one class I would love to take . Absolutely stunning book frame love how you've made all the flowers they look so real and thanks for the tutorial --this will be going in my fav. folder for sure .

  5. Stunning Michelle!! I am definitely going to have to try my hand at this! Thank you for sharing!!

  6. This is gorgeous! I'd love to try it but I'll have to work up the nerve since mine may not measure up ;)

  7. Oh wow Michelle!! This is too beautiful!! I wish I had some of your talent for crafts!! You seem to have gotten most if not all of it! LOL Guess I'll stick to cakes!