unique papercrafting graphic 45

April 24, 2013

Tips & Techniques For Fun Albums & Layouts


Hello G45ers,

There are so many ways to create beautiful albums and layouts. With so many options, it might be hard to decide exactly what to make! Well today's Graphic 45 blog is all about giving you lots of fabulous ideas, tips and techniques for creating your own unique work of art! Gloria Stengel has created a gorgeous art album that's ideal for housing your layouts and other fun projects! You'll also see a layout makeover by Denise Hahn that's just incredible! Both of these creations are accompanied by a tutorial! Get ready for a super fun and informative day here at Graphic 45! First up is Gloria Stengel's magnificent art album featuring the Graphic 45 12x12 Easel Album! Take it away, Gloria!


I have been noticing many crafty folks making "art albums" as a way to keep a record of their experiments with mixed media techniques. I decided that I would create my own "mixed media" scrapbook album by turning the 12x12 Graphic 45 Easel Album Staples into a scrapbooking "altered notebook"!


I wanted the album to be fun, creative, and messy! I pulled out my inks and paints and let my creative juices flow. Since I am such a fan of Graphic 45 papers and I have a stash of older papers, I pulled them all out and just had fun creating. My motto is "use what you love." It does not matter if something is older. You can give it new life by pairing it with a new collection or with new techniques! (You can see a tiny bit of French Country A La Carte peeking out of the upper right corner.)


I cut the stand off the bottom of the Easel Album and then flipped the album sideways so that the binding spiral is on the left side. The album is now a "book" rather than an easel album. I decorated the front and back outside covers, as well as the inside covers.


I don't really care if the album closes properly as this is not a practical, photo-safe project, but rather this is a way for me to display some art and photos by placing the album onto  a shelf or coffee table.

I covered the front of the album with black cardstock a sheet of Renaissance Faire Tudor Rose paper. I stamped the paper with mixed media ink and a variety of background stamps to create some interest on the paper.  I sprayed a paper doily with mists to give it a tie-dye look.


To create an album "latch" I painted an Ornate Metal Label Holder Staples. I placed a scrap of Steampunk Debutante Eclectic Emporium paper behind the label holder.


After painting some chipboard pieces with white paint, I added glitter and ink. I added paper flowers to my chipboard arch. The little pops of orange are perfect next to all the blue!


To decorate the inside front cover I used alcohol markers to color some of the flowers on a sheet of Kraft Reflections Bed of Roses paper. (The pattern on Renaissance Faire Tudor Rose and Kraft Reflections Bed of Roses is essentially the same!) I stamped with white mixed media ink using some background stamps. Once the ink was dry, I sprayed the paper with various mists. I added a "book plate" by cutting out one of the sentiments from the Kraft Reflections Quote...Unquote paper. I colored part of the sentiment with alcohol markers.


To decorate the inside back cover, I tore a sheet of Renaissance Faire Tudor Rose paper in half and attached it to a sheet of Kraft Reflections Bed of Roses paper, making sure to line up the print.

Gloria-April-Album-8I decorated the back cover with another sheet of Renaissance Faire Tudor Rose paper, which I stamped with various background stamps and white mixed media ink. The circles are actually the ink container lid! I dipped it into the ink and stamped with it. I added a tiny bit of French Country paper to the lower left corner.

I plan to create a title page, 12 monthly pages, and an end page. I am giving this album to my daughter as a graduation gift, therefore I will not be adding photos. I will attach the layouts with photo mats so that she can add her own photos.


Graphic 45 paper:

French Country: A La Carte

Kraft Reflections: Bed of Roses, Quote...Unquote

Steampunk Debutante: Eclectic Emporium

Renaissance Faire: Tudor Rose 

Graphic 45 12 x12 Easel Album Staples

Graphic 45 Ornate Metal Label Holder Staples

Paint: Plaid Folk Art White Acrylic


Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist: Cork, Almost Black, Tuscan Sun, Peach Delight

Ranger Dylusions Ink Spray: Fresh Lime, Vibrant Turquoise

Ink: Clearsnap Colorbox Mix'd Media Inx Jasmine, Black, Copic alcohol markers

Stamps: Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Mixed Media, Unity A Little Bit Washi, 7 Gypsies Steampunk, Oxford Impressions School Days

Cardstock: WorldWin Papers Treasures Pitch Black

Chipboard: Imaginarium Designs

Pearls: Want2Scrap

Glitter: Stephanie Barnard Sprinkles Chunky Glitter

Flowers: Petaloo, Prima, Wild Orchid Crafts

Doily: Wilton

Next up is a dazzling layout makeover by Denise Hahn! Do you have an old LO that's just begging to be redone? Get inspired to give that old LO a makeover with Graphic 45! That's exactly what Denise did with one of her very first layouts! Follow her fun and simple instructions to turn your old LO's into a remarkable work of art! A layout like this is just perfect for putting inside the beautiful art album that Gloria created! Take it away, Denise!

As a beginner, I learned my design techniques by copying other layouts I liked. I learned about layering, balance, and color. After emulating designs I liked, I eventually starting using those techniques with my own twist-and then finally creating my own techniques!  I will go through my old project first and tell you all of the things that were wrong with it, then I will go through the new one and show you how I did it!

So here it is and what I think is wrong with it- there is no major focal point, the colors are boring, the title is barely noticeable. This layout when viewed in an album would be looked at for about 2 seconds- there is no visual interest.

Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 01-imp

Here is my title- THAI? I remember now that I did not have all the letters to spell out Thailand so I cheated. But the bigger offense id my lack of interest and depth here. No ink? No layer in back? I just glued these on? Today I would never allow that!

Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 02-imp

Oh Heavans! This is a case of embellishing for the sake of embellishing. I remember I had these leftover bellies from the scrapbook cruise that introduced me to scrapbooking- I believe I put this here to cover up that blank space- but again applied directly to the page- I did make an effort to layer- but the layer is boring- a simple rectangle inside a rectangle? Today, NEVER!

Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 03-imp

Look out! I got my corner puncher! Again I am attempting to layer, but as I remember, the mats I am using came in a pad of 4x6 and I just tore them out and slapped them on. Did I know ink was available? No depth, no interest.
Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 04-imp

ahhhh now that's better! See the colors jump off the page and sparkle!

Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 05-imp

One of the most important things I did was layer, layer, layer! I started with this very busy green background. The next layer is a silk scarf I cut up, then some burlap, more Graphic 45 Cardstock, pink tissue paper, and then finally my photo. Now, the picture of me and my best friend Sandra is the focal photo. I brought pink into the picture to help it stand out amongst the tropical blues and greens. Where did I get pink? From the Color Wheel. A simple internet search will find you a complimentary color wheel- that shows what colors compliment each other- pink is right across from green and yellow.

Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 06-imp

Thailand is such a vibrant country and my old layout did not really convey that. So I did some fussy cutting and glittering to add some pop and visual interest

Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 07-imp

Now for the title- I inked the letters with Colorbox Pigment Ink in gold- now they stand out and have depth
Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 08-imp

I added the rest of the word- for this I used Birdsong stickers. It's okay to mix lettering-it always adds fun and interest, something in my early days I would have never done! I love how Birdsong and Tropical Travelogue just fit right together.

Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 09-imp

Up close you can see more layering going on- now this page tells a story. You see the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, then you see the spa sign above us, then you see us- in a very tranquil spot- and notice instead of Travel, I added a Tranquil sticker from Birdsong- now that's and embellishment with a purpose!

Denise Hahn Graphic 45 Tropical Travelogue Birdsong Layout Redo - 10-imp

I hope you enjoyed this trip through my project redo! It was so fun to do.

Ink: Clearsnap Colorbox Chalks and Pigment ink
Adhesive- Xyron Mega Runner 
Bling- Want2Scrap
Glitter: Clearsnap
Silk Scarf
Tissue paper

Wow, don't you just love that combination of Tropical Travelogue and Bird Song? It's a match made in craft heaven! We are so glad that you all stopped by our blog today, G45ers! Tomorrow is going to be very exciting as we announce our brand new Graphic 45 Design Team for 2013! It truly is one of the most highly anticipated days of the year for us! We hope you'll stop by and meet our new team! We want to thank Gloria Stengel and Denise Hahn for their beautiful work today! We had so much fun and we hope you did too!

Happy Papercrafting!

Your Friends at Graphic 45


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What stunning layouts! The tips on how to redo old layouts were so useful - thank you.

I was definitely inspired!

I bought the albums in January so I could make the calendars for this year. It is now almost May and the haven't been started. I'd probably be better doing what Gloria did - and make them into journaling albums. Great projects.

Beautiful projects!)

Lovely projects today. I have several layouts that could do with a redo but I kind of think it shows an evolution of my abilities and talents and once I started redoing old pages I would have to do them every time my style changed. Lovely idea, though.

Wow love the colors on the book.

all I can say is wow!

WOW!!! Both projects are amazing. Love the art book. It'll be fun to see how it progresses. and layout is so cute.

My comment didn't post? It essentially said I think both projects are brilliant ideas :)

Two beautiful projects today, Graphic 45 Blog is so full of inspiration xx

LOVE these albums!

I love doilies and it was so wonderful to see one being used in a layout. I can't wait to use one in one of my projects.

I loved the re-do!! Partly because I do them myself and partly because it was so exciting to see how a designer (pro) added to the dimension and interest of the page. Great job, everyone!

Amazing project. Love the colors

Gosh Gloria and Denise - your creations are sooo fabulous. Nicola x

Amazing projects! Love the new redo layout with all the layers and colors.

Wow! Beautiful art album and I'm very impressed at Diana's LO Makeover. TFS!

Such an inspiring post! Thanks for sharing this with us. I am itching to get into some right now!!!

Beautiful layouts. Thanks for the ideas.

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