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It's a Wrap...Journal Style

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Today, I have for you another fun project for this months theme of "It's a Wrap!"   I have created a spooky steampunk inspired journal out of two gift bags that had been sewn together.  My first thought for this is to use it as a hostess gift.  Include a Uniball white gell pen  and all the guests at the get together can sign it for the host.  What a great memory keeper!  This would also work as a great birthday card for a Halloween Birthday.  There is room for lots of notes, journaling and well wishes.  I hope you enjoy!  

I started with two black gift bags that had been sewn together to create a journal.  The bags are attached together by starting with right sides facing.  You then turn them so they are now landscape. This is where you would sew or bind the two bags together.  Next, fold them in the middle to create the book.  There should now be front cover with a handle, two middle pages with the flap that is normally the bottom of the bag and then the back cover also with a handle.  I trimmed one handle away from the front cover and one from the back so there are only two total handles.   You could easily create the journal by binding the bags together in your favorite style of binding (with ribbon or brads, etc.)  This one just happened to be sewn together.  Just plan how you want the journal to open.  This one utilizes the handles of the gift bag as handles to tie the pretty package all together with coordinated ribbons and tulle .  The other great bonus of using gift bags for this is that the opening for what normally would be the bag creates two pockets at the front and back to add tags, gift cards or other small, low profile gifties.  I included a couple cute little tags with my journal.  The perfect compliment to this project is the Graphic 45 Steampunk Spells papers and postcards. and gothic lace stickers...PERFECT!

I began by painting the gift bags with black to cover the UPC codes and other writings on the bottom of the bags as the bottoms actually become the inner pages.  I'm truly sorry, but I forgot to snap a photo of the before bag.  I was so excited to get started.  I then added more layers and colors of acrylic craft paint.  If you look closely at the above photo you can see many layers of paint, orange, silver, black and even some purple.  I then layered a few torn pieces of vintage text pages.  I wanted that layer to blend a bit into the background so I added some more watered down acrylic paint over the text.  You can see the paint a bit better in this next photo.  I couldn't stop there so I added a bit more color on some of the pages with my Stazon Midi  in Orange Zest.  I literally just stamped and smudged the ink pad right on the surface of the bag.  
I also used one of my favorite stamp sets from Altered Pages.  It is the Mailbox Muse Gothic stamp.  You can see the stamps here .  I am seriously in love with this stamp set!  I painted the stamp with orange acrylic paint then stamped the image on the bag.  I left the centerfold a bit bare as to leave room for journaling or well wishes.
More fun in the next pic getting my fingers messy with more paint and continuing with the the G45 papers. I ripped, cut and used all the scraps.  Again, I left room for writing.
You can see in this next photo that I added a secret spooky Halloween image  using a Halloween collage sheet from Altered Pages and some more stamping under the flap that the bottom of the bag creates. 

I waited to do the front cover until all the other pages were done and dry.  I didn't want any of the stars of the show to get unwanted paint, ink or other schmuuutz on them.  So, to the front cover I layered the G45 Steampunk Postcards  over a doiley that I painted out with a little bit of black and orange acrylic paint.  Next, I added gothic lace stickers  to the top and bottom corners.  You must try these.  They were so easy to work with and cut to size.  I am certainly picking up a few more packs of these! 

Then, I added the most amazing white and black flower trim.  This came in one of my Mailbox Muse Kits.  It was the Fairy Tale Royalty Summer 2015 kit.  There are always so many goodies that I have left over from my kits.   I also added Giant Rhinestones  from G45.  These are from the Raven pack.
Another cool aspect of this project is that the gift bags make the journal sturdy enough to stand up on its own.  This makes it so easy to display it for all to see.   

I have to say that I really had fun making this and know that I will be making at least one for probably all holidays and Birthdays for my most favorite friends!  Oh, I almost forgot the tags.  These were done similarly to the gift bags.  I first painted them, added more images from the Spooky Halloween collage sheet, some torn paper from G45 and topped them off with a few strands of cute ribbon.
I hope you enjoyed the post.   Thanks for stopping by.  Leave me a comment to let me know you were here.  I love hearing from you. And, remember to check back to see the next installment of It's a Wrap!  Have a great weekend!

~ Stephanie S.

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