Art journal cover part one: how to add letters

Recently I bought a new sketchbook that has my favourite type of watercolour paper, Fabriano. I like to use this type of paper for drawing and painting. This is part one of two posts where I show how I decorated the cover.

To see how I complete the cover go here: art journal part two: how to paint a gnome


Art sketchbook: How to add letters

Step-by-step instructions for adding lettering to an art sketchbook cover

You will need:
Fabriano FatPad, A4 25 sheets, 300g/m2 (140lb) Satinata (HP)
Pelmet interfacing
Tracing paper and a black pen
Craft knife and cutting mat
Ribbons and beads with letters (I bought mine from Paperchase)
Watercolour painting for recycling
Square of primed canvas
Acrylic paints and brushes
Craft glue
Chipboard letters
Tissue paper

I bought some of my supplies from Hobbycraft and some from Paperchase

1. First of all, detach the cover. This is really easy to do, just lift the coils of the binding at the back and pull out the cover. I took the front and back cover off, so I could decorate them and put the inside pages to one side.

2. To create letters from fabric, iron your chosen fabric to fusible pelmet
interfacing. You need to iron the shiny side to the back your fabric with a steam iron.

3. Draw or trace your letters onto tracing paper and turn the paper over so you have a mirror image and glue to the back of the fabric interfacing.

4. Cut the letters out with scissors and use a craft knife on a cutting mat to cut out the centres. I used the centres to create little toadstools.

5. To spell out your name, you could use beads with letters on them and string them onto ribbon.

6. You could also recycle an old painting to create more letters by gluing the letters to the back and cutting them out. This is a great way to recycle a painting that you don’t like.

7. Create a background with a square of primed canvas and acrylic paints.

8. Add the letters to the background, gluing them in place and then adding shadows with more acrylic paints.

9. To spell out “ARTIST”, you could use chipboard letters and add white acrylic paint with your fingers. This is the easiest way to add lettering to your journal or sketchbook.

10. Add a layer of white gesso to the cover to hide the black. Glue tissue paper on top making sure to wrinkle it to create lots of texture. Then add layers of acrylic paint.

11. Glue the canvas on top of the cover and add more paint around the edges.

12. Finally, tie the ribbon with the letters around the cover.

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