Thursday, February 16, 2012

Altered Board Book: Love Theme

It has been awhile since I spent more than a few hours on any one particular project. Recently I joined a swap (through swapbot) where I had the opportunity to do just that... spend A LOT of time on one project. The swap was for altering a children's "chunky book" in a love theme. The experience was a little nerve-racking at first because I had a bunch of muddled ideas running through my head, but I couldn't get myself to commit to any one particular direction. I started with the cover first and once that was done the entire book just started coming together. So here it is... my very first Altered Board Book (Love Theme)!

I used Kraft card stock to cover all of the pages of the book before beginning. For the cover I utilized various stamps to create a lovely background. I then used Tim Holtz dies to create the flourish accents (that was from the Hanging Sign die) and the center bookplate (which I die cut from an aluminum can and colored with Ranger Alcohol Ink). I also created a closure with the Hardware die, grungeboard and a hitch fastener (an idea which I picked up from Tim Holtz). Other supplies used were gel pen, brads, E-6000, Rock Candy Crackle Paint, vellum paper with the word "love" and Distress Inks. The binding on the spine is Tissue Tape.

Next up is pages one and two. These pages are a combined theme and I used the post card as a way of turning them into a cohesive unit. I wanted these pages to reflect vintage inspired love letters and postal themed elements. I created a small tear in the post card for visual interest. When adhering this card, I left a space that was not glued down so I could have a small pocket affect for a tag. The tag was created using bronze UTEE and a postal rubber stamp.

Page two contains an excerpt from a love letter between Robert Browning and Elizabeth Browning. I hand wrote this on a linen textured card stock that I then crinkled and rubbed Vintage Photo Distress Ink over. The seal was created using bronze UTEE and a wax seal. I also added a Tim Holtz pen nib to this page.
Page three was created with two La Blanche stamps and a Tim Holtz stamp then colored in with a variety of Distress Inks. I also removed two of the books pages and used tissue tape to fill in that gap which you can see between page three and four.
Page four was inspired by an ATC I recently created- it is essentially a larger scale version of the same design, but I loved it so much I had to use it for this book. The two adorable little valentine children came from The Graphics Fairy blog (if you love vintage images, you MUST check this site out). I printed the saying out on my computer and the background is comprised of various Tim Holtz "grunge" background stamps and Distress Inks. I also used Glossy Accents over the heart on the little girls pants.
The final pages are a combined theme just like page one and two. For these pages I used these mini paper bag style envelopes and inserts for excerpts from a book titled, This Is My Beloved by Walter Benton. The keys and key holes were die cut from the Tim Holtz/Sizzix Hardware die and given a coating of bronze UTEE. Again the background consists of Tim Holtz background stamps and Distress Inks.

Here is an example of the cards inside the envelopes... they are all hand written. I distressed the edges of each one using my Tonic/Tim Holtz paper distresser and then added Vintage Photo Distress Ink.
And finally, the back cover... I spritzed over the back with a shade of Glimmer Mist (Red Velvet) and also a shade of Perfect Pearls Mist (Heirloom Gold). You can also see the full grungeboard closure here.

And that's that! I'm not going to lie... I had a hard time letting this one go! I just hope the person who received it really loves looking at it as much as I loved making it. I guess that's all we can really ever hope for when we put our heart into something and give it away to someone else.
Well, I know this post was very "down to business" so to speak, but I wanted to be sure I shared as much detail as I could about what I used/did. However, if you have ANY questions at all- about products, techniques... anything- please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to answer!
As always


  1. Beautiful! Love the vintage images of the children.

  2. I just discovered your beautiful work through SwapBot. I would love to follow you by email if that's possible?

  3. Awesome! I love all the objects you covered in UTEE, I am inspired to get mine out once again because of you. Great post.


  4. Any ideas for using clear UTEE to make wax seals, Angela?

    I don't have HeatIt Inks. Should I just try alcohol inks after the fact, you think??? Or perhaps paint dabbers? I have the metallics of both.

    <3 your stuff!!!

    1. Alicia, I've never tried altering the color of clear UTEE. You should definitely give your two ideas a try! Like with most art- you never know until you do! I was also thinking, I wonder what it would be like to use a colored base for your clear UTEE seal? I may have to give that one a try. Thanks for checking out my blog! (Did you also see the actual post I did on faux wax seals? I have a youtube tutorial as well).


Your awesome comments are much appreciated!