Yesterday, it was all about selecting our paper palette and tracing/cutting paper for our Word albums. Today, let’s get that paper on our chipboard and really start to make our Word come to life! If you missed the first parts of this mini series, I would love you to catch up with us! You can see the first parts of the series here and here. I know, these posts are long – I want to provide you with as much detailed info as possible so your project will be amazing! Oh and another book to tempt you – this Home book is a very contemporary version, perfect for someone in a modern, city home.
Our paper is cut and ready to be glued to our chipboard letters. What we need is some Mod Podge and a foam brush. It’s also nice to have a brayer in your craft box of tricks! You’ll use a brayer for so many projects and not just for scrapbooking.
Using a foam brush, put an even, thin layer of Mod Podge on both your chipboard letter and on the back of the paper you are gluing to that letter. (Remember to check the fronts and backs that we marked yesterday!) Place the paper on the chipboard letter, Mod Podged sides together. One of the (many) beauties of Mod Podge is that you have time to move the paper around on the chipboard to make sure you have the right alignment of paper on the chipboard.
One you are satisfied with paper to chipboard, take your brayer and with firm pressure, slowly roll the brayer back and forth over the letter, first horizontally and then vertically. This step ensures that the paper adheres well to the chipboard and smooths out any bumps or bubbles. Roll the brayer slowly – another lesson I learned the hard way! Both the paper and chipboard letter are wet with Mod Podge, and rolling too quickly can cause the paper to shift. Of COURSE the first time I ever did this, it was with too much gusto and I rolled the paper right off the letter into a crumpled heap. No, you don’t want to do that! (smiles!) Mod Podge all of your cut paper letters to the front sides of each chipboard letter and put them aside to dry for 2-3 hours.
While our letters are drying, let’s talk about a few of my can’t-live-without crafting products, in addition to Mod Podge and a brayer! Yes, these products are a huge help in making these Word albums, but I use them for so many other crafting projects. If any of these are new to you, maybe you’ll want to add one to your stash!
I don’t know what I did before I had my Bazzill Splat Mat. As you can see in the photo below, just like my brayer, this baby is well used! I am, without a doubt, a messy, messy crafter (and baker, and cook and…just messy!) The Splat Mat is my little knight in shining armor! Glue of any kind, including hot glue, paint, you name it, just wipes right up. It protects my work surface and even handles temperatures of up to 500 degrees, so I put my glue gun right on it. My mat measures 18” x 15”. Now, if they just make a version to go over my clothes, I would be a happy crafting camper!
Have you ever used the Basic Grey precision files? Trust me, these are fantastic! I use these constantly, to cut paper off edges of paper mache, sand down edges of chipboard, get in tiny little areas (like around the insides of the Word letters) and a million other uses. Once you have these files, you’ll definitely wonder how you ever lived without them! Again, you can tell they are used a lot!
Ok, let’s pretend a few hours have passed! Back to our letters. You’ll notice that the “holes” on the left side of each letter are covered with the paper we just Mod Podged. Super easy to fix! Just take a regular sized hole punch, line it up with the hole on the side that’s not yet covered with paper and firmly punch through the hole. Voila! Perfect hole. Sometimes, if you have really thick or textured paper, your punch creates a hole that’s a little ragged. Not to worry – you can sand that punch to round perfection, especially with the round file in the precision file set. Punch all of the “holes” on each letter. Now, repeat the same process, Mod Podging the cut paper to the backs of each letter. Let dry for a few hours and then punch all of the holes again.
Now that our letters are covered front and back, you might notice that some of the paper is not perfectly even with the chipboard in some areas. Use an X-Acto knife to trim away any excess paper. I use those precision files I mentioned to sand away excess paper on the insides of letters, in any tiny crevices and to smooth all of the edges of each letter “page.” A word of advice on sanding – you can keep finding areas to sand and be sanding for way too long! It’s totally fine for the letters not to be absolutely perfect – I’ve learned this lesson, too, the hard way! Little “imperfections” are part of the unique beauty and charm of a handcrafted item. Once you are happy with the way your letters look, you can Mod Podge over the entire letter to seal, if you want to. What I like to do is just take my finger, dip it in a little Mod Podge, and run it all around the edges of the entire letter page and around the cut-out openings of any letters. This seals all of the edges and smooths everything out.
Whew! We are down to our last step for today, before we get to embellishing our pretty letters. This step is big, though, and a technique that I use on every, single Word album. I think this gives the Word album a little something special! You’re familiar with Stickles, right? In the rare event you’re not, I love, love, love Stickles and use this product on just about every craft project I make! This easy to use, gorgeous glitter “glue” comes in every color of the rainbow and different styles, regular, ice, distressed, etc. Sometimes, I’m pretty sure my husband worries that I have put Stickles on a dessert! Of course I haven’t…could you imagine if there were edible Stickles though? I’d be all OVER that!
After your letter pages are completely done (Mod Podged, punched, dried, sanded and ready to go) pick a color of Stickles that coordinates with your paper palette and completely outline the entire letter page, all the way around, with Stickles. Front and back. This technique makes the letters “pop,” adds sparkle and I just love the way Stickles look on the Word books For this Baby book, I used Stickles in “Stardust.” I think this color adds a lovely, soft shimmer to a Baby book.
You can use any color of Stickles you like! Just remember, the darker the color of Stickles, the more any mistakes will show, like lines that are really wiggly. If you make a mistake, just wipe off the Stickles with a paper towel and start over. (I keep a carton of paper towels under my craft table!) Give your outline of Stickles PLENTY of time to dry. I usually do the front side of the letters, let them dry overnight and do the opposite side in the morning.
We did it! Our letters are done and look gorgeous….next time, we get to play with embellishments and putting the whole book together. Yes, my sharp eyed friends, this is a different palette of paper from day one – am working on a few books at the same time!
One last look at the contemporary Home book. You can see the copper colored Stickles I used to outline this book. What’s the Word from me for YOU? Thanks – for being here! Are you ready to try a Word album??