Creative Giving - Handmade Gifts

December 9, 2016

I love the holidays!

This time of year gives me the opportunity to slow down and think about all of the joy and love in my life. One of the things I love to do is give hand made gifts. I feel like putting a personal touch on something you spend time with gives it an extra little sparkle of love.


This year I made some ornaments and I used a set of Field Notes and customized them with paint and stencils (from The Crafters Workshop) to make a very bright and cheerful set of blank sketchbooks or journals for a friend. I even made a fun little bookmark to go along with them! 


Below is a walkthrough of my project so you can make your own special set of books to give or keep! :)




TCW639 Brazen Star

TCW638 Les Fleurs

The Crafters Workshop White Gesso

Acrylic Paint (a few warm and cool colors)

Set of 3 Field Notes or Moleskine cashier notebooks.

Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate


A few sheets of butcher paper

Brush tip marker

White gel pen

Magazine pages or various ephemera to roll and stamp extra paint on


Since I will be making these books into a set I made all 3 at the same time so they would look like a "family". the first step is to apply a layer of gesso with a brayer to each book cover. 




Next select your first color to add to your books. I decided on a cool blue. I rolled out a good amount of paint onto my gelli plate and then scrunched up a piece of butcher paper. I them smoothed out the paper a bit and spread it out on the wet paint that I applied to my gelli plate. As you can see in the four photos below this added a fun texture to each of my books in a unique way. 





I printed all 3 books with the same single application of paint and texture. This gives each one a little less paint but I like the variation it added to the books. Next up was some yellow, I like to add warm colors over cool colors to add interest and contrast. Since acrylic paint dries very quickly I can layer warm and cool colors of paint without worrying about them getting "muddy".



This Yellow is also transparent so it gives the hint of green as it is applied over the blue. Again I used one application of paint on the Gelli Plate the center book below has the star stencil in the center and the other 2 are printed with the leftover paint after I removed the stencil. Again my goal is to keep them in the "family" but not make them identical. By using the leftover paint it also gives each book visual interest and some free form color.



 Next I applied a thin layer of violet paint right over the bits of left over yellow and added a tiny bit of dark blue (pictured below) as a layer over the violet.



These are both warm colors and the dark blue added quite a bit of contrast to the books. I used  TCW639 Brazen Star stencil for this layer. You can see the color variation of the violet and blue coming through in the finished print. Since there was so much paint left on the Gelli plate I went ahead and ghost printed (second print after removing the stencil) a full piece of ephemera to make into a bookmark to go along with this gift. I always try really hard not to waste any paint, I use the extra paint on the Gelli plate or the brayer on extra ephemera or to roll off onto book or magazine pages to use later in other projects.



For my final color I used Golden brand Quinacridone Magenta. A little bit of this liquid acrylic goes a long way so I used about a dime size amount and rolled it out very thin.



This is a very vibrant color I saved it for last to really add a lot of POP to the final stenciled image and to create a focal area for each little book. you can see the first 2 books have a main stenciled image the 3rd book is a ghost print (second print) after I pulled the stencil from the gelli plate. I love the variation this gives to the set!



Next I got out my brush tip Faber Castell marker and white gel pen to add a bit of marks and lines to each book. This ads a bit more personality and makes each book fun and quirky. You can see all 3 books  and the bookmark (below) before I added any extra marks and then you can see a close up of the books not only to see the doodles market but also to see the paint colors and textures more closely.





Once my ink dried I used the original belly band and slid all 3 of the Field notes back in. It could be fun to print on the belly band or make a custom one as an option. I chose to leave mine white because I liked the bright contrast against the books. You can also see my finished bookmark. I added a little snowflake charm and thin ribbon to finish it off.



This was such a fun project! I would love to see what kind of gifts you make and give for the holidays! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr! Tag me @DrawRiot to share the holiday fun or leave me a comment below and tell me all about it! I can't wait to get this all wrapped up and under the tree!

 Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year!

Until Next Time Keep Creating!

- Tori Weyers (aka DrawRiot)


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