Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Leather Notebook - But Is It Real?

Today is the start of a new challenge at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog and I am the hostess this time.  I am calling this challenge "It Looks Real" and here is how I describe it:

There are so many ways to make something look real when it isn't. For this challenge, make a vintage or shabby chic project with one or more faux elements. Those elements could be faux rust, leather, stitching - to name a few. Make sure you tell us what the faux element is and how you made it because it will look real.

I decided to make a tiny notebook with a faux leather cover. I was actually inspired by a TV commercial that features a folded butterfly.

I have made faux leather a few times in different ways but this has to be the easiest way yet.  When you get an order from The Funkie Junkie Boutique you find some of the products wrapped in brown paper.  I always threw it out until Jenny Marples told me she saves it and uses it in her projects.  I realized what a mistake I had been making so I started to save it as well.

To make my faux leather I inked a piece of the brown paper  completely with Vintage Photo Distress Ink (Tim Holtz).  Then I crumpled the paper into a tight ball and then spread it out again.  I did this a few times to give it lots of wrinkles.  Next I rubbed the Coffee Archival Ink pad (Ranger) over the top to hit the highlights.

Because I wadded the paper up so many times, it softened quite a bit so I stiffened it up by coating it with Mod Podge.  Voila, faux leather.

The base of the book is just heavy card stock cut  9" x 5 1/2" and scored on the long side at 4 1/4" and 4 3/4".  The outside of the book was covered in the faux leather and then I added a piece of brown card stock cut a bit smaller to the inside.

I made two holes side by side at the top and bottom of the spine and strung the book with round elastic.  I didn't like the stark white elastic against the brown so I inked it with some Vintage Photo DI.  Next I made two signatures from tea and coffee dyed copy paper that I had in my stash and added those to the inside of the book.

I realized that I need a closure so I cut a piece of card stock 1" x 5", covered it with some of my faux leather and bent it around the notebook using a magnet snap (Basic Grey) to keep it shut.  Tip: If you want to stretch your magnet stash, use a purchased magnet on one side and a steel washer on the other side but you need thinner paper over it because it may not be strong enough under card stock.

The next step was to decorate the front cover around the area where the magnet sits.  To do that I made all sorts of leaves and branches with the Fall Foliage and Skeleton Leaves dies (Tim Holtz) using paper from the Abandoned and Metallics Kraft Stock pads (Tim Holtz).  The die cuts from the Fall Foliage die set were inked on the edges with Vintage Photo DI.

To decorate the closure I folded paper from the Abandoned pad to make a butterfly and then added an Idea-ology pen nib (Tim Holtz) that I altered with some Ginger and Gold Mixative Alcohol Inks (Tim Holtz).  Tip:  To glue the two sections together bend the bottom section so the sides almost touch in the middle, apply the glue in a narrow strip and use a paper clip to hold the two sections together while the glue dries.  I used a bit too much glue and didn't bend the bottom enough so I didn't get as much gap between the top and bottom sections of the butterfly as I wanted - lesson learned.

There you have it, a simple but handy little notebook.  This one would be great for a fellow but if you use different inks and more feminine embellishments you will be able to create something lovely for a female.

The challenge is open through Tuesday, November 5th at 11:55 pm EST and you have a chance at being chosen as a top pick.  The overall top pick will have an opportunity to be a Guest Designer at a future date.  One randomly selected winner will receive a gift certificate to shop at The Funkie Junkie Boutique and with all the wonderful new products coming in and the great prices and customer service Linda offers, you won't want to miss this chance.

Supplies list with links to The Funkie Junkie Boutique:

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Mini Paper Stash, Abandoned TH93962
Tim Holtz Idea-ology 8 x 8 Metallic Kraft Stock
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad - Vintage Photo TIM19527
Ranger Archival Ink Pad - Coffee AIP31451
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 14PK - Fall Foliage by Tim Holtz 660955
Sizzix Thinlits Die Set 5pk - Skeleton Leaves by Tim Holtz 663094
Magnetic Snaps, Large MET522
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Pen Nibs
Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Ink - Ginger TIM22046
Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Ink - Gold Mixative TIM22053
Ranger Tim Holtz Alcohol Blending Solution
Ranger Inkssentials Alcohol Ink Applicator With 10 Blending Felts TIM20745
Scor-Pal Scor-Tape 1/8" x 27 Yards
Scor-Pal Scor-Tape 1/4" x 27 Yards
Scor-Pal Scor-Tape 1/2" x 27 Yards


  1. You know your faux finish is working when someone wants to reach out and touch your effect! I love this soft leathery finish you gave to the notebook! The beautiful fall leaves with the wonderful folded butterfly just add icing to the top of this delicious notebook!

  2. Just gorgeous faux leather!!!! Love how you made the butterfly!!

  3. Cec, what I love most about your book is that you made it yourself (no dies), and of course that gorgeous 'leather' cover! The butterfly is a great touch, and your leaves look realistic, too, cut from Abandoned paper--I never would have thought to do that! Great project; great results of your play! Hugs!

  4. Awesome faux leather journal, I love the butterfly!

  5. Beautiful. It looks real from the picture. Good directions and will try this. Thanks.

  6. Love, love, LOVE it Cec! So glad you're saving your packaging as it's invaluable here for that beautiful leather look and I love the leaves you've cut. And as for that folded butterfly closure, well that's such a smart design idea. It's as though you've camouflaged it so as not to detract from the wonderful composition on the front. And your dyed paper signatures work perfectly inside the book too. Magnificent! xx

  7. This is so pretty, the perfect look leather and your elegant embellishments. I love the metallic touches.

  8. That's a fabulous leather look, Cec, and I love the distressed pages inside too. The "abandoned" leaves look wonderful and that butterfly closure is so cool.
    Alison x


I love to hear what you think about my work, so please leave me a comment.