Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Tiny Neutral Accordion Book

The new challenge starts today at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog and Sara Emily is our hostess for this one. She is calling it Mostly Neutral and she describes it this way:

For this challenge, I would like you to use mainly neutrals, but I will allow you one accent color or use of metallic accents. Let's see how you use beige, ivory, taupe, brown, black, gray or shades of white or any combination of these to make any vintage/shabby chic project you would like.

I thought it might be fun to make a really tiny accordion book and use all sorts of bits and pieces from my stash. In truth I was inspired by a new button and elastic closure that I saw online and wanted to make it so I needed a book for it.

Since there are so many pages I am not going to show a step by step but will give you an idea of the products and techniques used to put it together. I started with the accordion base and cut two pieces 3 7/8" x 12" and then scored it on the long side at 2 7/8", 5 3/4", 8 5/8" and 11 1/2". I cut away the 1/2" leftover piece on one of the strips and angled the ends of the 1/2" leftover piece on the other strip. I glued the 1/2" strip to one side of the other strip and then folded the resulting long strip into mountain and valley folds - you should end up with the panels on each end going the same direction. If you want a larger book, you can add another strip.

Next I created the covers by cutting two pieces of cracker box material 4" x 9" and then scored them on the long side at 3" and 6". I folded one side to the front of the centre and the other to the back of the centre and then glued each in place so that I ended up with a piece 3" x 4" that was three layers thick. One layer of thick chipboard, mat board or book board could be used instead but I like the idea of recycling the cracker boxes.

The next step was to add paper to one side of each cover. I cut the paper 4" x 5", centred the cover block on the wrong side of the paper and glued it on. The corners were mitered when I glued the excess to the back side to get nice sharp corners. Glue the covers to the accordion base on the panels at each end that face the same direction making sure to centre the panel on the back side of the cover.

Now it was time to make the panels that would be decorated. Since I wanted to use some wet media, I cut pieces of water colour card 2 3/4" x 3 3/4" and then I distressed the edges with a pair of scissors.

I had decided to use a nature theme for the book so I set about to decorate each page with that theme in mind. Each panel was inked with distress inks or painted with watered down paints or Scribble Sticks and then collaged with bits of paper, laces, fibers, die cuts, charms (altered with Alcohol Ink), stamped bits, some Chit-chat stickers and stenciling with ink and texture are some close-ups to give you an idea of what I did on each page.

Once each panel (as shown in these close-ups was decorated, they were glued onto the accordion base. I decided which order I wanted them to go in and mounted the flattest ones first on each side and then mounted ones with more dimension.

Finally I decorated the covers starting with the front as shown at the top and then the back as shown above.

Once the book was all put together I determined the thickness and made the closure by taking thin round elastic cord and wrapping it around the book twice. Once I determined the length I cut it off the spool and folded it in half. The open ends were threaded through the button holes and tied together. The closure was wrapped around the book and looped over the button. This is a super easy closure and will stretch a bit to accommodate thicker embellishments without detracting from your cover design. The button can be a design element in itself as was this leaf button I used.

I hope you will join us for this challenge. The Design Team will choose their top four picks with the overall winner receiving a gift certificate to shop at The Funkie Junkie Boutique. All four will receive badges to display on their blogs. The challenge runs until 11:55 pm EST on Tuesday, March 2nd.

Supplies list:

Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Gathered Twigs, Frayed Burlap, Walnut Stain, Pumice Stone, Black Soot
Tim Holtz Distress Oxides - Hickory Smoke, Pumice Stone
Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks - Umber, Sand
Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks - Pitch Black, Rust, Mushroom, Blending Solution
Tim Holtz Distress Crayons - Antique Linen
Tim Holtz Bubble Stencil
Wendy Vecchi Dots and Stripes Border Stencil
TCW Stencils - Mini Tiny Circles, Mini Geometric Art Layers
Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Rubber Stamps - Entomology
Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Rubber Stamps - Nature's Wonder
Wendy Vecchi Country Flowers Stamp Set
Tim Holtz Thinlets Dies - Entomology, Garden Greens, Wildflower Stems #2 Sizzix Circle Die Set
Tim Holtz Idea-ology - Kraft Glassine, Chit-chat Stickers
Stamperia Alchemy Paper Pad
Graphic 45 Mon Amour Paper Pad
Miscellaneous - Charms, Burlap String, Burlap, Ric-rac, Wool, Lace, Button, Cardboard, Cork, Skeleton Leaf, Feather, Embroidery Floss, Fabric Scraps
Recollections Black Card stock
Canson Watercolour Card Stock
Elastic Cord
Scor Tape
Liquitex Modeling Paste
Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink


  1. This is wonderful, Cec!!!!! Love every bit!!!!

  2. I adore this! Those tiny neutral pages are gorgeous! Beautiful mini book! (one that can be read over and over again to see all those beautiful details!)

  3. I just knew this was going to be something incredible when that genius button closure popped open! I have enjoyed clicking on the photos and seeing every single detail up close! Each page is a mini work of art! Bravo on nailing this challenge theme, Cec!

  4. You had me at the clever closure and textured cover on this stunning accordion book Cec but then open inside to reveal page after page of wonderful collage and I'm in awe. Like Sara Emily I clicked on each of the photos and spent time drooling over the detail of each page, all so different and yet harmonious. So much love for this Cec xx

  5. Wow, such a stunning make! I love all the page designs, so beautifully detailed - amazing 😀. Thanks for the inspiration and wishing you a wonderful week! Hugs, Jo x


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