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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Star Book Tutorial

Hello, December is with us again and way back in 2003, very disappointed with a kit version I had bought, I designed this very simple version of a Star Book which I made, and then taught a variation of almost every Christmas since. This year's has die cut snowflakes cut through the front layer and for a more contemporary look made in Kraft card with Echo Park's Hello Winter papers. As I have decided not to use the project as a workshop again - enough already! - and, as it is nearly Christmas I thought I would share this tutorial - I simply ask no one uses this as a workshop project or for any other commercial gain. Here goes...

The 'bones' of this book is simply 15 pre-scored square cards, I tend to use quite heavy cardstock for this, around 300, as I like to think having invested the time in creating it that is robust enough to last a good number of Christmases used either as a hanging ornament or a 'coffee table' piece. The measurements I will give are for 5" or 13.5cm square cards but you could adjust them for other sizes.


If you think of the book as 5 segments each containing 3 cards, pre-scored crease to the centre pointing away from you. I lay them out on my desk as in the photo above which I find helps me focus on which patterned paper I want to put where in the next stage. Now for the first set of 5 cards, the back row here, taken straight out of the packet folded, always with a bone folder for crisp perfection, and stand them in a row in front of you - I told you is was really easy! Second set of 5 cards, the middle row in the photo, fold and use your trimmer to cut 2cm from the open end and stand in front of the first row. Third set, front row in the photograph, fold and cut 4cm from the open end and stand in front of the previous two rows. There you have the bones of this book and I'm pretty sure many of you will have worked out where this is going.

You are now ready to select and cut the patterned paper for your pages. Firstly you will need 2 pieces 13.5cm x 13.5cm for the first and last pages (back row, facing away from you in the photo) which will become your front and back covers, plus 10 pieces 12.5cm x 12.5cm, one for each back row page facing you. The second row needs 10 pieces 10.5cm x 12.5cm for the pages facing away from you, and another 10 for those facing you. The front row similarily needs 10 pieces 8.5cm x 12.5cm for the pages facing away from you and another 10 for those facing you. I usually stand all my cut pieces in front of me, in the places I intend to fix them, to check I like the overall effect.

Before I stick anything, I figure out how I am going to decorate front row pages which become the outer segments of the star when it is displayed. In this version I stamped, embossed with WOW Bright White embossing powder, and hand cut some wonderful Hero Arts Monogramme stamps I have had in my stash forever plus a 'merry' stamp from Stampendous of a similar age. You might die cut them or do something entirely different.

Having decided the position for each word/letter I then die cut two different snowflakes using really beautiful dies from Impression Obsession the larger from the patterned paper, with the smaller lined up and cut from the card base underneath so you are peeking through to the paper on the reverse of the paper on the back of the page. I love double sided paper for this!

You are now ready to stick all the patterned paper in place except for the front and back covers.

Once this is done and using 3mm ultra clear tape (the red backed stuff) for strength, tape along one edge of each segment in the back and centre rows, then line up and stick each edge as above. Repeat with the other edge of each segment and you have the five star segments complete and ready for assembly.

Close the first segment (merry and C in mine) and use the same tape to stick the second segment H and R in mine) on top, I do what will become the points of the star first then go back and stick what will be the centre, rather than both sides at the same time, as I find it easier to keep everything perfectly aligned this way.

Your star is complete and all you have left to do is add the ribbon, the paper for the front and back covers and any decoration, I used yet another snowflake.

Here is my book tied closed, I will make a box to present/store it in....

..and here it is tied open.

It is currently in the glass display in Snazzys Studio but it might yet have to spend Christmas at home with me.

Well I hope you can follow my rather lengthy instructions for what is actually a very simple project, perfect for cosy winter afternoons by the fire, and you are inspired to have a go yourself. I have made this book with photos, with pockets and tags between the layers, with flaps to hide journaling and with removable hinged photo mounts - how will you make yours, I would love to see.

I will be back early next week with step outs for my Snow Queen canvas which I will post over on my own blog http://inkyexploits.blogspot.com/ as it was a piece I made just for me rather than as a workshop for Snazzys.

Thank you for joining me, if you make your own version of this then do leave a link in the comments below as I would love to see it x


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