Saturday, June 1, 2019

Saturday Showcase -- Stamperia Lilac Flowers Mini Album Tutorial With Tim Holtz Crochet Thinlits

Hello and welcome to Frilly and Funkie's Saturday Showcase! Today I'm sharing a step by step tutorial for building the mini album I created for the current  Frilly and Funkie challenge, Mother May I? My album features the beautiful Stamperia Lilac Flowers Paper collection and Tim Holtz Crochet Thinlits die set.  The Funkie Junkie Boutique offers a huge selection of Stamperia papers, but I chose the Lilac Flowers collection to make my album; the striking floral images brought to mind my Mom and her treasured lilac tree back home. I'll also be sharing some ideas for using up every bit of these gorgeous papers and getting the most out of your Distress Oxide Sprays to make additional elements for the album.

I start by making three signatures and build my cover around it. The design of the signatures is not my own;  I referred to this video tutorial by Cristina Radovan where she builds a beautiful album from scratch in no time . She uses a single sheet of 12 x 12 paper to make a two page spread. While I did use her video as a visual reference, I don't understand her language and don't know how to translate videos--is that even possible? I thought it would be helpful to do a detailed interpretation of  the signature portion of her tutorial with specific measurements.

Build the Signatures:

1. Choose your paper and determine which way you wish to orient your paper, keeping in mind what designs will be showing on the outside. You also don't want your designs to be upside down when you're done folding this, so check twice. (It helps to use a paper that doesn't have words or images that might look funny if upside down! Ask me why I know this!) ` For demonstration purposes I'm using a cheap white paper, so you can see where I score and cut better. The reverse side is navy, which I will consider to be my 'right' side of the paper, with the white being the 'wrong' side. Note this tutorial is for use with 12 x 12 inch papers.

 Click on any photo to enlarge.

2. With your paper oriented with top up, score at 5 7/8 inches and 6 1/8 inches.

3. Turn paper so top is to your right and score at 5 3/4 inches and 11 1/2 inches. You will see your paper now has 4 equal quadrants with a 1/2 inch flap at the top and two central score lines. Crease your score lines with a bone folder.

4. With top facing up, cut on the 5 7/8 and 6 1/8 inch score lines to the 5 3/4 inch score line, and discard this piece. Do the same with the center score lines on the 1/2 inch top flap. You will now have 2 separate equal sized 1/2 inch tabs at the top and two equal sized square flaps on the bottom with a scored section in between them. The 1/4 inch scored portion between the two upper quadrants will become the spine of your 'signature'.

5. Mark and cut the right hand bottom quadrant at 2 1/2 inches from the bottom. Reserve this piece.

6. Mark the left hand bottom quadrant and the top 1/2 inch tab at 2 3/8 inches and 3 3/8 inches and cut just to score lines as shown in photo.  This will give you three strips at the bottom left and three tabs at the top left side. I will refer to them going forward as the left, center and right strips and left center and right tabs.

7. Cut triangles off each of the three 1/2 inch tabs as shown.

8. Flip the center strip and tab to the reverse side and crease folds with a bone folder, so you will be left with two tabs at the top and two strips at the bottom. Blend the right side edges of the two bottom strips with Frayed Burlap ink at this point if you wish to ink your album's edges.

9. Cut a strip of vellum 2 inches by 5 3/4 inches and adhere to the inside edge only of the left strip, leaving the right side of the vellum strip free. Flip this strip up and adhere to the corresponding left tab at the top. The vellum will not be adhered, and the right tab will fold over the top of it to hold it in place. This will make a left side loading deep pocket that runs the width of this page. (Pictured below) Note: I later decided to make a thumb notch using a circle punch in the pockets,but it would be easier to do this before adhering this strip to the tab. Cristina used a punch to cut decorative edges after she assembled her pages, so if you have a decorative edge punch that is an option.

10. Now we're ready to finish up the left side by applying glue along the right side of the left quadrant, along the spine and on the top right tab.  Fold up the right strip and adhere, leaving the left side free. This will make a second, shallow pocket as shown above.

11. Glue reserved piece from step 5 to the 1/2 inch tab of the upper right quadrant. I used a corner rounder to finish off the corners on these right hand side upper and lower flaps. My preference is to blend all the remaining edges that will show with Frayed Burlap Distress ink at this point.

12. Turn your signature over and apply glue to just the tab at the top and adhere the center strip to it, making a belly band that you can tuck your tags under.

I made three signatures (pictured above), and decided to reverse the design on the last one just for fun, which, brings to mind the question "what was I thinking?".

Fill the album:

I found it helpful to complete my pages before building the cover, to determine how wide to make the spine.

Decorating the pages is so easy and one of the most fun parts of putting together a project like this, especially when you have a paper collection with captivating designs that flow so effortlessly from one to the next. Stamperia's paper collections are famous for their impeccable mixed media details, so much of the work is already done.  I especially love the stitching and weathering on the ephemera; it has a dimensional quality and the details look authentic. All you have to do is fussy cut, blend the edges with your favorite ink (I used Frayed Burlap and Ground Espresso throughout.) and stick things together.

While I don't have room to include every feature here, (it would be an incredibly long post!), I'll share a few quick ideas and tips. You can visit my post HERE to see all the pages and inserts in detail.

Tag Stops, Tuck Spots and Tabs

A fussy cut butterfly from the collection adhered by just one set of wings stands in as a tag stop. The belly band further secures a folio and is decorated with a pair of Tim Holtz Crochet Thinlits die cuts, faux rouched ribbon and paper flowers from my stash.

This Crochet die cut serves as a place to tuck in a top hinged flap. A tag cut from the cover art is an easy interactive element that pulls out from under the lined panel.

While the Crochet die cut embellishes a belly band, the paper lace and pearl border to the right cut from the Lilac Flowers collection serves to stop the lined panel. Glue down just the right edge of the strip to the signature leaving about 1/4 inch on the left free.

 In the photo above you can see I die cut the belly band embellishment from the back cover art. Nothing is wasted!

The fussy cut blue butterfly serves double duty as a place to tuck a few tags and also pitches in to hide the workings of one of the closures pictured below.

This somewhat hidden tuck spot serves a second important function, which you will see below.

Flap Closures

I tried three different closures to secure the flap pages in my album. Some worked out better than others. Again, "What was I thinking?"!

To make a figure eight closure for the first set of flaps, I punch out two post mark images from the paper. I measure to find center of the upper and lower flaps and use an adhesive pop dot to attach one to each of the flaps. Simply figure eight a string around to fasten.

I constructed a swivel tab closure on the second signature.  I dabbed Picket Fence paint on an Ideaology Story Stick and brad and let them dry while I find and mark center on the bottom flap only. I  use a pokey tool to start a hole, insert the brad through the hole in the Story Stick and then through the hole in the paper.  I apply a strip of tape to secure the prongs on the wrong side of the paper.

The blue butterfly that acts as a tuck spot for tags mentioned in the section above hides the prongs.

You can see how the Story Stick swivels to catch the top flap and hold everything in place. The secret is the added length of the top flap, created by the fussy cut 'lace' strip.Without this overlap of the bottom flap, the swivel clasp will not work; as I learned on my third signature pictured below. I guess it was a happy accident that I added that detailed border strip; because I sure wasn't thinking of swivels when I made the signature.

 For the last closure,  I initially poked my hole and added my brad and Trinket Pin to the bottom flap as outlined above. After it kept falling open, I had to come up with a quick alternate plan. I thought surely it would work if I let gravity help and attach the Trinket Pin to the top flap. To correct my failed attempt, I covered my hole from the front with a fussy cut butterfly. On the inside of the flap, a scrap adhered just at the bottom covers the hole and works as a tuck spot. I proceeded with adding the Trinket Pin mechanism to the top flap.

Well, guess what? My second idea didn't work either for the same reason as the first idea. Duh! (This is why we don't craft on 3 hours of sleep!) Luckily,  I had just enough room to adhere a magnet in the tuck spot I had just created. Next time, I'll just do the figure eight closure; it's quick, easy and effective.

Quick and easy hand colored papers

 I colored some papers with Distress Oxide Sprays to use in conjunction with the Stamperia Lilac Flowers papers and sprinkled them throughout the album as pull out panels, tags and notebook paper.

I've found a great way to stretch my oxide sprays and save time while making batches of papers like these. When I spray something, I place it on my tear off wax paper palette pad to collect the over spray. I let the over spray stay on the palette and store the 'dirty' palette flat to use another time. I guess that's the ultimate in frugality. This particular batch was colored front and back with sprays left over from a project I did almost two weeks ago. All I do is spray the dried spray with water to reactivate it and swipe my papers through the puddles. The colors left over on my palette are Iced Spruce and Faded Jeans. As with everything else, I blended the edges with Frayed Burlap. The three 5 x 5 panels are stamped with the script stamp from Tim Holtz Entomology after giving them an extra spritz of my new Pumice Stone and Shaded Lilac oxide sprays.

Build the cover and add the signatures:

Once the signatures were built, and filled, I moved on to the cover. I followed my talented teammate and friend, Kathy Clement's YouTube video, so there's nothing new here. Kathy's video tutorials are clear, organized and informative, and she doesn't miss a trick!

I cut the chipboard front and back covers slightly larger than the signature. I made my spine the width of my combined full signatures and added approximately 1/2 inch. I used paper from an over sized high quality drawing pad to cover my chipboard and a coordinating paper from my stash to cover the inside of the spine.

I want my pages to cascade when the the album is opened flat. When I tried  Cristina's method, my pages stuck straight up and I had to do a bit of repair work to my signatures. I think she may have used a lighter weight paper.

To achieve my goal, I space the three signatures an equal distance apart on the spine. Apply super sticky double sided tape to the spines, remove the liner, position the first two signatures at either edge of the spine and center the third. Burnishing inside the spine of each signature after sticking them down assures they stay in place. In the second photo in the first collage you can see the two outer signatures are in place, and I've drawn a guideline to place my central signature. Although coming up with this solution was challenging (for me; I don't have an engineer's mind), the results were worth it.

Decorate the Cover:

Choose papers from the paper pack and trim them into 4 panels to fit front and back inside and outside covers. I blend them with Frayed Burlap ink and splash on some water droplets. I splash on watery ink for more foxing. I adhere the two interior panels, and later will adhere the two exterior panels.

I choose to make a simple tie closure for the album. Cut approximately one yard of vintage seam binding and age even more with Frayed Burlap ink. I wad up my ribbon and pounce it on the ink pad, then spritz with just enough water to allow the ink to leach into the fabric.

Mark a center line around the front, spine and back covers, run a strip of double sided adhesive tape over the lines and remove the liner. Find the center of your ribbon, fold in half. Adhere the fold at the center of the spine and continue to adhere as shown. Unfold and  repeat with remaining ribbon on the other side.

I cut a strip of the paper with the script design and adhere it to the outer spine. (Not shown) I cut a piece of rice paper the height of the spine and about 1 1/2 inches wider than the spine. I spread Vintage Collage Medium on the reverse side of the rice paper panel and adhere this over the paper covered spine. You can see the script faintly peeking through in the above photo, but it's a bit less discreet in real life. Next I adhere the front and back panels to the cover and adhere a strip of vintage lace to the lines where the rice and decorative paper meet on the front and back covers.

Now I embellish the front cover.

  I choose one of Tim Holtz Ideaology Lace Baseboard Frames and blend it with Frayed Burlap ink. I ended going over just the inside and outside edges with Ground Espresso ink for more of a contrast with my ephemera. These frames are so detailed and they need little else to bring them to life.

  I select this gorgeous tag from the page of twelve different stunning tags to fill my frame. I cut it out and adhere it to the reverse side of the frame.

  I fell in love with this magnificent lilac stem on one of the pages. The artwork is exceptional on Stamperia's papers, and this looks like it's just been clipped from the garden. I chose to use pieces of it to embellish my cover, along with a butterfly from another page. I fussy cut and blend them with Frayed Burlap.

 Most of my die cut Crochet lace pieces are inked with Antique Linen Oxide. The one I made for the cover was scrunched up somewhat while still damp and allowed to dry. This gives it just enough realistic dimension.

I accidentally knocked one of the pearls off my flowers on the cover so I replaced them all with 1/2 pearls colored with Smolder Alcohol Pearls. Just put the pearls in a plastic baggie and add a drop or two of Smolder for that perfect vintage patina.

 I kept my background ephemera simple, adhering it to the reverse side of the frame along with a panel of corrugated board to add dimension.

I also give dimension to my title by first matting an Ideaology Clippings Sticker to a scrap and then mounting it on a piece of chipboard. Lastly, the butterfly, flowers and title are adhered.

I do appreciate you hanging in there with me through this long post, and I hope you learned some useful tips to use in your own creations. Remember, there's still time to link your vintage or shabby chic project for our current challenge, Mother May I?.

Happy crafting!
Sara Emily

Links to the products used from The Funkie Junkie Boutique: (Note select Distress products are on sale for 40% MSP, including some of these listed. Get them while their hot!)

Stamperia - Lilac Flowers 12x12 Paper Pack
Stamperia Rice Paper
Sizzix Chapter 2 Tim Holtz Thinlits Crochet
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Baseboard Frames Lace
Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Rubber Stamps - Entomology
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Story Sticks
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Long Fasteners
Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Paint - Picket Fence 
Mini Glassine Bags
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Pad - Antique Linen
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad - Antique Linen
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad - Frayed Burlap 
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad - Ground Espresso 
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Pad - Shaded Lilac
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Spray - Shaded Lilac
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad - Seedless Preserves
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Pad - Iced Spruce
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Spray - Iced Spruce
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Spray - Faded Jeans
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Spray - Pumice Stone
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium Matte 
Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium Vintage 


  1. A fantastically detailed how-to showcase, Sara Emily - the post must have taken hours, never mind the album itself! What a beautiful vintage creation you've made, so pretty and feminine and full of delicious detailing.
    Alison x

  2. Oh my goodness, Sara! You should compile this wonderful and detailed tutorial into a pamphlet form and sell it on ETSY! What a wealth of information you have shared here. I love your tip for spraying onto waxed paper, letting the overspray dry out, then storing in a stack. That is genius, and the very thought makes my frugal heart sing! Your album, as I've already stated, is a masterpiece. Thank you for the hours and hours and hours of work that had to go into making it and then writing the tutorial. I salute you!

    1. You are so sweet, Kathy! I'm happy to have learned from the best--YOU!

  3. Gorgeous! You just enabled me to pick up the lilac paper!

    1. Thanks, Suzz! You are going to love this paper!

    2. PS And I can't wait to see what you will create!

  4. Fantastic details. Truly a labor of love!

  5. So incredible! Whatever you were thinking, it's a treat for the eyes. Regarding closures, your ideas were ingenious and made me think of another possibility--velcro hidden behind paper with a metal do-dad glued on top? The paper is gorgeous and your project is so inspiring.

  6. Beulah Bee, what a great idea for a closure! Thank you so much!

  7. A true 'tour de force' of an album Sara Emily!!!!!! Reading through and seeing your wonderful instructions helps to show even more how much work you've put into creating it. I totally agree with Kathy - you could sell these instructions and teach too them as I'm sure people would love to create their own albums under your amazing tutelage. Thank you for sharing so much detail and all your clever hints, tips and tricks - so inspiring!!!

  8. Totally blown away by all the details your gorgeous album!!! Am in love with it!

  9. Lots of love and effort for a fabulous and beautiful result! STUNNING