Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saturday Step X Step - Notepad Holders

Hello, Cec here and today it is my turn to present the Saturday Step X Step and I decided to make some notepad holders that can be given as gifts.

This is the version I started with but I will show you other ways to decorate the front of this versatile little project since I made 4 of them only because I picked up the notepads in a pack of 4 at the dollar store for $1.25 (I know they still call it the dollar store when nothing is a dollar anymore - go figure).

I started by figuring out the sizing of the holder itself based on the fact that these pads are 4" x 5 1/2" and making sure that there was some give inside.  I have made a graphic to show you what the cut sizes are and where you need to score - just click on it to bring up a larger version and then you can right click to save it. I take credit for this size but the idea came from my friend Patti and was something we both made when I visited her last summer.  Here is the one she made while I was there.

The holder itself was made from one 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of Recollections card stock.  This is the outside which is 9 1/8" x 6" and scored at 4 3/8" and 4 3/4".

This photo shows the pocket, which is 4 7/8" x 2 1/2" and is scored at 1/4" and 3/8" on each of the short sides and one of the long sides.  You then want to cut the corners out where the score lines cross as shown in the graphic.  I attached double sided tape to the edges and then set the pocket aside while I created the front panel.

Now I can't draw a straight line without a ruler so I channeled my grade school self and this is how I created a butterfly template since I didn't have a die I could use.  Trust me this was not the first effort.

Next I dug into my stash of paper scraps and cut a bunch of fun papers into strips and adhered them to some card stock.  Then I used my fancy butterfly pattern to cut the butterfly out making sure I positioned it to try and include as many of the papers as I could.  Once the butterfly was cut, I inked it with some Vintage Photo Distress Ink and then added some Treasure Gold Classic to the edges.

Next I used some Glue and Seal to adhere an old book page to a piece of card stock.  Then using a technique that Sue Carrington did for a wall hanging she made, I added layers of Fresco Finish paints drying very slightly between coats and wiping it back with a baby wipe.  The colours I used are Smoked Paprika, Pumpkin Soup, Hey Pesto and Blood Orange.

I did some stenciling with Fern Green, Orange Blossom and Red Geranium Archival Inks.

I then did some stamping using some Watering Can Archival Ink for the dots (sorry forgot to include this in the photo) and Jet Black Archival Ink for the flourishes.

Next I added the butterfly with some black wire for antennae and buttons for his body.  I also added the little text sticker, which was computer generated and inked with some Vintage Photo DI.

The next step is to add the finished panel to the front.  If you try to add it after you adhere the pocket inside, you will need to make sure that you have inserted the pad or you will crush the pocket if it is empty.

Finally I added the pocket on the inside.  I recommend that when you fold the score lines you do the 1/4" line first and then the other line on each side.  Next remove the tape from the long side and bring each side over the long side making sure your edges match and you have a neat corner.

Then remove the tape from each of the sides and adhere the pocket to the bottom inside right making sure you centre it and keep the bottom fold at least 1/4" up from the bottom.  The pad's cardboard backing is then inserted in the pocket so the paper comes over the pocket and the pad should be centred inside the holder.

Here is the next version I made.

I started by marbling some specialty stamping paper with Fern Green and Cornflower Archival Ink mixed with some Rubbing Alcohol and then when it was dry I ran it through some watered down Picket Fence Distress Stain.  The Picket Fence doesn't show well in the photo but you can see bits of it in real life.

Next I used a die to make an oval stencil/mask from some cardstock since I don't have one of the nice ones that Wendy has come out with but they are on my wish list for sure.

I used the negative of my die to do some stenciling with Dandelion Archival Ink in the centre of the oval and took a fine pen and drew around the oval.  You will see later that I did some extra doodling on the oval.

Next I put the oval down and used some Watering Can Archival Ink and the Wendy Vecchi Spatter stamp to stamp all over.  Once I took the oval off I thought it was too harsh so I put the oval back on and inked all over it with some Dandelion Archival Ink, which made me happier.  I also used some Fern Green Archival Ink to add some stencil borders.

The next step was to stamp two flowers from the Wendy Vecchi Daisy Art set and fussy cut them eliminating the leaves on one and cutting one leaf from the other one.  Next I inked the flowers with Red Geranium Archival Ink and the leaf with Fern Green Archival Ink.  I took a paint brush and added some shading by dipping the brush in rubbing alcohol before I picked up colour from the ink pad.

Next I used some Orange Blossom Archival Ink to stamp the pieces with the Ornate Wallpaper background stamp and then embossed them with some clear embossing powder.

The flowers and the word NOTES were added to the background and the notepad holder was completed in the same manner as the first one.

For this version and the last one, I will just describe my process as there are no techniques involved.

I started with some Maja Designs paper from the Coffee in the Arbour pad and cut the lemon paper as my background.  I inked the edges with some Scattered Straw Distress Ink and used this ink throughout.  I cut another of the papers smaller, punched the top and bottom with a Martha Stewart punch and added some venise lace to the left side.

I felt like colouring and dug out this image of a basket of lemons, which is one I got when I was on Isabella's Sketchbook DT with Linda and Sue a few years ago.  I coloured everything with Prismacolours blended with Odorless Mineral Spirits.  Since lemons have a rough skin, I used an embossing stylus with a really tiny ball to make dots all over the lemons before I coloured them.  I haven't coloured in ages so I think I need some practice. 

Next I used a couple of daisy punches with another paper from the set and made the little flowers adding pearl stickers for the centres.  A baker's twine loopy bow and another computer generated word finished this off.

Finally I thought one for the guys might be in order so I made this version.  The background is some white corrugated cardboard that has been distressed and then inked with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink.

The clock face and the blue strip are from another Maja Design paper pad called Vintage Autumn Basics.  I added a couple of brads to the blue strip and then I added a strip of burlap topped with an Idea-ology pen nib.

The pen nib paper is also from Tim Holtz and was a gift from a friend.  Again, the text was created on my computer and inked with Frayed Burlap DI.

So here is a final look at all four of my notepad holders.  You will notice that each one of them has a fairly flat front profile and that is something I would recommend if you make some.  When you open them up, if the front is highly dimensional, it doesn't open completely making it difficult to write on the pad.  I hope you like them and give them a try because they are super easy and you can decorate them any way you want.

The following products used in the creation of these notepad holders came from The Funkie Junkie Boutique:


  1. OMG Cec! How fantastic is this tutorial! SO many ideas to try and if I get started they may just get done for Xmas pressies!!! Jenny x

  2. Great ideas and a fabulous tutorial. They are all so beautiful.... Anne x

  3. Holy Moses Cec!! All I can say is that seeing these four projects side by side really shows the versatility of your skill and style! Shabby, vintage, masculine, girly, fun, bright, elegant, did it all! Your tutorials are well put together and the idea itself is just brilliant! What an inspiration you are! big hugs :)

  4. Wow - good thing we dont have to pick one - it would be too hard. I was sitting here looking at all of them thinking... which one. I would eliminate one and then think - oh no - can't be that one. Someday I want to grow up and have talent like this.... just wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy Valentine's Day. j.

  5. Those are wonderful Cec and what wonderful thoughtful little gifts to send to friends! Thanks so much for sharing your step by step,

  6. Cec, what great note pad covers...each of them so different from the other! You really pulled a lot of tricks out of your creative hat and put them to great use with tremendous skill. Your tutorial made this look so easy--which means it was a great lesson plan, NOT that these look easy to make! I love the little details you thought of like texturing the lemons! And that painty technique of using archival ink with alcohol is on my list to try. The effect is gorgeous! My favorite would have to be the guy one, but the frillys and the sillys (whimsical--was looking for a rhyme here!) are favorites, too! Thank you for all your hard work on this tutorial!