I stumbled upon an easy technique for making grungeboard look and feel like worn leather when I was making my sweetheart's valentine this year. I love the results I get with this combination of ink colors on sanded grungeboard, and thought this would be a really cool way to make a vintage-y, distressed book cover.
Feel free to play with different shades of ink, and have fun experimenting. Turn this into a photo album, a sketchbook, a storage binder for your stickers... anything! And if you do, please sent me a link so I can admire your work. :)
What you'll need:
- Two pieces of Grungeboard, cut to your preferred size (my journal is 5 x 7)
- Sanding Grip Block or medium-grit sandpaper
- Distress Ink Pads in Vintage Photo, Aged Mahogany and Walnut Stain. The ink pads need to be quite wet, so re-ink them beforehand if you need to.
- Ink Blending Tool and foam refills
- Idea-ology Ornate Plate with its brads
- Light-colored pencil
- Ranger Glossy Accents
- Cardstock or a tag (for the book title)
- Distress Stickles, Glitter... some kind of bling (optional, but fun!)
- Idea-ology Metal Corners (also optional, but they look cool!)
- Three Idea-ology D-Ring Book Fasteners
- Papers for book pages
First, Prepare the Grungeboard!
Begin by sanding both sides of both pieces of grungeboard. Use a medium-grit sandpaper or block, and really rough up the surfaces.
Using a well-inked Vintage Photo Distress pad, swipe the ink directly onto both sides of each sheet of grungeboard. Saturate that baby!
Use an ink blending tool to apply Aged Mahogany Distress Ink. Go heavier in some areas for a grungier look. Again, be sure you have a new or recently re-inked pad (or you can apply drops of reinker right to the Blending Tool, if you prefer).
Finish by applying Walnut Stain Distress Ink around the edges and in the corners.
Okay, this is important: Set your two pieces of ink-stained grungeboard aside to dry. There's a LOT of ink on there, so give it plenty of time (I left mine overnight). Meanwhile, you can make the title plate for your journal.
Pick a Title and Make it Fancy!
I decided to turn my un-leather book into a Dream Journal. I inkjet printed the title onto a piece of rose colored cardstock, making sure the text was sized correctly to fit inside the plate. You could hand letter the title if you prefer, or use a stamp or rub on. Cut out the text so it just fits inside the framed area of the plate.
Bling it up! I used Worn Lipstick and Aged Mahogany Distress Stickles. You could also use glitter, rhinestones, mica chips— whatever rocks your world!
Glue the text onto the back edge of the plate using Glossy Accents. Allow it to dry.
Carefully fill the front of the plate with glossy accents. Don't shake the bottlle, or you'll have to contend with a zillion tiny air bubbles. Set aside the ornate plate and allow the Glossy Accents to dry completely. You'll end up with a glass-like glaze on top of your title! I love this stuff.
Go have a chocolate milkshake. This is important. Art requires a lot of energy.
Okay, is everything dry? Then it's Assembly Time!
You've probably noticed that one side of the grungeboard is smoother and takes the ink better than the other. When you get ready to assemble your book, make sure the more "leather like" sides of the two sheets are facing outward. Then, decide where you want the binding rings to go. It really helps to have a see-through ruler like this one. Use a light-colored pencil to mark where you'll punch the holes, then go ahead: Punch the holes! I used my Big Bite for this. A regular hole punch would require brute force, and none of us want to break a nail! Repeat on the second piece of grungeboard.
Use pliers to attach the metal corners if you're using them. I "aged" mine with some black Alcohol Ink for that time-worn look.
Use the ruler to determine the placement of your title plate, mark the spots where the brads will go, punch the holes and attach the plate with its brads.
At this point, all that's left to do is add the inside pages of your choice and bind it all together with some Idea-ology D-Ring Book Fasteners.
You're all journaled up, baby!
(If you'd like to take it a step further and add a shabby-chic grungeboard clasp to keep your journal closed, please visit my blog tomorrow and I'll show you how!)