Wednesday 19 June 2019


Hello all!  This month I have created a really fun and easy mini book for your creative pleasure!  This mini book features several of Andy's fabulous products as well as his DecoArt Media Line mediums and paints.  You can create this inexpensive mini book or a similar one with things you have sitting around at home!  Let's get started!

Here is the cover of the completed mini book.  Each cover is cut from plain heavy cardstock and measures 3 1/2" x 5" with a 1 3/4" x 5" chipboard spine. 

I began by brushing DecoArt Media White Gesso over the front and back of the covers.  The spine does not need covering because it will be covered with fabric. Once that was dry, I added a generous brushing of DecoArt Media Matte Medium  and covered the outside chipboard covers with text tissue paper.  I overlapped the tissue onto the inside of the covers.  Then brush the Matte Medium over the tissue to seal it.  When that was dry, I added random splotches of DecoArt Media Crackle Paint using a palette knife. Let the Crackle Paint air dry to achieve the crackling!  Once crackled, I added a light coat of Gesso with a little water added to dilute it.  This can be heat set to move onto the next step.

Using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Diarylide Yellow with a little water, I brushed the color across the top of the cover and let it run down the cover then heat set it in place. I repeated this with the Naphthol Red over the yellow.  Then I turned the cover upside down and repeated the process.  Next one side, then the other using the same process.  Add more color if you desire more of one color. Finally, using my fingers, I rubbed DecoArt Art Media Raw Umber Antiquing Cream over the surface of the covers and down into the cracks then gently rubbed of the excess with a paper towel.  I then added an edge of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey around the covers using my finger.

To embellish the coves, I used Andy's Strike A Pose and Baroque stencils, a palette knife and DecoArt Media Black Modeling Paste.  I scraped the Modeling Paste through the stencils and immediately washed the stencils to clean them. Heat set to dry.

Next,  I added some stamping using Black Permanent Ink and images from Andy's Shabby Chic and Unexplained Stamp Sets.  Then add detail and interest to the covers.

Add cardstock of your choice cut to cover the interior covers.  Now to add the chipboard the spine between the covers ...

Cut a piece of fabric a little over twice the length of the spine and a width that will allow you to see the images on the cover as you want to view them when glued in place.  In this case, my fabric was a little over 2 1/4" wide.  I left about an inch of fabric at the bottom of the inside of the spine.  I centered the chipboard spine on the fabric and glued one side of it onto the fabric using Fabri Tac Glue.  Press in place to remove any bubbles and to smooth out any wrinkles.  Then lay the book covers on the fabric with a little space between them and the spine to allow for bending the covers. Fold the inch piece of fabric up onto the spine and glue in place. Apply glue over the surface of the chipboard spine and pull the fabric over the spine; smoothing out the fabric as it covers the spine.  Press into place. 

Use a bone folder and press into the valley between the covers and the chipboard spine to make sure the fabric is completely making contact to the other side of the fabric and the chipboard edges of the covers.  Cut off the excess fabric that just was glued into place.

Here is the finished interior of the book before the signatures are added.

Cut papers the side you want your pages to be.  In this case, I cut several papers approximately 6 1/4" x 4 3/4".  Fold them each in the middle and stack the papers into what will become "signatures".  Since I am just using thin papers, I stacked several papers for the two signatures I will be creating.  Then find the middle of the pages and poke a hole through them.  Measure down 3/4" from the top and 3/4" from the bottom of the pages and poke a hole in the papers.  Do this for both signatures. Clip the paper together so that they will not shift and the holes will remain open on all pages.  Then measure on the spine of the book for two areas you will be using to sew the signatures in place.  Find the middle of the spine on the right of center and the left of center and poke a hole in each.  Then measure up two inches and down to inches from the center and poke a hole.  This will match the holes on your papers.

Begin with the center INSIDE hole of the spine.  Pull a bookmaking needle with waxed thread (twice the length of the spine) through the center hole of one of your signatures and pull the needle to the outside of the spine.  Leave about a 4" tail to tie off the signature at the end.  Then add buttons or whatever embellishments you want to add to the waxed thread exterior up to where you will pull the needle back through the spine.  You can go in the top or bottom hole next; it doesn't matter.  Pull the needle through the hole and then through the hole in all of the stacked papers.  Next, pull the waxed thread to the remaining hole and pull the needle from the inside to the outside of the spine.  Again, add buttons or whatever embellishments you want to string onto the waxed thread.  Pull the needle back through the center hole.  Make sure that the waxed thread ends are on either side of the waxed thread running up the center of the signature.  Pull the ends of the thread tightly to be sure that the buttons or whatever embellishments are neatly and tightly in place and that the thread is securely holding the signature in place.  Tie off the ends of the thread in a double knot and clip the excess edges.  Repeat this procedure for the other signature.

Here is what the first sewn signature will look like on the outside of the spine.

Here is what it will look like on the inside of the book.

Here is what the spine will look like once you have both signatures in place.  Isn't this awesome to be able to sew in the signatures and also decorate the spine at the same time?

Here is what the signature will look like once it is sewn into the book.  Really neat and snuggly in place.  You can use any papers for your mini books.  I just used plain papers so that this could be a little mini journal or whatever.

Mini Book Front

Mini Book Back

As I said at the beginning, this little mini book in inexpensive to do.  Just use things you already have to create whatever your heart desires.  Here is a list of supplies I used to create this little mini book:

Miscellaneous Supplies

  • Palette Knife
  • Cardstock Scraps
  • Heavy Chipboard
  • Ruler
  • Paper Cutter
  • Heat Tool
  • Bone Folder
  • Scrap Fabric
  • Fabri Tac or some other quality Glue
  • Craft Punch
  • Waxed Thread
  • Bookmaking Needle
  • Buttons, Charms or Embellishments for the outside spine
  • Paper for interior signatures
  • Printed Tissue 
  • Scissors


  1. What a fabulous project and tutorial! The spine treatment has me giddy with delight! I am so going to try this! Thank you, Candy, for all the work that went into this amazing, delightful, whimsical project!

  2. Very cool - such drama on the covers and the spine is pure genius!
    Alison x


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