We did it!
That's right, I said we. This time I shared my experiment with the Creative Journey Group at the Library. For those who don't know, Creative Journey is a program that meets every Tuesday from 10:00-12:00 to do various creative activities. Back in September we hopped on the Steampunk train and jazzed up some composition books (which, thanks to post-back-to-school sales only cost something like 22 cents each - score!) with leather-look covers and steampunk embellishments. It was a lot of fun and everyone's journals turned out great.
In order to make the leather-look covers (without breaking the bank on actual leather) here are the steps we followed (I found the project at flowerfoot.blogspot.com):
1)lightly spray brown cardstock with water (do not saturate - just mist)
2) crumple and unfold cardstock carefully. Repeat until the paper is as distressed as you like.
3)flatten as best you can and sponge dark brown ink. Some of us repeated step 1 at this point. Be careful, though, as the cardstock will rip if it gets too wet and crumpled.
4)flatten and allow to dry. To get the shiny leather effect, paint with a light coat of Gloss finish Mod Podge.
In addition to "leathering" our covers (which were mod podged to the composition books) we also used Steampunk and Victorian stamps (in brown, gold, and silver inks), cutouts of steampunk images (free clip art), and metal bits from the scrapbooking section of Hobby Lobby. There are any number of embellishments you could add: feathers, flowers, ribbons, etc. Let your imagination run wild!
One thing I loved about this project was how even with the same materials, each person's finished journal was their own unique expression. This would be a fun project to do with older kids (tweens and teens would probably get a kick out of it) but would definitely be a bit too complex for the younger ones. All of the adults who made a journal really seemed to enjoy it.
We did it! We took ordinary, blah compositon books and turned them into works of art worthy of great writing. Or in my case, probably grocery lists. Whatever. Steampunking our journals was a fun and creative project that I would definitely recommend. If you are interested in Steampunk, I would also suggest that you come to Steampunk Saturday on October 13 from 10:00-2:00 here at APL. There won't be journals, but there will be other fun Steampunk activities, costume contests, and guest speakers. Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes for you!
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