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  • Writer's pictureKaren

Brown Paper Bag Art Journal

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

For a while now, I've had the hankering to making a journal from brown paper bags....the larger type that you use for grocery shopping.

I have lots of journals laying around. A small portion are finished, many are mostly finished and a large percentage have only a handful of pages completed. What can I say....I'm easily distracted by the next best thing. Lol.

The point is... I just couldn't stop this journal until it was full. It was so satisfying, and it needed to be completed before I could bind it got record time!

It was a great place to include a lot of art that was laying around on loose pages (I have a stack of those, slipped into books and hidden away under piles of journals) and also the, new to me, large square format was inspiration for new ideas.

The whole idea for the paper bag book came from a workshop with Jeanne Oliver

"Storytellers and Mavericks" is the full workshop, but she has very generously listed the journal creation part of the lesson, Dye + Stitch Journal , for free.

I used Jeanne's ideas and ran with my own twist. I particularly liked the idea of including hand-dyed cheesecloth and parchment paper. I also made patchwok pages from parts of vintage books and different types of papers. Watercolour, pastel, sketch and mixed media papers, they are all in there.

I used the lead part of a pianola roll for my front cover and bound it all with a wooden ruler that I distressed with sandpaper and stained with brown shoe polish.

Pianola roll cover

Left:Found shapes from abstract painting. Right: "The Universe" Original poem

Left: Fabric, trims and paper graphics. Right: Bee Stamp graphics (My Porch Prints. Etsy) and base page created with Momigami.

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