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Idea Journal Finished

Idea Journal: featuring Pretty Gets Gritty

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Idea Journal: this project is our first major project with the Pretty Gets Gritty Design Team. Its based on a Studio Light Journal Die set to form the pages, but everything else is available from Pretty Gets Gritty via Hochanda on 9th November at 9am and 1pm, or via Craft Stash via our affiliate links below.

This is a donation promotion as part of work for Pretty Gets Gritty DT team. Thoughts listed herein are entirely the authors own opinion based upon using the supplies in practice. We have not been asked to write this blog piece and thoughts are our own.

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I recently started on the Pretty Gets Gritty Design Team and the welcome bundle we got was fabulous. I didn’t wait to start playing. After experimenting with a few MDF boards, I moved onto this fab project – where I literally threw everything at it.

Idea Journal Recipe


Time needed: 2 days

Idea Journal from start to finish: you need to allow some drying time overnight for some pages.

  1. Cut your pages and elements

    Start by die-cutting your pages using the largest die from the Studio Light set. Cut several from 300gsm kraft card, 350gsm black card and 210gsm white card. This creates both the cover and the pages for your journal so make sure you cut more than enough.
    Join together a black and a kraft cut page together to form the cover. Do this by adding glue between the dots in the pages and apply the two together. Allow to set and then score either side of the dots in order to form a spine.

  2. Laying our the cover

    Cut both sets of Pretty Gets Gritty dies from the same combination of cardstock. By bulk cutting in this way, we can play with which elements we will include in our finished layouts. The journal is very much about ideas and inspirations, so it was a natural choice to go for the light bulb shapes for the cover. The mix of cardstock was designed to show the interaction between base colours and media such as transparent gesso, texture pastes and colour sprays.
    Don’t hesitate to add depth with multiple copies of die cuts and also layer elements over each other. This is particularly true of the white bulb which will eventually form the feature element top and centre of the cover. This dimension helps with the use of thick layers of crackle paste.Creating the idea journal cover

  3. Preparing and decorating the Idea Journal cover

    The cover was prepped with transparent gesso all over the cover to seal the card. Don’t forget to also treat the back cover the same; both with die cuts and the transparent gesso. Aim to keep your design here a little flatter than your front cover though.
    The next step is to apply hot spots of the Get Crackled Gel in Sundaze. This needs to set overnight to dry and allow it to crack to the maximum. Don’t be afraid to use the gel to fill elements such as the central lightbulb. The thicker it is applied, the bigger the cracks will become. You can apply the gel with a brush or a palette knife, but you will need a palette knife for thicker, even applications.
    As you will see when Get Crackled Gel dries, in thicker areas it will lift away from the cardstock in thicker areas, so you can apply colours and other media into the cracks once dried.Back cover of the Idea Journal

  4. Decorating pages

    While your Idea Journal cover is drying, continue to decorate your pages. In the journal, each page is an opportunity for a totally different approach.
    Some layouts were focussed on one die or stamp set, while others were focused on end usage as a journal. The three types of base really added to this process, and it was a joy to see how sprays, gels and even pastes and patinas were affected by your choice of base throughout this project.
    In the sample below, this was one of the first layouts, and it just uses the “Pretty Amazing Sprays” in Transparent Twilight and Blush Dreams onto kraft card for a nebulous effect.
    The sentiment was first stencilled using the “Gritty Hearts” stencil with the “Gritty Slate Paste” (which isn’t gritty at all and is lovely to work with). Apply it with a palette knife to get an even application through your stencil. Be sure to wash it off your stencil reasonably quickly in order to prevent damaging your stencil. Allow to dry before adding sprays or other wet media.
    Spraying kraft card

  5. Adding journal pages

    On the white pages, take a more bullet journal based approach. Pretty Gets Gritty does positivity based sentiments so well, and they are great for journaling. There are also some great backgrounds too, one of which is shown here stamped in Distress Oxides.
    Using the “Pretty Vibes” stamps made it really easy to create an easily repeatable layout on plain paper. Add doodled borders and frames to keep information to distinct areas.
    Creating a journal page

  6. Finishing the cover

    With all of the pages decorated (and your “Get Crackled Gel” has dried on your cover), you can return to your cover to finish it off. Firstly, protect your work area using a spray box or cover absolutely everything (including significant others and small pets). Then, get your “Pretty Amazing Sprays” and give them a good shake to mix the mica from the bottom; as these sprays are packed with it.
    My cover got attacked with Transparent Twilight and Willow Green in order to really make the cover pop. Don’t be afraid to go a bit mad so you make sure no white remains. The black and kraft card will always react differently, but I definitely did not want any white showing.
    Finishing the Idea Cover

  7. Binding it all together

    Each layout is folded into a signature and stitched into the spine using bakers twine. Don’t panic when you stitch in your first signature and its not sitting pretty; once it is all bound, you will get a neat finish. Weave your thread back through the loose ends of signatures before tying off, adding strength of your spine.
    Finished with the PGG Pretty Patina Crème in Black Pearl to the connectors on the bulb elements on the front cover. The Patina Créme adds a grungy look to your cover, but sets totally water and wear resistant after about 30 minutes.
    Idea Journal Finished

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