Friday, May 10, 2013

Coffee Dyed Paper - A Journal Project

I've been using tea dyed paper on some of my handmade journal projects for some time, but I finally decided to try coffee dying and staining last weekend.  Here is the book I created, and some of the lessons learned along the way.

It was a really fun project.  I used a combination of coffee dyed paper and a selection of scrapbook paper from the giant 'Best of K and Company' stack.  Incidently, I coffee dyed those papers too and they turned out great!  I added machine stitching on most of the pages and left little thread strands everywhere, to continue with the tattered theme I was going for. I also distressed the edges of all the pages with my tiny Tim Holtz distresser (the blade on your scissors works just as well).

For the cover, I used a piece of ink sprayed paper to create a reinforced spine (and to cover the title that I didn't want visible).  A strip of twill tape helped to conceal the fact that once glued, this paper was slightly crooked and I'm a bit of perfectionist, so it had to be done :-(

A quick pass with some sandpaper and the cover looks worn and fabulous.

And now the lessons learned:

1- First, after dying the paper and laying it flat to dry, it started to smell bad.  I mean potty word bad... So I mentioned this in a Facebook craft group and someone suggested I add cinnamon to coffee or tea.  Stay tuned for that experiment in a future project.  For the time being, what I did once this stack was dry, was to rub it with a dryer sheet.  This ended up having a two-fold effect which was great:  the paper smells wonderful, and it's actually softer to the touch!

2- Also, I opted on recycling an old book cover so reinforcing the spine was a challenge.  I used paper to do this on the outside and the inside, but the inside paper didn't stay glued very well because of how stiff it was.  I will use cotton or something more flexible next time on the inside.

3- And finally, I used binder rings to attach my pages, but the eyelets didn't quite make it all the way through the thick book cover.  They'll hold, but it doesn't look the way I would have liked on the inside of my book.

All in all, I love my new journal.  I just need to add some charms and maybe attach some ribbon to the binder rings.  I have bits and pieces left from the pattern paper I used, and these will make great journaling tags and cards.

I hope you enjoyed this look inside my trial and error book project. I got alot of the inspiration and help for it from the following three YouTube lovelies, so if you're thinking of trying one out you should check them out:

Marianne Kensington - Pocket Full of Vintage:
Michelle - The Paper Addiction:
Rachel Jazzycreation:

Thanks for visiting!

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  1. Awww Debbie, thank you so much for giving me a shout out! I really, really appreciate that!! That was super sweet of you!
    Thank you for giving your tips and tricks; that is really helpful!
    Your book turned out great! I love all the stitching! :)
    Happy Crafting!

  2. Just love it, I love the papers and love the cover, nice colors.


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