Monday, May 21, 2018

Topflight Stamps – Mermaid Passport Book

Hello there! I have a little Passport Book project to share with you today that I decorated with the Carabelle stamp set Zinouk of the Ocean. This whimsical set can be found at Topflight Stamps – your go to online store for unique art stamps and products sourced from companies worldwide.

When stamping the covers, I first created a base layer of Distress Oxide Inks and then tried a different stamping technique on top of it. Stacy at Tattered Nest Designs recently shared some Oxide techniques she saw Tim Holtz demo at a stamp show and I wanted to try the 'Smudging' technique on this cover. Basically, you stamp with Oxide ink and then immediately use a clean blending sponge to smudge the stamped image. It gives you a really soft look and I love how it turned out on my book covers. Perfect for 'underwater'. See Stacy's post for more info.

On to the main tutorial now…

Step 1 – I used Paper Artsy Infusions Dye to create some background sheets that I could cut up for the interior. I also used them to color the spine piece of the book.

Infusions Dye is a super concentrated dye in a granular form. It basically explodes with color when it comes into contact with water. I spritzed water onto mixed media paper and then sprinkled a little bit of powder onto it. A little goes a long way! I also sprayed a bit of Broken China Distress Spray Stain onto the pages to add a bit more blue.  The paper on the far right also has salt sprinkled on it. There is a technique in watercoloring where you sprinkle salt onto your wet wash and the crystals cause some very interesting effects as it dries. I wanted to see how they would react with the Infusion Dye. It turned out cool and added a speckled texture.

Not all the salt crystals brushed off when it was dry. Some
stuck tight but it added an interesting sparkle to the paper.
Step 2 – Decorating the spine. I wanted the outer edges to remain free of texture because that was where the front and back covers were going to be attached. I masked them off using washi tape. I then spritzed the spine with Resist Spray. (NOTE: When using Resist Spray you must spray it in a box or well protected area. The Spray sticks to everything. You will have trouble getting it off surfaces, even your non-stick craft mat.)

While the Spray was still wet, I sprinkled it with Deep Sea Baked Texture embossing powder, then heat set it.

Step 3 – I had heard that the Dollar Tree store was carrying mini composition books that fit perfectly into the Passport Book. I found some and they do! You can get a three pack of them for $1.00. Sold! I used my paper from Step 1 to cover the little books.

I made a little cardstock template to use as a pattern.
Step 4 – Assemble the cover. Easy peasy! I just glued the covers onto the edges of the spine piece right at the score folds.

Step 5 – String the cover and add the inserts. I used elastic cord. (NOTE: The Passport Die also includes a part where you can cut out pages to fit in your book. It cuts holes in the pages that correspond to the holes in the spine. See this past tutorial of mine to see how binding your book with this method works.)

Because I used the mini composition books as inserts, I couldn't use the center holes like normal because the inserts were too tall. I fiddled around with my elastic cord until I figured out a way to fasten it and have the cord run the whole height of the spine on the inside of the book.

I did trim those tails! ;-)
By using elastic cord, all you have to do to put in the inserts is to slide them under the elastic.

Whew! Did you make it through all of that? ;-) Thanks for stopping by! Check out Topflight Stamps and all the cool stuff they carry. My wish list is pretty long ha ha. They also regularly share fabulous projects done by the design team on their blog so don't miss out on that inspiration.

I am also adding this to the May challenge over at Mini Album Makers. Check out the good stuff to see there!

Eileen Hull Sizzix - Passport Book Die 

from Topflight Stamps:
Carabelle - Zinouk of the Ocean

Rubber Dance - Vintage Script

mat board
Baked Texture embossing powder - Deep Sea
Visible Image Stencil - Fibres
PaperArtsy Infusions Dye - A Bit Jaded, Terracotta
Ranger Distress Resist Spray

Ranger Distress Spray Stains - Broken China
Ranger Distress Oxide Ink - Aged Mahogany, Broken China, Forest Moss, Bundled Sage, Antique Linen, Fossilized Amber
Ranger Distress Ink - Stormy Sky, Vintage Photo, Tea Dye
Ranger Archival Ink - Jet Black
elastic cord
AJVD black pear pins

Sizzix & Simon Says Stamp links in this post are affiliate links which do not affect the price you pay but allow me to earn a small percentage of a sale. Thanks! (My husband also thanks you!)


  1. Cool! I always love seeing what you create Lisa, and I always learn something new that I can use in my own projects. Thanks for sharing the how-to! ~Heather

  2. What a wonderful underwater world you've created, Lisa - and great step-out photos too, thank you. Thanks so much for playing along with us at Mini Album Makers.
    Alison x

  3. Squeeeelll!!! These are so cute!!! I love them!!! Thanks for sharing with us at Mini Album Makers Challenge!

  4. Oh my gosh! I didn't know this and am so glad you shared the idea! I adore itty bitty composition books, so combining them with an EH journal die just thrills me to bits! What an amazing journal in my most favorite colors. I love how you embellish the spine of your books too, always a treat for the eyes (and fingers I imagine). I'm thrilled that you shared with us at Mini Album Makers for our May challenge. Big hugs, Autumn


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