Art Journal Tutorial: Happiness Not Perfection Cover | Easy

Saturday, February 25, 2017


Sometimes, you just got to have some fun and make a mess.  I did just that while making this cover to my new art journal.  This is very beginner friendly and doesn't require any expensive materials.

This is a fun stress relief and a way to express myself outside of my job which takes up the vast majority of my life. I no longer worry about my skill level, rules to follow, or trying to compete with others.  I just go with it and have fun.  So, don't be afraid to dive right in, make a mess, and have a ball while creating something for yourself.



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Video (With the Process and Banter)



Or Watch on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02qi1rP9gZA

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Materials I Used:

Paper Towels
Mod Podge Matte Finish
Cheap 1" Paint Brush
Acrylic Paint (Apple Barrel, 50 cents baby!)
Baby Wipe
Bubble Wrap
Fan Brush
Acrylic Ink
Card Stock
Sharpie
Duct Tape
Water Color Crayon

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Step 1: Prepare thyself and thy surfaces!

 - In this project, I laid the journal flat so I could do both sides at one time.

 - Then, I put deli paper under each of the journal flaps to protect my table.  I also did this to protect my pages from getting glued shut because much Mod Podge is about to be unleashed.

 - Then I mentally prepared myself for the glorious mess and fun to come.  (This usually involves petting some fluffy cats, getting my music playlist to the optimal volume, hiding my cell phone in a far room, and a last minute potty break.)

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Step 2: Unleash the Mod Podge!

 - I started by putting a generous layer of Mod Podge over the entire cover surface with a cheap plastic bristle paint brush that I got in a pack from the Dollar Tree.  It works great for adhesives!

 - Then I patted my paper towels on top while making sure they are covering the entire surface.

 - I put even more Mod Podge on top of the paper towel layer.

 - Once I completed the Mod Podge sandwich, I took my brush and started making the wrinkly texture that my heart desired.  I did this by just pushing the towels around "smushing" the surface every which way.

 - After all that, I had to wait several hours for it to completely dry.

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Step 3: Paint!  Paint!  Paint!

 - Once the surface was completely dry, I went over it with 2 coats of white paint to make a blank surface.  (The paper towels had dried completely clear.)

 - I took gray, purple, and yellow paint and started finger painting.  After each color, I used a baby wipe to blend it out a bit.  I did this until I got the base layer that I wanted.  (For visuals, please refer to my video embedded above or on my youtube channel.)

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Step 4: Much Fancy

 - Once I got my base paint down, I took some bubble wrap--the awesome big bubble kind--and made some more details to my cover.  I did this by putting some paint on the bubbles placing it down almost like a plastic franken-stamp.  I used white, green, and purple for this step.

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Step 5: Fun Details

 - I used a fan brush and some bronze ink and water and splattered it all over the page.  It was so messy and fun!

 - I took a lime and a purple Dylusion spray ink and added a bit more glorious busy-ness and chaos to the cover.

 - I, then, dripped some shimmery white ink down the page in a couple of places.  It needed some shiny something.

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Step 6: Duct Tape, Oh Yes

 - I took some plain duct tape and covered the spine, and cut some skinnier strips to add a detail to the front corner.  I took the edge of my scissors' handle and made sure it was stuck forever.

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Step 7: Finishing the Thing

 - With a black and a gold sharpie marker, I wrote out my detail words on some white card stock.  I glued them to the front with some tacky glue.

 - Once everything was dry, I further added to the grungy look by outlining everything with a black watercolor crayon.  I also darkened my detail words because they just looked too dang clean.

 - I went back over the words with the marker one last time to brighten them back up and wrote my name messily on the back cover.

 - Finally, I broke out the Mod Podge again and put a generous layer over the whole thing, minus the duct tape surfaces. This brought out all those colors and sealed everything down for eternity.

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Want to see how I prepped the inside of the journal for doing collage and mixed media art?  You can check out my post: HERE.

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