“”April/May Bash Your Stash Challenge!”Part 2

Welcome ladies to Part 2 of my Bash Your Stash April/May Challenge

So before we start………………. my April Challenge was for you to prepare a kit for May to create an Altered Book and to think about what you would like to use your altered book for. Also, you had the task of selecting a book suitable for this project and deciding on your theme!


You may have seen the two above that I made previously. The one on the left is my 2017 planner and the one on the right I made for my bestie as an Art Journal.

This month, over the weekend you will start to alter your book and complete the cover, plus add a few pages to get you started to complete the challenge. Then you can add more pages to your book and use it the way you have planned.


STEP 1  You are going to remove all the pages in the book by following my directions. The first job is to open your book and using a sharp blade or knife, slice down cutting the page at the front and thus removing it from the first side of the book. Turn book to the back cover and do the same and the pages will all come out together. You are now left with the cover. You can throw out the removed pages or use them on other projects.


This is what you are left with after removing the pages. Raw book covers to make into a work of art! I pulled two apart while I was on the go as I may decide to do one as a gift.

STEP 2 –  Next, you need to strengthen the spine. To do this you will need some strong wide tape, like electrical or gaffer tape. I used some gaffer from our cheap shop. You need to put it around the middle spine part first on the front and the back making sure you push it into the shape of the spine so your book will close.


STEP 3You will now do the same to the top and bottom to strengthen those areas so it will take the book binding later on. This will also make it more durable to use.



Above, is how your cover will look once you have removed the pages and added the tape to support your book. Don’t worry about how it looks at the moment as the next step will show you how to cover its flaws if any!

STEP 4 This is the most important step, as you are getting your cover ready to take any treatment you give it. You need to Gesso over the front of the entire cover and then when dry over the inside as well.  GESSO is like a thinner white paint and it  primes or prepares the surface to paint or add other mediums like glue or Mod Podge. Without it nothing will adhere to the cover. You can paint it on with a brush as I have or if your don’t like the streaks use a sponge brush.


Above, I have used a non stick craft mat for an easier clean up and a brush. I have left a few areas not so heavily coated as I liked the colour of the book and it gives it a rustic feel. I use the Monte Marte brand here in Australia which is a cheaper priced one compared to Golden, Liquitex and some others. They all do the same job just they might be a bit thicker which I don’t like. Once it dries which may take an hour or so; or if you have a heat tool you can use this to speed up the process. It’s summer here is Aus so drying is quick!

STEP 5– Get ready for the fun!!! Time to decorate your cover as you like, keeping in mind your theme and a Title if you want to use one!  No rules, use your kit and GO FOR IT!!!!


As you can see on mine, I have used some napkin, which when I use, I take the white layers off the back of it.  I then adhere it with a sealer, like Mod Podge or white glue thinned down with water. You brush the medium under and over it and it will never come off! The sealer also protects all the hard work you have put into your book so it is a great investment and it is not very expensive. It looks really crinkly but that is the effect and it dries to a nice surface. If this isn’t for you then you can paint your cover, use pattern papers or anything you think is you 🙂

I hope you are enjoying this so far and maybe you need a breather! That is fine, go and have a cuppa, stretch and get ready for finishing off your Journal!!

Step 5 – Now you have your front cover nearly finished you may like to tidy up inside the cover now. You can paint it or add pattern paper. I have decided to continue the napkin theme inside mine. It is a bit imperfect but that doesn’t matter to me.


You will need to let the covers dry before you do anything else, if you have used my technique. If you have used pattern papers you can start straight away decorating the front in your chosen theme. As mine is for photos of my sister and I growing up I wanted a photo of us on the front as it will be holding lots of my childhood memories.

I used a small photo us aged approx 4 & 6 years old and I put it in a small frame then did a bit of a collage with some bits and bobs from the kit I put together. I used white glue to adhere everything on the cover , except the butterflies I used a dimensional tape so they sit up of the book. I wanted some lace around the cover so I just wrapped some around a couple of times and tied it in a bow.You can decorate you’re in your theme as you wish, and just have fun doing it 🙂


Above is the finished cover of my book and I am very happy with it so far. I is decorated in my theme and it will be wonderful to get lots of things documented in it.

STEP 6 – Last but not least you need to make one lot of pages. These are easy to make I promise 🙂 The way we are going to make these is to measure the height of your book as you know you will be using 12×12 papers and then folded in half.  My book height was just over 9.5 inches so I cut them at 9.25″ so they would fit. As a few of my pattern papers were a bit bright for my project I used some Gesso over them to tone them down. I can journal straight on to the paper or add other things.


As you can see below, I made about seven or eight lots of papers with about 6 papers per lot and then I put them in the book and closed it, to make sure it isn’t over stuffed!! These are called signatures. I am going to use photos and add other bits and pieces so this was ample for my book.


When you are happy with the way you have them arranged out next job is to put them into your journal. The best part about this binding method is it is easy and you can swap around your papers if not the way you want them after you have done the binding 🙂 An added bonus if you are using it as a planner is, you can reuse your cover and just add new pages for next year!!

STEP 6To make the binding you will need some twine or ribbon. I have used both and I like the feel of the ribbon, but up to you.

Here is a visual guide to help you with the process as it is a lot easier to follow than me trying to explain it. I used this video  HERE!  and it is excellent. You can watch the whole video if you like or you can skip to the 6 minute mark where she starts the Book Binding.

Instead of using the twine, as shown in the video and going around and around the book, I used some mauve organza. I just wrapped each one separately around the book and finished off with a knot to secure them. Then you slip your signature under the ribbon and done!!


Above shows my journal opened and it looks like a brand new book!!!!



You have now finished your Altered Junque Journal to play with and make it your own. You can also add envelopes and make pockets if you want to. These can be use for ephemera or hidden journaling.

If you need any help or want to ask a question please feel free to.  I am really happy with mine and I will show you some of it when I get some of my photos documented.

I hope you have enjoyed making yours and please share them with us so we can get other ideas from what you may have used.

Happy Crafting

Kerri x



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