Thursday, 26 November 2009

Quirky Kit - Make a Canvas Mini

Yey there's a new Quirky kit! 'Resolutions' is out now you can have a peek and grab one here.

When I was putting the Resolutions kit together I thought about all the fun things I wanted to use and try out both now and into next year. One of the main things I scribbled down a few times was canvas. I'm no stranger to canvas having studied for a degree in painting and print but I never really appreciated how chameleon like it could be. A blank piece of canvas is really that - a totally blank canvas with so many possibilities! You can keep to painting on it, you can use it to make something with maybe fashioning it into something to use or wear. So anyway if you're sitting with your kit and wondering where to start how about starting with a blank canvas? I put this project together to make a canvas mini book, when I say mini I mean mini. The one I made is 3x3 inches but the idea is totally adaptable, you could make an even smaller book or a much larger one if you wanted to. I made mine small for a couple of reasons. 1 - I only wanted to use a small amount of the canvas in the kit because I have plans to use more of it and 2 - I like small books they're less daunting and you can take them around with you if you so wish, great for idle doodling moments.

Canvas Mini

You'll need to gather some of the cardboard packaging your kit came with (The 12x12 sheets are brilliant for reusing ). The canvas fabric from your kit. A long piece of jewellery cord or other thick string type stuff, {something to tie your pages together with} and some double sided tape. Optional extras are white paint, a sewing machine and an old page protector.

Start by cutting your cardboard in to three pieces. You'll need to decide how big you want to make your album, mine is 3x3 inches so I cut out two pieces of 3x3 inch cardboard and one piece 1x3 inches that forms the spine. If you think your spine will need to be larger than 1 inch make it larger it depends on how many pages you want to fill it with. 1 inch will fit 10 pages easily.

Next lay your pieces of cardboard on your piece of canvas so they're about 5mm apart and cut out a piece that's about an inch away from the edges. Stick the pieces of card on to the canvas in the same position with a small amount of double sided tape then apply more double sided tape along the edges of the cardboard.

Next peel the backing off the tape and fold in then stick down each of the four corners of the canvas.

After folding the corners fold up the straight edges of the canvas and stick them down. Make sure the canvas is pulled around the edges of the card so it's nice and flat on the reverse side.

Next cut out three pieces of patterned paper each one slightly smaller than you cut your pieces of card. Stick these over the top of your front and back cover pieces so they cover over the raw edges of the canvas and any bits of the card still showing. If you want to, use a sewing machine to stitch all around the edge of the paper. It makes a nice decorative touch to the inside and outside of your book. make sure you test the tension on your machine so it will go though all those layers, I experimented with a spare bit of cardboard and settled on the number 2 tension setting on my machine and I used the biggest stitch on the dial (4). Because the cardboard packaging is corrugated it's nice and squidgy so sews quite well - if you're using a thicker board like greyboard or chipboard I wouldn't recommend sewing it all in one but you could sew on the canvas before you glue it to your board if you really wanted the effect. When you've finished covering the inside of your book mark two places to punch holes on the spine, one at the top and one at the bottom.

Punch out the holes then set eyelets or grommets in them. I used a cropodile but you can use any setting tool you have. You'll need to fit two pieces of your cord through the holes so make sure that what eyelets you're using are large enough.

This next part is the fun bit - deciding what to fill your album with! Because I want my book to be a blank canvas I picked out page protectors {made from one large one into small mini 3x3 inch ones with my sewing machine} and blank pieces of the canvas fabric prepainted with white paint. Mark the place the holes need to be from the inside of your album and punch them out. I worked out it made a cleaner cut in the canvas when I punched them out in a stack rather than one at a time. You don't have to have the same pages for your book, use other things from the kit or more of the cardboard packaging or other things from your stash.

Once you have your pages cut your piece of cord {or whatever you're stringing your book together with} into two pieces, keep them long - you can always cut some off but you can't add it on and the length will depend on what your page thickness is. Thread a piece of cord through the top holes and a piece through the bottom holes of your pages.

 Hold the two pieces of cord together and thread the top pieces through the top hole of your cover and the bottom pieces through the bottom hole.

Don't tie your ends together right away and don't pull them tight. Open out each page of your book in turn so each page opens out flat. The cord should billow outward as you do this like a ring. This will make sure all your pages open out neatly. Keep the cord in this position and then tie it together on the front, keep the knot lose just in case you want to add anything else. When your book is completed you can always go back and make your knot tighter or glued together to secure it. That's it your book is complete!

At least complete in the sense that it's a blank canvas. The next bit is filling it up with good stuff and that step is yours to fill. Have fun!

I've got lots more stuff planned to make, one of my next projects is a pencil case - told you I had other plans for more of that canvas! Hope everyone is enjoying the kits.
xx Leo

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