- Fairy Tales Prompts + Sidekick
- Fairy Tales Inspir-action
- How to make a pop up art journal
- Foraging for Art Journal Supplies
- Imagining and creating fantastic creatures in your art journal
- Making paint brushes from found objects
- Brush Lettered Inspiration
- Techniques for creating woodland backgrounds
- Make your own printables for journaling
- How to use brush lettering in your art journal
- Layering vellum and transparencies to produce soft layers
- Including interactive elements in your art journal pages
- How to create and use your own stencils
- How to make an accordion folded journal
Including interactive elements in your art journal pages
Hey messy artists! It’s Riet here, talking about my favorite art journal theme! Eek! If you know me you know every time is fairy tale time for me! This season is right up my alley and it was pretty hard to decide for a tutorial because I could literally talk about this topic endlessly! That’s why I’m going to show you 9 (!) ways to incorporate interactive elements in your spreads!
For me the interactive elements are a great part of the actual fun when working with fairy tales, folk tales, legends and myths!
They add some mystery, are playful and intriguing! I love when a page makes you want to touch it all, to dwell and curiously examine details- it’s a bit like being a child again.
Enough gushing- let’s head to the windows, pockets and flaps!
- a pencil
- paper (plain paper, scrapbook paper, your own painted paper and/or Project Life cards)
- scissors/x-acto knife
- washi tape or packaging tape
Windows are a fun way to show what is on the next page and play with the looking through effect. The revelation makes us curious and excited to flip the page and see the grand picture.
The easiest way to add them are circles. I often use a circle punch because it’s quick and no work at all, but depending on the size I want, my scissors come in handy. Just outline something round like bottle caps or lids and cut it out with your scissor or x-acto knife.
You can leave them as they are or add thread, making them look like a dream catcher.
You can also just make half circles. Depending how big you make them, underneath is space to add journaling, little images, doodles or just a peephole to the other side! For this just outline half of a circle, cut it with your x-acto knife and done you are!
Of course you can also cut different shapes like an easy bird shape, clouds or rain drops. The possibilities are endless and this is also a good way to incorporate elements from a fairy tale in your background. Apple shaped windows for Snow White, mushrooms for Alice? First draw your shapes where you want to have them on your page, and then cut them out with your x-acto knife or scissors. Take a look on Cait Sherwood‘s Instagram for more shape inspiration!
Pro tip: If you don’t feel comfortable drawing them free hand you can look for stencils. Just outline your stencil or part of it and cut it out.
Hidden journaling, little secret spots to add pictures, letters, ephemera… Yes, I’m talking about pockets! Even if they are my own and I know what’s in there, they make me still curious. It’s nice to find things hidden after you didn’t flip through your journal in a long time and almost forgot about the little treasures.
The most obvious way is adding an envelope of course. You can work them into the background by first glueing them down and then paint over it in the same colors as your background.
You can use glassine bags or vellum envelopes to play with the opacity, showing a bit of what’s underneath. I kind of like the shining through effect.
If you don’t have either of them at home you can make your own pockets pretty quickly and easy. Take a piece of scrapbook paper, a Project Life card or you own painted paper and cut it in your desired pocket size. You can attach the paper to the page with a bit of stitching, glue or a stapler, always leaving one side open.
Ah, my very favorite element! There can never be too many flaps! Flaps are a great way to add more space for journaling, images or more paint! When it comes to flaps washi tape/packaging tape is your best friend.
Let’s begin with the easiest one: tip-ins! Tip-ins can be attached everywhere on your page. Think of Project Life cards or ephemera, illustrations, magazine images and more. Decide where you want to add your tip-in and attach it with a hinge. A hinge is easily made by putting a strip of washi tape along the entire length of your tip-in. Make sure it really just covers the length of your tip-in! Then turn the tip-in over and put another strip of washi tape on the backside and voilà!
Pro tip: Ephemera or magazine images can be very thin and won’t last long as a tip-in depending how much you flip through. To reinforce them you can glue them on a piece of cardstock.
To extend your journal to create more space for journaling or images you can attach flaps to the sides of a page. Take some cardstock and cut it to the same length as your page. With a pencil you can lightly draw or trace different shapes (triangles, stars, swirls, etc). Cut out the design with your scissors or x-acto knife. Place the flap next to your page and attach it again with a washi tape hinge.
You can vary the width to your liking but keep in mind that you must be able to close the journal so it’s best to leave a bit of space between the flap and the spine.
Note: If you use other tape like packaging tape the paint won’t stick to the glossiness. To prevent that a light coat of gesso helps!
Instead of extending your journal you can also fold the pages in the middle and make it open like a door.
I dare you to take your journal to the next level this season. Let it be an exploration of hidden treasures, of peek-a-boos and playfulness. You have now 9 options how to do it.
Fairy tales and everything magic make my heart sing, I would absolutely LOVE to see your pages and don’t want to miss them so feel free to tag me on Instagram (@diekleineriet), but most importantly I wish you the most fun with interactive elements!
Choose one way to make a window
Add a pocket for treasures on your page
Add a flap to extend your pages
Riet lives with her husband near the coast in North Germany where she enjoys capturing her memories and feelings in journals and albums. If she isn’t covered in paint and glue she writes stories or photographs the nature outside her door.