Everyday kindness: flaps which open to reveal inspiration for ordinary kindness

Hi everybody! This is TC, and I’m super happy to be with you today! I love this season and I’m looking forward to all the messes we’re going to make together this year. **jazz hands**

For this spread, we’re going to make a page that highlights acts of kindness underneath several flaps. Think of these each as a little oasis of kindness you can create in the midst of your regular day. You’re like a secret kindness agent on a mission to perform these subtle acts that can quietly restore people’s faith in humanity. As you gather your supplies, start thinking about small things you can do to show kindness to others. 


Here are things you’ll want to have on hand for this spread:

  • Your journal (I know you know this, but I’m being thorough!)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Palette knife or paint brush
  • Oil pastel or crayon
  • Washi tape
  • Extra paper (one or two pieces)
  • Collage papers
  • Glue stick or adhesive of your choice
  • Paint pen or any marker that can write on top of paint
  • Brads
  • String

In my video it seems like there are a bazillion steps. Do as much or as little as feels right to you. This page will work with only ONE flap, so you can absolutely trim it down for a more spare look.

Step One

Pick three square areas where you’ll eventually position your flaps. In these three places, put down some pretty papers, marks, wash tape, and colors that appeal to you. Using an oil pastel, crayon, or marker, make a square around these areas to section them off.

Step Two

Using the loose piece of paper, cut out a square that covers the collage-work-squares you’ve created. Adhere the edge of this piece of paper on top of each square with a piece of washi tape, being sure the tape is the same length as the piece of paper and not longer. Now you’ve got your flap! Stick down these squares temporarily with another piece of tape so they stay put until later.

Step Three

Time for some paint! Grab some of your favorite colors and put them all over your page. I used a palette knife but you can use a gift card, paintbrush, or whatever you like, even your fingers! I ended up with about four colors and added some white on top of that to calm it down a bit. Try scraping into wet paint with the tip of a paintbrush to add some designs and another element of texture. Wait for this to dry…or not. 🙂

Step Four

Open the squares. Put a brad the edge of each square, leaving a little room between the head of the brad and the page. This is so you can wrap string around the top of the brad. Put a second brad through the page next to each square. Then wrap some string around the brads so you can choose when to open or close them.

Step Five

Think of a small act of kindness, something you could easily incorporate into your regular routine. In each square, write this act of kindness.

Step Six

Choose a focal point for the top corner of your page. It can be a person, a symbol, whatever you’d like to use. From this focal point, make dashed lines to lead our eye to each of the squares. On each square you can put a variation of the focal point or any other little design or picture you choose.


There you have it — Three small acts of kindness tucked into our everyday lives. I hope this inspires you to see how you can incorporate kindness into your day, or even become more aware of all the ways you’re already spreading kindness to the people around you!

Alternative Interpretations

There are many different ways this could turn out, so feel free to use my instructions as a jumping-off point. Here are two examples of other ways my pages turned out.

Everyday kindness: flaps which open to reveal inspiration for ordinary kindness


Everyday kindness: flaps which open to reveal inspiration for ordinary kindness

I also tried it without an actual figure and with the words handwritten rather than using the label maker. I stapled ribbons onto the flaps for some festive flair.

Everyday kindness: flaps which open to reveal inspiration for ordinary kindness


Everyday Kindness

I can’t wait to see what you create! Be sure to use this season’s hashtag #gmseasonofkindness so we can see your amazing pages!

Action Steps

  • Incorporate a flap onto your page
  • Try using a palette knife or even an old gift card to scrape paint on your page
  • For one of the kindness squares, use some of that special paper you’ve been saving. You can be kind to yourself this way — you’re worth it!
  • Challenge yourself to perform one act of kindness for a stranger this week
  • Challenge yourself to to perform one act of kindness for a family member or friend today (extra bonus points if you don’t point out how kind you’re being)


TC lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her favorite part of art journaling is following a feeling or idea and seeing where it leads on a page.


  1. CIndy Jacobs

    Hi TC! I love this! I’m currently working on it, and adapting it to my accordion pocket journal. I think you’ll be pleased to see how fun it turns out! I’m letting things dry tonight, then finishing it up tomorrow! Thanks for a great tutorial!

    • TC Larson

      I saw what you created and I’m just blown away by your awesomeness!

  2. Maura Flood

    What a great tutorial. Thanks, TC!

    • TC Larson

      Thank you, Maura! It was hard to reign it in, and as you can tell, I work pretty much by feel most of the time. I hope you found something you can implement in your own creations.

  3. Robin Lyday

    quarters at Aldi — YES, a fabulous act of kindness!

    • TC Larson

      It’s such a small thing but gives such a burst of warmth and happiness, doesn’t it? We can SO do this for our neighborhoods.

  4. Alexandra merlin

    Such a fun tutorial TC, thanks !

    • TC Larson

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Heidi Lilley

    Little bit late to the game, but I’m working on this one today, and I LOVE it, so much fun to add in the flaps and to be thinking of the small acts of kindness. Baking a pan of brownies for my neighbor as I am doing this.

    • TC Larson

      You’re not late; you’re right on time! I’m sure your neighbor will be touched by your thoughtful brownies! Mmmmm, brownies…

  6. Michelle Johnson

    Yay! This was fun! Thank you tC!