Monday, July 29, 2019

Tutorial: Creating A Folio Cover using the Spiral Theme

Here we are with our finished products
at the 2019 Women's Writing Retreat at Pyramid Life Center.
My co-instructor, Sr. Fran Dempsey, is on the far left and I am on the far right.

As promised, I am posting the tutorials from our journaling workshop at Pyramid Life Center in the Adirondacks. 
Contact me at if you have questions or want to share your work.


I used curtain backing fabric for these covers. 
It takes acrylic pain very well.

The final product folds around any size folio or journal using the old school method of covering books (like in the 60s, 70s, and maybe even 80s)

Creating A Cover for Our Journal Folio
Supplies: covers, Sharpies, palates, water, scrap paper, largish brushes and other various sized brushes, quick drying acrylic craft paints, bubble wrap, credit card.
  • Choose works and phrases from your journal writing as it is representative of our theme, spirals. Using a Sharpie, write them on the cover in large letters. Allow them to overlap and become unintelligible.
  • Keep your color palate simple. Use two colors (analogous or complementary) plus black and white.
  • Choose one of your colors and water it down (a lot) to make it a transparent wash. Using a paint spreader of your choice (Step 1 bag), apply the wash over the entire cover. Apply different consistencies of paint by mixing in a little white here and there, and/or using a non diluted version of the paint to make it more opaque in some parts (but keep it mostly transparent). In this layer, you are going for an uneven covering of paint, letting some letters or words show through.
    Give it a moment to dry. It does not have to be completely dry to move on the next step.
  • Using your second color and a brush from the Step 2 bag, joyfully paint spirals of various sizes over your cover. Apply thick and/or thinner spiral using whites, a little black, and your initial colors (can lighten or darken the origional colors with white or black)
  • Add additional marks to your composition. The Step 3 bag has bubble wrap and round things for making circles. Also try credit card lines, splashing paint with your paintbrush or adding drips.
    Allow to dry thoroughly. Decide on orientation of how you want to cover your journal.

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