How To Make A Folder Style Recipe Mini Book with Gel Press

We had a great time getting to know the folks at Gel Press this summer and having a chance to play with their Reusable Gel Printing Plates.  We thought it would be fun to match up the Gel Press with Tattered Angels Mists, Pebeo Acrylics and Canvas Corp Papers and see what happens.    


We are addicted to mini books! Here is a really simple way to create a book using 4 pieces of Canvas Corp Cardstock paper and a sewing machine – no fancy stitches required.  You can hand stitch it too, your choice, but that sewing machine makes the process quick and easy.  We are going to show you how easy they are to make using a recipe book theme, but you can make your book in any theme…travel, baby, wedding, birthday, vintage photos, art journal, personal journal and more.

Here is a quick description of what you will be doing…You will take 4 pieces of 12×12 printed cardstock (you will want to use cardstock to make the book strong enough.  You don’t have to use printed paper, but they make a great background.  Choose one for the front cover and then 3 identical papers or mix and match them, your choice.  

14114644_10208846211211222_1206420769_o Step 1:  Cut off the headers of each of the papers to make a true 12×12, fold each of the papers 3½ inches from the bottom to to make the “file folder pockets”

Canvas Corp Kraft and Black Paper

Step 2:  stitch the edges of the folder section on both sides.  We used a zigzag stitch, but you can use your favorite stitch or you can glue them closed.

kraft and black farmhouse kitchen paper

Step 3:  Place the “cover” design on the top (folded part down), place the next paper (folded part up), place the next paper (folder part down) and the final and inside paper (folder part up) leaving the center of the book with a solid printed paper.

kraft and black papers

Step 4:  Rip 2 pieces of Canvas Corp French Script printed canvas into small strips, you can get the rustic look of frayed edges by snipping a starting place on the fabric and ripping it all the way down, you might not know that when you rip it it will follow the grain and give you a perfect straight line.  To make the ties long enough use two of them and stitch them into place on the outside of the book.

French Script Canvas

Step 5:  Stitch the papers together down the middle to create your book.  You will have pages with pockets and pages without that you can paint, journal or just art on.  We covered the inside page with a piece of Canvas Corp Printed Fabric (Farmhouse).  We love the look of hand-stamping that the printed fabric gives.  You won’t use all the fabric, save the rest for later.  We did a simple zigzag stitch on the fabric before gluing it into place.  You can color in the art with glimmer mist, ink, fabric paint or acrylic paint if you wish.  Adult coloring on canvas looks great.  

Farmhouse Kitchen Fabric

Your book is now ready to decorate your way and fill with recipe cards, postcards, photos, mementos or ephemera.  

Let’s have fun decorating this book with a few simple techniques.  You can try these techniques your way and then gather them all together and add them to your book.  One thing we had to play with is a vintage cow stamp that we are in-love with.  You might be on the lookout for a vintage stamp or choose your favorite stamp that matches your theme.  

Gel Press Reverse Stamp Impressions

Gel Press + Cool Stamp + High Impact + Cardstock (smoother the better and not glossy) = Awesome 

Gel Press Plate Round

Roll the High Impact onto your Gel Press Plate with your brayer, press the stamp into the paint, flip the press over and press onto cardstock paper.  You can do more than once and get a series of unique prints with different amounts of paint.  Each one looks great.

Vintage Stamp with Gel Press

Acrylics, High Impact and Glimmer Mist On Cardstock Papers

Maybe you have a stash of paper scraps or maybe you picked up a few basic papers from Canvas Corp.  It is fun to transform the papers into many different looks by misting, painting, washing, dotting, etc.  Cut strips of paper to fit into your book either before or after you paint so you have different sizes and lengths to add to your book.  Try these techniques or some of your favorites to make the bits and pieces that go inside of the book and the front cover.Pebeo Glimmer Mist High Impact PaintLet some of the print show through in different ways, making them very unique and the paint colors you choose make them match your color story.  The paints and mists react differently with the papers to give you very unique papers with a feel of dimension.  You can then add touches of High Impact Paint to add a bit of texture.  

canvas corp papers with acrylic  and mist paint

Set these aside to dry and let’s make the signs for our recipe pages.  With the Pegz Stamps you can make the words you need by simply arranging the letters to say what you need – menu types, days on the trip, years, day of the week.  We created a series of stamped words on the kraft paper  – Appetizer, Soup, Salad, Main Dish, Vegetable, Side, Dessert, Drink – you can organize your recipes your way – Weekdays and Weekends – Family Favorites – Casseroles – so many choices and nice to make it your way.  While you have the stamps, ink and kraft paper out, stamp a few silverware stamps and set aside.

Pegz Stamps and Kraft Paper

Cut them out and add a bit of burlap to the back to make them pop, we stitched them together with a zigzag stitch and glued them onto each folder page.

Recipe Book Pages and Recipe Cards

Now let’s put it all together:

Front Cover 

Farmhouse Recipe Book

Cut out one of the Round Gel Press Stamped pieces, fussy cut some of the artwork remaining from the printed Farmhouse fabric and a piece of painted paper to created the front cover.

First Non-pocket Set Pages

Farmhouse Mixed Media Page

This is the place we stenciled, but you can do that anywhere or more than one place.  Gather a few more painted papers and a piece of burlap and layer together with a stamped piece and fussy cut fabric.

Final Non-pocket Set of Pages

turquoise olive green kitchen

We mirrored these with strips of papers, two stamped silverware stamps on kraft paper and a couple more fussy cut prints from the fabric.  The printed fabric goes along way and adds a nice touch.


Now let is all dry and then fill it up with recipe cards or whatever you wish.  

What we used:

Canvas Corp

French Market Rev Cardstock Paper – 1 sheet

Kraft & Black French Linen Stripe Cardstock Paper – 3 sheets

Blue & Ivory Cardstock – 1 sheet

Black and Ivory Diamonds Cardstock – 1 sheet

Blue & Ivory Dot Rev Cardstock – 1 sheet

Black & Ivory Big Dot – 1 sheet

Kraft & Black Mini Dot Rev – 1 sheet

Kraft Cardstock Paper – 1 sheet

Farmhouse Kitchen Recipe Cards Paper – 2-3 sheets

Farmhouse Fabric Panel

French Script 12×12 Fabric Panel

Burlap 12×12 Sheet – AvocadoTeal

Tattered Angels

High Impact Paint – Olive & Metallic White

Glimmer Mist – Olive Vine


Silverware Stamp

Gel Press

Round Plate – 10806-4


Acrylics – 358 – Vert Bleu Iridescent


Paint Roller; Scissors; Paper Cutter; Sewing Machine; White Thread; Paint Brushes; Craft Mat; Beacon 3 in 1 Glue; Stencils; brayer, Pegz Stamps (these were purchased at Michaels Stores); Permanent Ink


Vintage Carved Cow Stamp (found at a flea market)

We love the idea of using 4 pieces of paper to make such a simple and functional book.  This is a great idea if you teach to make the books ahead of time to match your theme or maybe you want to make books for the holidays and were not sure where to start.  Create the books quickly and then spend the time filling them with recipes from mom, grandma and those special family members with the great recipes – ok you can put bad one’s in too if they remind you of family!!!

We loved experimenting with the Gel Press and preserving our special cow stamp onto printed papers.  So grab a plate, some paint, papers and a few stamps and have a ball.

Happy Creating!!!


Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'How To Make A Folder Style Recipe Mini Book with Gel Press' has 1 comment

  1. August 23, 2016 @ 1:52 pm Jean Marmo

    Such fun!


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This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.