Nautical Mixed Media Journal ‘Dreaming of the Beach’ – Exploring Crafting with Canvas

With the rain and wind outside, maybe even snow if you’re lucky, a beach is probably the place that most of us dream of. Rather than wearing our winter coats and wellies, we could sit under a palm tree and dig our feet into a hot sand. oh, how wonderful! To make those experiences more achievable and easy to reach, why not make your own tactile beach-inspired journal? Canvas Corp features a wide range of Nautical themed papers in a variety of different styles that will take you to far away places.  If you have not ventured into crafting with canvas yet, this project by Crew member, Kathy Adams, will take you through the process of making her very own mixed media ‘Dreaming of the Beach’ journal.
Working with canvas is so much fun and you will simply love the results.  If you are used to creating on and with paper, we encourage you to get a little tactile and let your creativity run wild!!!
A few things you might not know about canvas:

1 – Canvas is 100% Cotton.  There are other varieties with a bit of polyester, but they will react a bit differently to craft supplies.

2 – Canvas comes in a variety of qualities and is generally used for printing in a wide range of industries.

3 – Raw canvas is a natural color with bits and specks of fibers that are part of the natural feel.

4 – Canvas does have a bit of sizing on it that gives it a bit of body and strength.  You don’t need to remove it, but you can through washing it.

5 – You do not have to wash canvas before working with it, but you can if you want to get a rustic, vintage feel.

6 – Canvas will wrinkle, it is cotton!

7 – Canvas is actually made in different countries around the world and ships to the USA in huge rolls and is used by many different industries.

8 – Canvas comes in a range of weights – the standard weight Canvas Corp uses is 10 ounce, but they also offer 7 ounce and 14 ounce, but there are other weights available if needed.  The 14 ounce is very heavy and a wonderful fabric.

9 – Sewing canvas is easy, but if sewing it not your thing, a fabric glue such as Fabri-Tac or a heavy duty liquid glue will do the trick; tape runners and paper adhesives are not recommended and will not hold fabric well.  You can sew papers and fabrics together for a great look.

10 – You can dye, tint and paint canvas with ease.  The natural fibers are perfect for dying or misting and you won’t want to use gesso, let the natural fibers soak up the color and it is simply beautiful.  If the fabric curls a bit, weigh down the corners and it will dry quite flat.  You can also apply clear or colored gesso to the fabric.  There is a myth that you must use gesso, but that is just not true; you will get a different look when using gesso, allowing you to paint or apply color to the top of the canvas and stopping it from sinking in.  Both looks are terrific, so play around and see what you like best or when it is best to use each technique.  You can also apply gesso or gel medium through a stencil allowing you to create a pattern and only apply to some of the canvas for a nice combination.

11 – You can craft on canvas just like you do paper…stamp on it, paint on it, stencil onto it, glue things to it, sew it, fold it, cut it, die cut it (rotary dies are better), mixed media it, distress it, tear it… so you have the picture – it is so easy to work with.

12 – If you want your canvas to be straight, snip a bit at one edge and tear it, it will tear with the grain of the fabric and you can leave it rustic or trim it up.

There are many other things we could share about canvas, but we hope this is enough info to show you how wonderful it is to work with and encourage you to give it a try.  Enjoy this awesome canvas covered book Kathy created.

‘I love the beach. I love that it’s gritty and messy. I love that my hair won’t hold a style. I can be casual, myself. That’s what this book represents to me. It’s a bit messy and tactile, made of canvas and burlap. For the cover, I did an image transfer by making a copy of the palm tree on the Nautical Fabric Panel then used gel medium to transfer the image. Let me show you.’ – says Kathy.

Materials used:

Canvas Corp:
Stitched Burlap 6″ x 6″ Book
Canvas Fabric – 30″ x 36″
Aqua Burlap Fabric 30″ x 36″
Nautical Fabric Panel
Nautical: Sand & Sea Art Pages on Kraft
Mix and Match: Sails & Shells Pad
Natural Jute
Teal Burlap
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist – Verdigris
Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist – Suede
Black and White photocopy of a Canvas Corp Image
Golden Soft Gel Medium, Matte or Gloss
White Gesso
Misc Tags
Sequins and Beads

Tools:- Scissors – Sewing Machine – Ruler – Watercolor Brush

Kathy also shares her steps of creating the journal itself.  Like canvas, other materials such as cheese cloth, burlap, etc. can be altered with different dyes and paints to make them your own.  Many of the Canvas Corp products are sewn with raw edges exposed giving them a wonderful handmade look.  Embrace the look or you can stitch them into place, use a clear sealant to stop the fringing or turn the edges over, but we suggest you just go for it and let it get messy, just like your hair at the beach.

Assembling the book: Cover the Stitched Burlap Book with a slightly larger piece of the canvas, approx.13″ x 6-1/4″. Use a sewing machine to stitch the binding together. Add a strip of aqua burlap to the binding edge. Gesso the front where the image transfer will go.   Here is a video that will walk you through the steps.

Decorating the inside: Cut out the seahorse image from the Sand & Sea Art Page and sew it onto one of the pages.  The kraft paper looks terrific with the burlap background.

Embellish as desired and splatter with a bit of gesso.  The white ink on the kraft paper is a great look and looks as if it was stamped onto the paper.

 Sequins add a bit of glitter and look like they were caught in the net.  

Cut out pieces from the Nautical Fabric Panel in 13×17 or 12×12 or use the printed canvas piece located in the Mix and Match pad and sew or glue them onto the pages.

The Nitty Gritty Details: Wrap the binding with jute, beads and charms. Use cheesecloth to embellish the cover and some of the pages inside. Tuck Canvas Corp postcards and tags inside for journaling. Add layers of stamping with beach-themed stamps. Leave all of the strings hanging from the book. Most of all, make it your own.

Have you worked with canvas before, how about burlap?  We hope you are ready to give it a try.  If a book like this is a bit too much, try a variety of techniques on scrap canvas and see what you think, but don’t throw them away, oh no, save them for your next project.   

You can see more of Kathy’s creations on her blog and Instagram.

Happy crafting!!!


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.

'Nautical Mixed Media Journal ‘Dreaming of the Beach’ – Exploring Crafting with Canvas' have 3 comments

  1. February 17, 2017 @ 5:04 pm karen bearse

    Wonderful project, off to watch the video!


  2. February 17, 2017 @ 6:11 pm Jean Marmo

    I want this album!!!! Gorgeous!!


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