A Handmade Gift Book For Mom

If you are planning to make handmade gifts this holiday season, now is the time to get started.  We wills share ideas throughout the month that not only make great Christmas gifts, but they are perfect gifts for any occasion.  Dana and her mom took a very special trip to France together.  Dana put her amazing mixed media talent to use and designed this very special book for her mom with the Canvas Corp Bon Voyage Collection.    The color palette of the collection is red, ivory and black and features a wide range of paper prints and designs that have the look and feel of actual French fabrics. Dana also created a matching bag with the coordinating Paris Fabric Panel where the book can be stored for safe keeping.

France Book and Gift Bag

I am Dana Sanchez, (aka Dapoppins) and am so blessed to be able to share with you a France Mini- Scrapbook that I made using some of the delicious Canvas Corp Brands Papers.    I also pulled bits from my entire collection of odds and ends that I had been saving  for that very special project.  I decided, as a gift for my mom, that this book is the special project.

France Book By Dapoppins 4

I actually started working putting this little travel scrapbook together before the recent horrible events in Paris and other cities.  My mom is a bit of a world traveler.  She has been to Peru, the Orient, Italy, Turkey, and Egypt.   In 2013 she took me along for the trip of a lifetime to France.  We had a fabulous time together.  I’d made my own scrapbook while on the trip but I’d never made one for her.

France Book By Dapoppins 6

Adventurous spirit that she is, Mom has held in her heart a desire to return to the  country of Egypt for years.  I’ve always discouraged her because of the turmoil happening there.  I never understood her determined fearlessness to return to favorite places and visit historical sites until after this attack on Paris.  We had spent days together exploring this beautiful city.    I hoped we might return someday to see more.   My Mom never let fear rule her actions, and by her example, I don’t want to let fear rule my actions.

I wanted this book to evoke some what we shared in France.  We created memories and special times that no one can take away from us. Had we not visited this beautiful country, we would not have memories like this.  I put so much into the book that it out grew itself, spilled over the edges, and is impossible to close.

What you will need:


I made very simple pocket pages by trimming the papers,  folding them in half and sealing with glue.  I tried to keep the fold seam on the outside of the pages and the glued together ends on the inside.  I think it just gives the pages a more finished look.

France Book By Dapoppins 5

Using the  pre-cut 5 x 7 white chipboard book cover, I covered it with paper and painted it with High Impact White Paint to age it and make it fit with the shabby theme.  I used some white letter stickers for the word France and painted them with Glimmer Mist.

France Book by Dapoppins 3The pages are sprayed with It’s Black Glimmer Mist and Cross My Heart Red.  The heavy, creamy card stock papers are lovely to work with and take the mist perfectly, unifying different patterns and adding interest when I needed to repeat the paper patterns.

I did a very little bit of hand sewing in the book for the canvas and burlap pages, but I also used tacky glue and a glue gun when I thought it wouldn’t interfere with appearance.  I am not great with sewing at all, but as the overall look of the book is “shabby,” I didn’t let my lack of expertise in this area hold me back.  The laces from my ribbon box are glued on, the ribbons and Canvas Corp Brands Red Hemp Cords are tied on.

France Book By Dapoppins 2
On the Left: I cut a piece of burlap, used tacky glue to adhere a strip of canvas, and added a matted photo for interesting textures.  On the right I layered papers and a Tattered Tangles Quote.  My mom sends me an encouraging message everyday on my phone so I wanted to send some positive wishes back her way.    I love these doodled quotes that are so easy to cut out and add to anything.

Damask Canvas, France Book By Dapoppins

White mini-bags hide 7 Gypsies Global tags and little notes.

Special Details

I limited myself to only two Tattered Angels Mists.  I love all things Tattered Angles and a adding a bit of shimmer to everything is my obsession.  I wanted to try something new for writing notes in the book that would go along with the shabby style, and dipped and old fountain pen into the bottle .  I am so in love with this effect!

Fountian Pen with Tattered Angels


I tucked notes about the trip and messages to my mom on tags I made for the pockets.

Packaging the Book

I don’t sew.  Did I say that already?  Let me repeat, because I don’t sew.  But I have this sewing machine that belonged to my husband’s mom and I’ve  wanted to use it on some of the great sheets of canvas offered by Canvas Corp Brands ever since I saw them.  The printed canvas matches the papers perfectly.  They are so cool that I didn’t want to cut them up for book pages or accents.

Bon Voyage Canvas Gift BagI folded the top edges of the canvas over the the red hemp rope and sewed the seam so that I wouldn’t have to worry about stringing it through. This may not have been the best way to do this, but it worked great for me.

I constructed my shabby bag using two 12 x12 pieces of canvas.  I didn’t measure anything.  Maybe I should have, but to be honest I’m not great with measuring.  I just laid the pieces together,  and folded down edges to see how they would fit.  I used double sided tape to keep things how I folded them and then just went for it.Bon Voyage Gift Bag With Book

Maybe, if I had known what I was doing with the old sewing machine it would have taken about ten minutes for this bag.

But it took several tries to figure out the tension thingy.  And by several I mean MANY.  I kept at it, however. Because I had this vision of a cute bag to hold the super chunk of a book I had created.  My results are far from perfect, with strings dangling and crooked seams, but I love it.

Totally Shabby.

Canvas Flower

The Burlap rose matched the hemp rope and the papers I had used perfectly.  I topped it with a shabby bit of cheese cloth and a flower cameo that had been waiting to be used in a special project.

Upright Canvas Gift Bag

I enjoyed making this project for my mom and can’t wait for her to see it.  She lives a few states away from  me, so I won’t get to see the look on her face as when she opens the bag and discovers all the things I hid in the pockets and on the pages, but I hope that I have captured her spirit of adventure along with a few of our memories of France.  She has taught me not to let fear rule me, whether it be seeking new experiences or trying to do new things, (even sewing.)France Book and Gift Bag

There are hundreds of products in the Canvas Corp Brands Store to challenge and encourage you in your own adventures.  I  wonder what you will make next?

Dana’s project is the prefect combination of paper, fabric and embellishments that show off how great they work together.  The matching canvas bag is such a wonderful added touch.

Dana’s project has so inspired us to pull together treasures and create!!!

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.

'A Handmade Gift Book For Mom' have 2 comments

  1. November 25, 2015 @ 7:07 pm Peggy

    Kudos on a job well done, and for sharing those memories again with your mother. She’ll love it.


  2. November 26, 2015 @ 2:05 am Nancy Gaines

    Wow! What a gorgeous project! The red, oh how I’m loving the red! When is your mom going to be receiving this beautiful present? She’s going to be thrilled! ♡ sweet job, Dana! 🙂


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