Super Rustic Mini Album

What do you do with all your scrap papers and supplies? Do you toss them? or Do you save them in bins like we do at Canvas Corp Brands Studio Headquarters? We love re-using left over supplies, they always wind up being in that favorite project. These projects are created out of pure paper recycling and up-cycling. Then add in brand new papers, trims, found objects and its a creative party happening right in your studio or work station. The whole process of creating is thinking up new ideas and reinventing old ones. Bookbinding is one of those art forms that is constantly being reinvented. Twigs, rulers, pencils and nails have all made their mark on new bookbinding techniques.  Today CCB Crew Member Ilana Polakiewicz will show you how to create a book using remaining items from other projects, including cardboard boxes, Canvas Corp papers, burlap and Tattered Angels mists.

ilana step finish

Hi everyone! I think I may have never done such a singular project as this one I am publishing today. Its origin was the idea of making an unconventional bookbinding. But the creative process was so intense and free that the final result really surprised me.

Almost everything I used to make this mini album was remaining items used in other objects. The base of the pages was made using cardboard boxes. These papers had different sizes so the album turned out completely irregular. I also had strips of cotton fabric previously painted and I decided to use them to made the bookbinding and sew a flower on the cover of the album. After sewing the stripes to build the book, I started garnishing using a lot of elements that had nothing to do with each other.  Take a look at how the binding was made.

ilana step finish 4

Supplies Used 



  • Glimmer Mist – Wedding pink, Sun sisters, Tattered leather -Tattered Angels
  • Fabric paint – Siena natural fumé – Acrilex
  • Acrylic paints – Azul country, vinho – Nature Colors – Acrilex
  • Acrylic paint – Areia (817) Acrilex
  • Green 665 – Ecoline


Stamps/Ink Pads/Other

  • Distress Damask and Papillon – Stampers Anonymous / Tim Holtz
  • Distressing set 3 and Laced with grace – Glitz Designs
  • Archival ink pad- Jet black, Sepia – Ranger Ink
  • Others: gesso, glue, coffee
  • Drawings by Sônia Polakiewicz

Tools Needed:  Sewing Machine, Scissors, Stencil – Lattice – Heidi Swapp, Brush. Acrylic block

Start with an assortment of different pieces of cardboard and fluted board.  You can decide what size book you want to make and cut various pieces.  The pages do not have to be all the same size, in fact different sizes makes your book much more interesting.  Here is a post on Ilana’s blog where she shows you ideas for working with cardboard and helps with the journal –

ilana step 1

Start by misting or tinting strips of canvas with your favorite color(s), the fabric loves the colors and they become even richer when applied to canvas.  You can fully color them or you can create a tie dye effect by leaving some sections unpainted.  You can also use rubber bands to tie off sections for a true tie dye look.

ilana step 2

Using a sewing machine I started to sew the stripes of cotton fabric one by one onto the cardboard pieces.

ilana step 3

On the front and or the back i continued to sew the canvas onto the book cover folding and making them uneven as I sewed them don.  The binding turned out like this.

ilana step 4

After doing that I started decorating the pages.  Add mist or paint directly onto the cardboard.  This is a wonderful surface for stamping, stenciling, rub-ons, stickers and other crafty accessories you have around the studio.

ilana step finish 11

If some of the papers you are adding to your book are larger than the book that is ok, let them stick out a bit here and there.  You can also distress the papers and the cardboard pieces that are sticking out with mist, ink or paint.

ilana step finish 8

After you finish the binding, start altering your pages like Ilana did using paper scraps, found objects, images, ribbons and lace. Layer papers and ephemera using collage medium of choice. Then add some magic to your book using Tattered Angels mists and inks, this will give your piece more bursts of color, depth and distress.

ilana step finish 9

Ilana’s book is such a great way to recycle materials from left over projects. You just never know what those scraps may turn into, an undiscovered masterpiece is waiting for you and your recyclables…..

ilana step finish 12


Found vintage pieces of lace look amazing in the journal.

ilana step finish 6

Adding a layer of paint behind the ephemera gives it a great background for your photos, ephemera and art pieces.  Fussy cut pieces from the Canvas Corp papers and the look like they were stamped onto the paper.

ilana step finish 7

You can make each page a different color story, to make you book more interesting.

ilana step finish 4

The front of the book can be simple touches of lace, canvas, buttons and found pieces or you can paint your own design to make it your own.  Once you create your book you can fill it right away or do a page at a time and make your own art journal, adding to it when you feel inspired.

For more works by Ilana visit her blog; Fragmentos ao Sol or her Instagram Page To purchase any of our supplies, see or CCB Crew, visit our website at

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.

'Super Rustic Mini Album' has 1 comment

  1. March 4, 2016 @ 8:10 am Dana Tatar

    Wow! This album is amazing Lisa! I absolutely love how you incorporated textiles and vivid pops of color in this album. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

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