Color the Emotion

Pick a few colors and create without stiffness.

Art Deco Journal Covers

Art Deco style handmade journal covers by Peony and Parakeet
My sisters will get empty handmade journals from me for Christmas. They both like writing and literature so I hope they will put the journals in use. My idea is to include some photos, decorative papers, scrap pictures and such – so that the journal is like a handmade version of Smash book more than a basic blank book. I have also chosen the themes for the journals. The older sister will get an art deco themed book and the younger sister will get flowers and fairies. Here’s a snapshot of the latter.

Handmade smash book like journal covered with Elsa Beskow's illustration, by Peony and Parakeet

I had an old Elsa Beskow’s children’s book which I used for the cover image. There are plenty of pretty papers too! My other sister would not have this, it is much too cute for her. She likes something more artistic.

I chose art deco as I have been thinking a lot about that style lately. I love the muted, sliding color transitions combined with black and white. And I have been more and more into using graphic, sharp shapes.

Art Deco Journal Covers

I will show you how I made the covers for the art deco themed journal. First, I picked some Sticky Canvas by Claudine Helmuth Studio. It is a canvas sheet that is like a huge sticker. You can attach it without glue after you have finished it. You do not need sticky canvas for this project. You can use a drawing paper or thin fabric instead.

1) Background Colors

I started with watercolors, then used some Dylusions ink sprays. As the canvas got all wet, it got wrinkled. I emphasized the wrinkles by brushing Distress ink pads against the canvas.

Art Deco style handmade journal covers by Peony and Parakeet, step 1

Now I got the muted, soft color transitions. Next task was to add contrasts and sharpness to it.

2) Background Motifs

I cut art deco styled shapes from old cardboard boxes and arranged them on the canvas.

Art Deco style handmade journal covers by Peony and Parakeet, step 2

Then I sprayed with the black Dylusions ink spray over the shapes.

Art Deco style handmade journal covers by Peony and Parakeet, step 2 after spraying

3) Finishing the Covers

I cut two thick cardboard pieces for covers. Then I covered them with the sticky canvas. I had a couple of handmade decorated papers which I wanted to use too.

Art Deco style handmade journal covers by Peony and Parakeet, step 3, adding decorated papers

I added decorated papers to the covers. Colored pencils were used to highlight the muted tones. The holes were punched with Zutter Bind-It-All. It is amazing how thick it can cut!

Art Deco style handmade journal covers by Peony and Parakeet

The front and back covers are shown on the left, and the inside covers on the right.

Handmade journal covers by Peony and Parakeet

Now I just have to add pages, draw some art deco style ornaments to them and find a photo of my sister where she looks a bit like a beauty of that era!

Art Deco appeared first time in 1920-40s, just after Art Nouveau.  
Leave a comment, what do you like in Art Deco or have you noticed it at all? Have you ever made anything Art Deco?

7 thoughts on “Art Deco Journal Covers

  1. The wood block video was great. I love how he sanded the corners to round them off then at the end, he squared the piece up – just like making a log cabin quilt or crazy quilt! His was very beautiful with all those colors of wood. But the piece that you and your husband are making is really creative – using the ceiling to display the wood. Just genius using this commonly unused space! The different sizes and heights do make it come alive – they dance! The colored edges grab your attention up and then the wood is the star. I love Art Nouveau the best. It just takes my imagination and whirls it away.

    1. Mary, thanks for the great comment! Yes, the other woodworker really made the wood shine, ours is not that shiny, but not that traditional either!
      I love Art Nouveau too, it has been my “original love” but now I am more and more into Art Deco, maybe it’s the dark winter that causes that and when the spring comes I am back with Art Nouveau!

  2. Your art deco journal covers look wonderful and those handmade journal covers are a great gift. I also love to use dylusions ink sprays, the only problems with them is, that they are not lightfast at all.

    1. Kathrin, thanks! Yes, lightfast craft supplies are difficult to find. I try to use basic art supplies like watercolors and acrylic paints in most of the projects but it is fun to play with the sprays once in a while.

  3. You are so inspiring. Your comments as well as your art work bring such joy into my life. Thanks for sharing !

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