Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

October 11, 2010

December Daily 2010 | Cover Option One Step By Step

Today I want to share my process for creating my one of the cover options. Later this week I’ll share more information on the other cover and how to work with the 6×8 overlays.


Before I dive into the first cover I wanted to address a couple things that came up in the comments on the first post for 2010:

BINDER RINGS: The binder rings I currently have on the album come with the Teresa Collins Bracket Shape Covers. They are 1.5 inches. They fit right now but will likely be too small to hold it all together once I add the photos + journaling (even though that will just be adhered to the current pages). I’m ordering some loose leaf binder rings that are 2 inches and 2.5 inches via Amazon.

TRANSPARENCIES: The transparencies I’m using are thicker than the ones you would buy at an office supply store. The Hambly transparencies ones are especially sturdy. The Clearly Heavy from Hambly is a blank transparency (no design printed on it) that is even thicker – I used that for the number die cut paper and for the day with just the small red frame + stamp (day 12 I think).

HOLE-PUNCHING: Crop A Dile – my favorite hole-punching tool that goes through a wide variety of surfaces.

ADHESIVES: For adhesives on the transparencies I used either stitching with my sewing machine or a regular tape runner. With the tape runner you can see it just a bit but it’s not too bad…sometimes I will cover it up on the other side with another embellishment.


Option one is to use the Teresa Collins Bracket Shape Covers. These have a great text-print on the front and would work just fine without doing anything to them (a great option if you are wanting to keep things simple). In my case I chose to use it as a chance to experiment with some techniques that I love: painting, embossing, misting with ink, etc.

As this was a bit of an experiment you’ll see some places where I did things that might seem out of order (watch the letter stickers). I was learning as I went and having fun in the process.

To begin, create a title with random letter stickers on top of a sheet of Claudine Hellmuth 8.5×11 Sticky Back Canvas (see image at top of post: supplies are listed below). I liked having the letters overlap/

Using Studio Calico’s Mister Huey Schoolhouse ink mist, spray directly on top of the sticky back canvas. You can use as little or as much mist as you like. I first saw this technique used by Leah Fung in Scrapbooks Etc.’s October 2010 issue and I have wanted to try it ever since. I was also really inspired by seeing what Ronda was doing with these mists while we were in Greece.

Let it dry. Leave the letter stickers on the background (on my image I removed them, but ended up putting them back on again). I hung mine up on my bulletin board due to the amount it was curling. I left it there overnight.

Peel off the sticky-back canvas and adhere to the bracket cover. This image above shows the front of the cover when you first purchase it.

Use a craft knife to trim off the excess of the sticky back canvas.

With the stickers still on the canvas, use a polka dot mask (I used an older one from Heidi Swapp) to create the dots. Mist with Studio Calico’s Mister Huey Calico Cream.

After misting the circles I decided I wanted them darker so I used the mask again with cream paint.

Here’s what the cover looked like after doing the paint circles. Now I felt like the paint was too bright.

To tone it down a bit again I sprayed more of Studio Calico’s Mister Huey Schoolhouse ink mist.

Remove the letter stickers.

I decided that because this is a mini book that will likely be touched quite a bit that embossing the whole thing would be a good idea.

Here’s a look at the cover coated in Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) (before it has melted with the heat gun). To get the powder to stick you need to use some embossing ink. Either Versamark or Ranger work great.

Using a heat gun, melt the embossing powder.

I found that I needed to follow these steps a couple times. After embossing the entire cover once. I went back and re-covered with embossing ink + powder and used the gun again. My goal was to get it to a smooth rather than bubbly layer.

I did the second round just a bit at a time to make sure it was getting smooth.

End result. Nice and artsy. Fun techniques to try.

Here’s a look at what I did on the other side:

For the inside of the cover I decided to adhere the sticky back canvas first, trim, add the letter stickers and then paint with cream.

After painting cream I used two different mists over the top of the letter stickers (Dark Calico and Warm Calico).

Remove the letter stickers and enjoy!


CHIPBOARD COVER • Teresa Collins Bracket Shape Covers:
CANVAS PAPER • Claudine Hellmuth Sticky-Back Canvas: Two Peas |
SPRAY INK • Studio Calico Mister Huey Schoolhouse, Warm Calico, Dark Calico
LETTER STICKERS • Basic Grey: Kioshi (Two Peas |, Eskimo Kisses (Two Peas |; American Crafts: Remarks Serendipity, Sothebys; Studio Calico: Home Front (Two Peas |
MASK • Heidi Swapp Circles
EMBOSSING POWDER Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE)

One of the albums I investigated for my 2010 December Daily was the new Anthology Portfolio Binder from House of Three/Pink Paislee (Two Peas | What most interested me are the variety of page protectors that come with the album (you can also purchase refills). I love it, it’s totally cool, but I decided against it because I don’t think it’s large enough to handle 25+ days. Prior experience has shown me that these December Daily albums tend to get really full really fast. That said, it’s one of my favorite new products on the market and I’m thinking of other projects I could create to use with that album.

For a full list of December Daily posts go here.

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  • 1.
    Cherie said…

    Oh I love it! I’m waiting a little while to start mine because I’m in full Fall mode right now :)

  • 2.
    dawn said…

    WOW Ali, you put a lot of work and thought and ideas into this cover. I love it though looks so festive and fun. The words on the back our my favorite words for Christmas, I put them around the house during the holidays. The white album was my favorite on Friday but now I really like this one so we will see.

    This is totally off subject but wanted to ask…. now that we have a dog I’m already taking tons of photos and planning on doing a album just for him. I realized that you don’t have any layouts of Lily unless I missed them…do you scrap her sometimes and we just don’t see them. Or is it more fun just to scrap the kids. Just wondering because I’d love to see your take on a dog layout to give me some ideas. Also thought some people might like to see you do a set of stamps that were pet related. Thanks for the help.

  • 3.
    Rachel Smith said…

    Last night I dreamed that you made several identicle bases for this December Daily album and that SOMEHOW I got my hands on one at a craft store and was so exctied to have an album made by you! I was sort of disappointed when I woke up and realized it was only a dream! ;)

  • 4.
    Cynthia H said…

    Misting the letters the way you did is a cool way to use up old letters! Thanks for sharing all the details.

  • 5.
    Lana said…

    The masking techniques are very clever, Ali! I think I prefer this cover to the white one. :)

  • 6.
    Amy said…

    It’s beautiful! I love the inside of the cover especially. It’s simple and makes me want to keep on looking!

    Could you have used regular canvas and possibly stitched it to the cover?

    I have canvas so I was just wondering if that would work.

    Thanks for sharing your work!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I don’t see why not :) .

  • 7.
    beth lo. said…

    thanks for sharing this ali…cool techniques! i love the inside cover especially. was curious if you put the canvas on the back inside cover as well…

    will look forward to seeing what you do with the pink paislee anthologie album. i ordered one and am anxious to see it IRL.


    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yes – canvas on the inside back as well. Right now the actual back has the same white paper adhered on as my Cover Option Two.

  • 8.
    Deborah said…

    I didn’t know you are left-handed. Cool. When dry, does the embossed cover feel sticky? As in, if it were smashed together with a bunch of other albums on a bookshelf in an office that gets pretty darn warm most days of the year would there be a good chance that it would end up sticking to the backside of the album next to it?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Not left handed :) – just took a shot that way. As for the embossed cover, just touched mine again and it’s not sticky at all.

  • 9.
    Lori said…

    Thanks for sharing the process of your cover page. Also, Love the 2 new releases this weekend at designerdigitals for decdaily album – i can’t wait to use the phrase squares! so festive :)

  • 10.
    Madeline St Onge said…

    Love what you did Ali. Can’t wait to see the other one, i am still debateing on what i want to do. I found an 8×8 that has a black embossed cover so waiting for that to get here to decide what I will use

  • 11.
    Lindsey W. said…

    Ali, I can’t seem to find any good numbers to use in my album…where do you recommend looking?


  • 12.
    Olivia Martin said…

    I like the looks of this. Tempted to try it on my cover. I’m not ready for Christmas yet. I am planning on getting through Halloween, then tackle Christmas. I got Ronda’s Cocoa Daisy Halloween mini project kit and I can’t wait to get it all put together. You’re quite right Ronda rocks the mists…she rocks most everything crafty she does!! :)

  • 13.
    barbi defazio said…

    I am so excited to see the dec daily blog posts starting. I have my box of my leftovers from last year, some ideas spinning and your inspiring posts, can’t wait to begin!

  • 14.
    TracieClaiborne said…

    You could have held a gun to my head and I would never have guessed that you embossed that cover! I would have never thought of doing that to a cover! I love it!!

  • 15.
    Nina said…

    Hi, Ali! Oh wow, it’s that time of the year again? Thank you so much for always inspiring me to capture these daily things that I would otherwise take for granted. Will have to start mine soon! =)


  • 16.
    margie said…

    oooh I can’t wait…love this time of year with you…
    kiss kiss

  • 17.
    Jennie Hart said…

    I love what you’ve done with the cover, I was totally going with the white one, but now I don’t know. I’m probably going to do my own thing with the insides what with one thing and another but I definitely want to try your covers. TFS x

  • 18.
    Jackie Bremer said…

    Neat technique but I also like the white option so will wait to see what you come up with for that.

    Thanks for all your work.

  • 19.
    Angie Blom said…

    Awesome techniques you used on this one cover.. wow.. you are patient.. and the end result is fantastic.

  • 20.
    maryjo materazo said…

    very cool ali! love all the techniques. thnx for always being so generous with your wealth of information.

    i’m going with a teresa collins 6×12 black flocked album cover so it’ll require minimal work. ; ) not necessarily why i chose it; simply i own it so i figured might as well use it. never done a december daily before altho i’ve somewhat kept up w/ them thru your blog. excited to jump in this year.

  • 21.
    Sylvia said…

    So cool! I love that cover option! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome work!!!

  • 22.
    Cyndi said…

    Ali, I recently took a class using canvas pages. After it was put together I was concerned that the canvas pages would get dirty from handling. Thank you for the tip to emboss the pages. That works for me!

  • 23.
    Anne Sanborn said…

    Appreciate all the time you take to share your incredible brain storms! You make it all appear simplistic!

    Not wishing the time away… none-the-less… anxious for final visuals of your entire book & cover choice! I love pouring over your 2008 and 2009 December Dailies. I read you’ve been doing this since 2006 -or- 2007? Hopeful you’ll share?!

    Appreciate the help with the binder ring size and location of purchase.

    Do you REINFORCE your holes to keep the pages from being torn over the years of being lovingly handled by Big and Little? If so, then what are some of the products you’ve used?

    Thank-you again for being you.

  • 24.
    Shruti Goradia said…

    Ali, these are simply wonderful, the step by step instructions with the photos are priceless.

  • 25.
    cat123 said…

    thanks for sharing Ali !!!

  • 26.
    Dawn Nikol said…

    I’m so glad you commented on the new album! I knew the December Daily was coming soon, so I actually purchased it to do mine in. We’ll see if it works or not for me, but I’m totally excited about it.

    Thanks for the step by step on your process, too! Super cool.

  • 27.
    carol said…

    thanks for sharing and taking the time to take pic and post it in the blog with so much detail. I really enjoy reading the part on the embossing. good idea. will give it a try too.

  • 28.
    Melanie Hughes said…

    Funny! I embossed my cover last year with a red embossing powder on a christmas red cover, made it look even more Christmassy. My letter stickers kept coming off though so I painted over them with mod podge to keep them in place.

  • 29.
    nicole said…

    fantastic step by step instructions. I usually mod podge things but the embossing looks great- i will have to give that a try

  • 30.
    Sharon said…

    I tried this but the color ran under the stickers and so no contrast – any suggestions.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Sharon – what kind of background paper were you using?

  • 31.
    Sharon said…

    Hi Ali – I used the sticky back canvas.

  • 32.
    Christine Rickert said…

    You are such an inspiration to us all. Dec. Daily has become a tradition for so many. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to get started.

  • 33.
    Tiffany said…

    Did you find the 2.5″ rings on Amazon? I’m finding 2″ and 3″, but not 2.5. Just curious. :)

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