August 27, 2013


To honor this venerable time of the year, Back to School, I thought I'd share with you a few composition books I have "altered" the past few years. You know, composition books:

This first was one we did at a Stamp-In Workshop a couple years ago. It is fairly simple:

It incorporates stamps, punches, cardstock, Designer Series Paper and ribbon. 

The next one I made for myself.

I opted for a variety of jewel tones that went well with the blue binding strip that I left unaltered on the notebook.  a page from the Piet Mondrian portfolio,

I cut my chosen papers into a Mondrian-like composition. I then turned to various of the Stampin' Up! embossing folders, and texturized the shapes. When I laid the shapes in place, they looked so very flat, so I decided the solution to that was to sponge all the edges with the same color inks to match the pieces. This gave each piece more of a dimensional appearance.

With a bit of space between the shapes to let the black cardstock "leading" show through, combined with the embossing and jewel tones, I think it resembles stained glass.

The next composition book is another one we did at a Stamp-In workshop.

A simplified version of the previous sectioned background was used, as well as the beautiful image, Pleasant Poppies. The image was stamped in black ink onto Naturals White cardstock. The various poppies were then stamped once again on the three background colors: Melon Mambo, Cherry Cobbler, and Tangerine Tango. Then they were fussy cut and adhered over their counterparts on the original stamped image. Once again all the edges were sponged with their matching ink colors.

Finally, I just could not resist attempting a scaled-down version of this on the tiny composition book shown in the first photo:

Only using one color this time, I treated these miniature pieces the same way. It was a little tougher, however, in that I did not leave any of the black "leading" between the pieces, so they abutted one another, making it more of a challenge to get them exactly the correct size. Leaving the black between the shapes allows for a bit more leeway in placement.

Also, this notebook was covered with some of the Stampin' Up! Core'dinations paper. So, once each piece was embossed, I lightly sanded the raised portions, then sponged all the edges. What I thought would be maybe a half-hour project ended up taking more than an hour and a half. 

I tied a bit of the sweater trim in a bow around the little treasure. Since there is a little stretch in this trim, it can be slipped on and off without untying and retying the bow each time.

Now, once school has started, you can go to your favorite school supply store and buy these precious composition notebooks for a song. OK, maybe a little money too.



  1. Hi and a big wow! You make the notebooks look so pretty. I saw it on lamberts lately.
    Julie from

  2. these are adorable! You put a lot of time, effort and love into these, and it shows.

  3. These look terrific! Great job.

  4. They're so cute! Have them out at your next stamp-in? I'd love to see more of them.

  5. These are totally gorgeous! They are a thousand times more beautiful than they began. You have quite the gift.

    Thanks for linking up!

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  6. They look great! Don't forget to link up to The DIY'ers!

  7. love them so personable
    come see what we shared at

  8. Cool! I can imagine that these will encourage students to write and study sure would for me! :) So creative!
    Ann @ Cairn Cottage (

  9. Oh my goodness. I love the one you made yourself!

  10. Very pretty! Love these classic styles and all the textures and colors!
    I linked over from the Inspiration Board Creative Party where I am participating too and would love it if you'd stop by.
    Hugs, antonella :-)

  11. The one you made is so pretty! Love the colors you choose! I have a few composition notebooks calling my name! Thanks for linkin up to Sunday FUNday!

  12. Such a great idea! I've been implementing these ideas lately too and its amazing how something so simple is so helpful! I want to start a page as your ans recently I asked a web design company ELCO PLANET ( to develope the page for me.. I was just interested for web hosting.. can you please advice me about web hosting provider.. have you ever heard for offering hosting, alpha reseller hosting... ? thanks a lot