Thank you for your lovely response to my French Vintage Farmhouse journal yesterday.
As is often the case, I received quite a few questions about how I made the journal and what supplies etc. I used, so today I’m going to answer your most asked questions about journaling.
Top 10 most asked questions about journals
1. What is a Journal?
Let’s start at the beginning…. what is a journal?
Journals come in a variety of sizes and are used in many different ways including: as art, travel and bullet journals; dream, prayer and reading journals; writing, food and gratitude journals; and of course the latest craze…. junk journals.
I mainly used my handmade journals as art journals, where I keep my ideas and creative thoughts, but have also made a gratitude journal, birthday book and of course my many Christmas planners.
2. How do you make a journal?
Well, there’s not one simple answer for this question because there are many ways to make different types of journals and I feel that each person finds their own groove with making journals and does what works best for them…. however, the first place to start on the journaling journey is to head straight to YouTube, where you’ll find a plethora of great video tutorials.
To get you started, I’m linking to some channels that have beginner tutorials:
- Johanna Clough
- Amity Bloom – lots of videos to inspire you.
- Liz the paper project
- For beautiful shabby inspiration I love Beth’s Journal Boutique
Once you get started it will be hard to stop… it’s a fabulous process!
3. What glues do you use?
I get asked this question almost weekly and once again, this is just my opinion on what works best for me. I don’t use double sided tape… it’s just not strong enough.
For working with paper and fabric, my go-to’s are glue sticks, PVA (Elmer glue) and Gel Medium. I use a hog bristle or sponge blush to apply them and I smooth out the paper surface with a squeegee to make sure all the air bubbles are gone.
When attaching embellishments like buttons, lace, tags etc, I use a stronger clear craft glue.
4. What printer do you use?
For some reason, printing seems to worry some people and I get asked often what printer I use to print my graphics. I use two options;
1. My home ink jet printer, which is just a basic 3 in 1 copy, scan and print machine. I find it perfect for most of my printing. Currently using a Canon, but my all time favourite was a Brother printer.
2. If I want to step up my game for a bigger project or one where the quality of the graphics is crucial, I’ll usually take my files to our local print shop and get it printed on their commercial copiers. Here in Australia I use Officeworks.
The question that usually follows this is “Don’t you find printer ink to be too expensive?”.
Short answer – NO. I consider printer ink to be one of my craft supplies… just like paint, glue, brushes or fabric.
5. What paper should I use for printing graphics?
I always suggest using the best craft supplies that you can afford, so this will be different for everyone.
Personally, I use good quality copy paper for simple printing. I find the normal print settings to be perfect for vintage style graphics.
For a great deal of my own printing I use matte photo paper in two sizes; 180 grams for embellishments and 250 grams for cards, tags and items requiring a heavier card like quality. I think the photo paper gives a better print quality for graphic details and colour intensity.
Just a quick note on graphics ~ some crafters are not aware that the images you find on the web are not ideal for printing. This is because they are designed for the web and have 72 dots per inch (72 DPI), so they can load quickly and easily. For printing you require a much higher dot per inch, so we use 300 DPI.
6. How do you make your own vintage/aged paper?
I make many of my own papers using either the coffee method or more recently avocado dyeing.
Coffee will give you a nice aged look varying from slightly brown coloured to very dark, depending on how long you soak your papers, fabrics, laces etc. I have a blog post on using coffee dye for a vintage look HERE.
Because of the lovely blush tones you get from dyeing with avocado, that has become my preferred method for a shabby vintage look. Find out how I dye with avocados on this post.
[This post contains affiliate links that may earn a small commission for me if you use them]
7. Where do you buy your supplies from?
I find it hard to buy quality crafting supplies locally these days (which is incredibly frustrating), so I have gathered my favourite online stockists and try and buy from small businesses. Most of them I have found through ETSY.
Where I can, I try to buy from Australian suppliers to cut down on postage/shipping, but I do buy a few favourite things from the US. Things like my favourite rhinestone buttons don’t weigh much, so I try to buy a bulk lot of the items I use regularly.
8. What graphic programs do you use?
I use Photoshop for creating and using graphics and can highly recommend it.
9. Where can I find free printables?
There are quite a few sites online for gathering vintage graphics from. I would highly recommend everyone familiarise themselves with copyright laws and public domain use to protect yourself and do the right thing my others.
Without a doubt, one of the greatest graphic websites available is The Graphics Fairy, which has literally thousands of free vintage graphics available to download.
Another website that has a great selection of free graphics is Old Design Shop.
And last but not least, I have a big selection of free printable graphics on my Tutorial page and also in my free member’s library for all newsletter subscribers.
10. How does the Handmade Club work?
As my journals stem from my Handmade Club kits, I’m answering some of the most frequently asked questions about the Handmade Club:
- How much does it cost each month?
The cost is $8.95 Australian dollars, but many of the club members are in the US and the current currency conversion works out at about US$6.15 per month. Your payment date will depend on what date you joined the club e.g. if you joined on the 4th, your payment will be automatically be deducted by PayPal on the 4th of each month.
- I haven’t received the Club email… what now?
If you haven’t added my email address to your Contacts List then the email has probably gone to your spam folder.
- Can I use the graphics to make things to sell?
My terms do stipulate that my club kits are for perosnal use, however, I always want to encourage creativity so I have no issue with the graphics being used as part of a larger project that will be sold e.g. a junk journal or handmade cards. My graphics cannot be used as digital items for sale.
- Why are the files in Dropbox and not sent in an email?
The graphics kits are quite large and contain many files in both ZIP and PDF files. These files are too large to send to most email programs, so I store them in a folder on my private Dropbox account, which members have access to for each month. Every month on the 15th, that particular folder closes and a new one opens with the next monthly kit. Also, I use the Dropbox and Mad Mimi programs because they have tracking on them and I can see who is accessing the files.
- How will I know if I’ll like the next kit?
In the first week of the month I send out a preview of the next kit due out on the 15th. You can always unsubscribe before that kit is released.
- Can I make requests for themes?
You sure can… in fact, I’m always open to suggestions from our club members and if it is something that will suit the majority of members I try to facilitate that.
- What if I’m a new member and would like to purchase older kits?
Twice a year I will open a one week sale page, where current members can buy kits from previous months. These offerings will take place in February and August each year.
- How can I cancel my subscription to the Handmade Club?
Members come and go every day and it is quite easy to unsubscribe. As members sign up with PayPal to take automatic payments, to cancel the subscription they simply need to pop onto their PayPal profile and cancel the automatic payments to Shabby Art Boutique. Your subscription is then automatically cancelled.
- Can I re-join the Handmade Club at a later date?
Of course…. many members come and go and I certainly have no problem with that, however, if a member leaves owing money or has not unsubscribed correctly and has skipped a payment (or withdrawn their card number), they cannot re-join after the second time.
I hope this has answered any questions you may have!
Happy crafting my friends!
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