Friday, June 5, 2009

CAARDVARKS: now in ***3-D***

that's right, we're doing something slightly different this time at CAARDVARKS. the current challenge, sponsored by club scrap, is to make a new 3-D papercrafting project of your choice and submit it by midnight, june 17th. i know what you're thinking. you're thinking, "hey lauren! that sounds like it'd be a bit more work than the usual cards we make for a 'varks challenge." and you're quite right...which is why the prize is a bit more fabulous than usual, too! check out the full details on the loot, the submission procedure, and other essentials over at CAARDVARKS. while you're there be sure and feast your eyes on the amazing array of DT projects, all courtesy of club scrap!

i made the CS wired book project. since it was a pretty large undertaking, and resulted in twelve pages of photos & embellishments, i figure the best thing to do is show you the cover & talk about the method today, and then spread the inside pages (with materials, etc) over the next couple of days. so let's get started, eh?

club scrap provides literally every thing you will need to complete a project from start to finish, with the exception of adhesive. for books, they recommend their special bookbinding glue (of which my colleague nathalia is a MAJOR fan!!!) but i found that aleene's tacky glue worked well, also. here is the kit as it arrived:

the method for assembling the wired book's pages was very precise, but the directions were extremely clear, and even i (quite famously "written instruction impaired"!) had no difficulty in understanding them. i was happy to have my trusty scor-it board in order to ensure perfectly parallel folds, and even happier to have a willing minion (aka lovely husband jeff!) as a second pair of hands for aligning the wired beads in their correct placement. here are the assembled pages. i've inked the edges black, but not yet decorated or bound them:

i did all of my decorating and embellishing *BEFORE* i bound the book together, but the finished product is really quite sturdy, and if you are generally a neat worker, you could probably bind first and then complete the interior. finally, here is the finished product, complete with nephew matthew as my adorable cover-model:

i decided to make a book for young matthew since he has not yet been given a "big project" as a birthday or xmas gift, and also because the bright primary colors of the project seemed well suited to an active little guy such as himself. i thought it would be fun to show an overview of the wee lad's life so far (from birth to 20 months) and rather than include a lot of journaling, i found a cute poem about little boys to spread over the pages and connect them thematically.

since there were so many bright hues already, to tie everything together and give it a bit of consistency, i decided to convert my photos to black and white, bump the contrast up a bit for a funky look, give each picture a little bit of a distressed photo frame, and then mat them all on imagination project's black graph paper to ground them. since i wanted to use as many photos as possible, and have them be as big as possible, i printed the poem directly ON the colors which coordinated with the blank pages.

when all of my pages were completed, i followed the directions to bind the spine with waxed floss. this was the most "fiddly" of all the steps, and it's where the precision of your method in carefully assembling the individual pages really pays off! again, the written instructions were admirably clear and easy to follow. finally, i added a few finishing touches, et voila!

tune in tomorrow and sunday to see the inside pages, and be sure to check out all the action over at CAARDVARKS!!!
eta to address several questions about the book's binding: the full instructions for the technique come in the club scrap wired book kit. basically, the album is built from the ground up: you create the pages by folding the cardstock half an inch from the spine's edge, you cut three small notches in the fold, and you glue the beaded wire securely into the fold using bookbinding or other very strong tacky glue. here is CS's video tutorial on the procedure.


  1. My my my my MY! What a GORgeous project! I love it right down to the detail of the b&w photos and the printed poem ON said photos!

    Moi? The chances of ME doing ANYthing for this challenge are slim and none, given that I did not even work on my 2004 Road Trip scrap book over the Winter. Can you say "distracted"? :-)

  2. holy geez louise...this book is fabulous! I am totally intrigued by the beaded binding! This project is truly a work of art! Kudos to you, Lauren!! :)

  3. Holy Moly! What an amazing photo album.

    That face is so incredibly adorable...I can't believe Matthew is 20 months old. I remember you blogging about his birth and his sister contemplating names for him (Prince Eric?)

    I can't wait to see the inside pages. This is one of your best projects ever...up there with that princess board book AND the princess wand etc. (made more recently.)

    I can't wait to see the inside pages!!!

  4. good lord, this is a mondo project!!! Wowza...very coolio Lauren!!


    I am in such awe of this!

  6. what a fantabulous project! wow!

  7. YAYAYAYAYAY! You KNOW how much I ♥♥♥ this :)

  8. OMG.....this is just awesome! I love it!
    (btw, you are very quiet... miss you!)

  9. Fantastic project! what an adorable little guy. :)

  10. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!! This project is quite possibly one of the most amazing things you have ever done! I can't wait to see the inside of this fabulous book! I can't imagine how much time this must have taken and is obviously what you were talking about the other day!
    Seriously, I can't think of any superlative that is sufficient to describe this book and I am waiting with bated breath for the inside pages :)

  11. What a fantastic album! Where would one find the directions to bind one of these awesome albums??

  12. OK.. I am back again!!! I needed to re-read your instructions 'to get it' all!

    I do have a question...

    How the heck did you do the letter thing printed on the photos??? Did you go into PSE and 'write' on the photos with fonts and color them?

    Can we pay/tempt/bribe for a tutorial on that technique????????

    Such a cool project!

  13. Fab book! Between your wonderful talent and the utter cuteness of the little guy, I am awestruck! Love it!!!

  14. Wow Lauren, see the whole thing before assembly really makes me appreciate all the work that went into this! Just awesome!

    (-: Heidi

  15. This album is gorgeous. You nephew is adorable. Love this. Gonna have to make one of these.

  16. An amazing project - a really heirloom of the future! Thanks so much for popping by my blog - I find Caardvarks a very inspirational blog and look at it for a long time befor venturing into the world of blogging....keep creating and have a great weekend. Cheers Claire x


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