As mentioned in a previous post, I was once quite crafty. Now most of my creativity is poured into my business, which honestly is rewarding financially but not always mentally. Today I’m sharing a project from the past that I loved creating. I made “scrapbooks” for several years and sold them at Paper Boy, a stationery store I worked at here in Chicago. Each book was completely different & a collection of scrap papers.
Many of the papers I used were scraps from that very stationery store. I had a bag I would ask fellow employees to please put small scraps that would otherwise end up in the recycle bin. Every couple months I would gather the bags & start creating.
I had an assembly line production style. First I would gather chipboard for the cover. Then I started sorting all the bags of scrap paper. They always included a magical array of ends of register receipt rolls, kraft paper, newsprint paper, gift wrap, art papers, vellum, tissue... pretty much anything used at the store. Not one sheet was the same size as another & I loved it. All the textures, colors and shapes created a wonderful patchwork of papers. I would also include a couple notebook, legal, grid or any other office papers I had purchased at estate sales.
After sorting through all the bags I would begin collating pieces. This was always a puzzle that required bulldog clips to assist in holding the random sheets in place. When I had about 20 flat layers of paper, I would pass them off to my mom who was kind enough to run them through her sewing machine to bind them. This always proved to be a challenge and as you can see by the first photo of this one, they didn’t always turn out straight, which just added a little more character.
Once sewn I would trim or tear sheets that stuck out too terribly far. You can also see in the cover shot I left several layers peeking out on the side. The finishing touches were stamping scrapbook on one of my collected vintage red boarder labels & attaching that to an art paper scrap. I also stamped a handmade ajg (my maiden name initials) on the same art paper for the back cover.
These scrapbooks were always little labors of love. The process took hours and allowed me to be a flow state. Perhaps I should start gathering scrap paper again & revive the scrapbook.