Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Tuesday Tutorial: Dragon Journal by Martina Tidball

Good morning all, Martina here! Wow, weren’t Kerri-Ann’s shows on Saturday jam-packed?! I think she just about held on to two items in the final minutes of the last show (talk about timing!)
For today’s blog post I would like to share with you how I used a planner/journal to make the ‘dragon journal’ that was shown on screen, and how easy it is to make if you would like to have a go too! 

I started with the Planner/Journal in its pure form and used some relatively thick card (taken from the back of a notepad) to create a binding. I did not do lots of measuring etc., just folded the card around the binding leaving enough room for the spine to function and then I cut where it looked about right. To add some ‘detail’, I cut some horizontal strips and glued them in place. Wanting to create a ‘bridge’ between the binding and the book cover, I cut some more strips of card ready to seal it all together.

 At this point, I should have coloured the back of my binding strip with some of the Patina. I later realised that once it had been stuck down, I would struggle to paint the inside through the spine (lesson learnt!)
To stick the binding, I used extra thick red tape along the outside edge of the card, not too near to the spine.

 The next step was to cut some vertical strips to make the ‘bridge’ I wanted. I used Magi-Bond Glue to saturate the strips and really press into the creases, making it look as ‘authentic’ as possible!
To add some interest and an ‘old world’ look, I applied Structure Paste through one part of the Honeysuckle Stencil along the top edge. This was repeated on the front and back of the journal.

Now for some colour! Taking the Verdigis Rusty Patina and an 18mm Stencil Brush, I liberally stippled the Patina all over the journal. Around the stencilled corners I was gentler with the stippling so that I did not take away from the detail, but over the rest of the journal I really wanted some lovely, grainy texture; the Patina does all the work for you here, with the real rust contained within it.

Once the Verdigris was dry, the colour darkened and intensified. Now the real magic starts…
Taking the Rustique Patina and the same Stencil Brush, I concentrated on areas that I thought would look most ‘battered’. This time my method of application was a more ‘dry brushing’ technique, dragging the brush up from the edges into the centre of the book. Once the Rustique was dry and applied to both sides, I was ready to bring it all to life with some Bronze Alchemy Wax. I applied very small amounts with my finger, dusting over the top of all the textured areas, stencil detail and binding features.

To make the bookplate, I used a metal embellishment I had found in a bargain bin somewhere (we all have a box of ‘randoms’ don’t we?!) It wasn’t the right colour, but no problem, that’s what the Rusty Patina is for! I did not have a sentiment that would fit either, but again not a problem, I typed one, sized it, printed and cut it to fit. Obviously, at this point the wording panel was far too perfect, so I screwed the paper up and applied some Scattered Straw and Vintage Photo Distress Ink. My finishing touch was to flood the embellishment with Glossy Accents and leave it overnight to dry, giving it a glassy, mystical look… (the photo below shows this before it started drying!)

The dragon that I used on the front cover was an MDF embellishment that I also coloured with the Patinas and Wax, before applying Glossy Accents over the top. Voila!

My daughter (Adele, age 12), like me, is also a huge fan of everything fantasy, mystical and magical, and she was bursting to create some pages for the inside, so of course, her first page had to be the contents page:

Finally, the finished journal...................


ST Structure Paste - New !!!     ST Honeysuckle   Planner Journal A5  

Rusty Patina - Verdigris    Rusty Patina - Rustique     Alchemy Wax - Bronze   

18mm Stencil Brush       Magi-Bond 100ml

 Thank you so much for reading my post and for all your lovely comments in regards to this project over the weekend. I am so pleased it was liked, as it is very nerve-wracking making samples sometimes! See you next time!

Martina xx



  1. The journal is gorgeous, Martina, very well done. I would love to see it in real life, I bet the texture on the cover is amazing.

  2. How beautiful your journal is Martina. So authentic looking too. I will definitely be giving this a try on one of my journals when they arrive. Thank you so much for a brilliant tutorial too. Have a Good Day. Hugs Rita xxxx

    1. Thank you Rita, I'm so glad you like it! Please show us your finished journals, whatever you decide to decorate them with! xxx

  3. This is fabulous Martina, I love it, thanks so...much for sharing this with us all.
    Hugs Jennifer xx.

    1. Thank you Jennifer, it's so good that we all make different things! xx


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