Sunday, 21 September 2014

Giant Mixed Media Birthday Card/Scrapbook

It's my son's 10th birthday today. To mark this milestone event, I created a giant birthday card for him out of reused Amazon packaging. You know the large fold-over ones they use for sending out books? It's just just the perfect size for this project. It's not only a birthday card but also an art journal-type layout and a scrapbook all rolled into one!

I started out by laying down a thick coat of gesso all over the packaging. On the inside pages and flaps I used a mixture of gelli-print collage and acrylic paints for the background.

Altered Amazon packaging (inside pages)
Close up of Gelli prints used on the background

On the outer side of the three flaps I used ink soaked scrap paper towels from my previous projects. I really like the type of textured surface it created. On the front flap I stenciled 'Happy Birthday' with texture paste and heat embossed it with copper.  With hindsight, I wish I had left it just white because it would have suited the project better.

Heat embossing on texture paste on inked paper towel background

On the outside of the other two flaps I placed a photo of my son as a baby in 2004 and another photo that was taken just a few weeks ago.  It's fun to see the two photos side by side, then and now. I used some stenciling with texture paste and stamping with acrylics as decoration. The texture paste picked up some of the ink from the background, which is not a bad thing at all.

The outside of the two flaps

Foam stamping with white acrylics

Stenciling with texture paste

The flaps open up to reveal several more photos of my son - one for each year between 2005 and 2013. It's nice to see the progression from toddler to a tweeny!

Growing up

Stenciling with texture paste

On the main page inside, I created an art journal-style layout with a hot air balloon and inspirational words of adventure and discovery, referring to the excitement of being young and wanting to explore the world around you. This is what it looks like:

Art journal-style layout next to picture gallery

Where will your balloon take you?
Close up of texture paste 

Epoxy stickers on corrugated cardboard

I cut out these square images from a sheet of scrapbooking paper

A piece of burlap used for the basket of the balloon with #10 stamped on it

The project was completed with a birthday message on a collaged and painted background. I used foam stamps, rubber stamps and stenciling as decoration.

Birthday message

White stamping on a collaged and painted background

This was a monster of a project and took me three days to complete! I've put my heart and soul in it and I think I managed to create a keepsake that my son will treasure for years to come commemorating a milestone birthday. The hardest part was to keep it hidden from him until the big day! Mission accomplished! Happy birthday kiddo!

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