Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekender -- ATC Book

There are numerous methods for storing and displaying all of the ATCs (artist trading cards, for those not in the know) that you collect. I wasn't particularly fond of the idea of just putting them into the big binders with the trading card sheets: first off, that's how I store my Sizzix dies, so it might confuse me because I'm a dork, and second, because it puts multiple cards on a page, so that your eyes get distracted trying to figure out which one to look at. Also, it's just not as much FUN to look through them that way.

So, I went and did a bit of shopping, and figured out how to make a book to display ATCs so each gets its own page, and gives me a nice, small, portable album. What you end up with is a good-sized accordion-fold book.


--Mat board (my prefered -- you can get cheap sections in wonderful colors and textures at Joann's in the framing department, left over from them cutting custom mats, and they aren't that expensive: one $1 8x10 gives you a front and back cover with room to spare), chipboard, or some other sturdy material for the front and back covers.
-- Cardstock and patterned paper of choice
-- Adhesive (you'll want a particularly strong one to attach the pages to the covers)
-- Ruler
-- Paper trimmer
-- Scoring tool
-- SINGLE card plastic trading card sleeves (Walmart has a large pack in the front where the trading cards are)
-- 1/2" to 1" wide ribbon for closure
-- Xyron 500 or larger (optional, but perfect for adhering the sleeves)

Other embellishments of choice


1. Check the package of sleeves for size. Most are 3x4. You'll want to add at least 1/2" to it (3.5 x 4.5) for the pages so they're big enough for the sleeves. Add another 1/2" (4x5) for the cover measurements.

2. Cut your cover boards. If using mat board, a heavy duty craft knife works best: don't try to force it through all at once, you may need to make two attempts to get through it if you don't have a heavy duty blade.

3. Next, cut the paper to make the accordion folds for the inside pages to a height of 4.5". NOTE: 12x12 cardstock gives you 2 page sections, while you can only get one from 8.5x11. How many pages you cut depends on how thick you want your book to be. I kept mine to three sections, since most ATCs have some dimension, and the thickness can add up fast, especially with the sleeves. But these books come together so fast, it's easy to make multiples in a short amount of time. NOTE: Do not use light weight cardstock for the pages. The sleeves and cards will be a bit too heavy for flimsy paper -- you want the book to have some substance.

4. Measure out increments of 3.5" across the cut page sections. Score along those lines, removing any excess paper at the end. If you don't score and overlap the excess, you'll get a much neater two-sided book.

5. If you want, ink and stamp the pages now, before putting them together. It's much easier this way. Allow the ink to dry before moving on to the next step.

6. Fold at the score lines (if you've ever made a paper fan as a child, you know the basic accordion fold. If not, it's forward, backwards, forward, etc.).

7. At the last folded section, generously apply adhesive to the front of the fold. Attach to the back of the next page section. Repeat for however many page sections you've chosen.

8. Set pages aside. You won't attach the sleeves until the book is assembled.

9. Decorate the covers. Make sure that if you have any rough edges, they're smoothed out, or covered over with paper -- you can even use single-fold bias tape if you so desire. NOTE: The easiest way to do this with paper is to cut a long strip about 1 1/2" wide, put adhesive on either side of the long edge, wrap around the book, pressing the sides down first. Then work the folds into the corners. You aren't going to need to cut pages to cover the inside of the covers, because the folded pages will attach directly to it.

Alternate: Using either a paint pen, or paints (if you have a steady hand), color all the edges of the mat board so that raw material isn't showing.

You can stamp, layer paper, and add any embellishments you choose, and make a title to go on it as well if you like. If you're careful with how you decorate, you can easily make this album to where either side can work as the front.

10. On the inside of the back cover, attach two strips of ribbon, one on either side. This will allow you to wrap the ribbon around the book to keep it closed. Length is up to you, and whether or not you'll want to tie a bow with it, or use some other method of closing the ribbon (you can also use leather straps, and a buckle, just like a belt).

11. Using a sturdy adhesive (-not- a wet glue, Tacky Tape works great for this), adhere the very first fold to the inside of the front cover, and the very last fold to the inside of the back cover, making sure to cover the ends of the ribbon.

12. Time to add the sleeves. I recommend using a Xyron for attaching them, since like vellum, the sleeves are see-through, and in any areas the ATCs don't cover, strips of adhesive will be visible. If you do not have a Xyron, make sure you cover the back of the plastic sleeve entirely with adhesive, or use an adhesive recommended for vellum.

NOTE: Most plastic sleeves are equal height on both sides. If you want, to make it easier to remove and insert cards, you can -carefully- cut down the front, or use a circle punch and punch a half-circle into the front.

13. Skip the front fold that is attached to the front cover, and attach a plastic sleeve to the next fold, centering it on the page section. Skip the next fold, and on the next, attach another sleeve. (All even numbered pages) Continue until this side is completed.

14. Turn the book around, and work from the back side now.

15. When adding sleeves to this side, do not add them to the same fold where a sleeve is on the front. Alternate on the back as well. This will keep the book from becoming too thick and unwieldy.

16. Almost done! By skipping the inside front cover, this gives you a perfect place for journaling. You can put the date you made the book, if you made the book for a specific ATC swap, you can put that information as well, along with your name (or the name of the recipient if making it as a gift).

Now all that's left is to add your ATC collection, and close it up!

Here is the cover of my first one:

The flower stamp is from Queen Kat Designs March GET INKED kit. There are multiple flowers, plus leaves and the stem so you can build your own blossoms.

I used chipboard for this one, with mulberry paper around the edges. Both the front and back cover got a half-sheet of plain Grungeboard by Tim Holtz that I inked and distressed.

The closure ribbon, not visible in this picture, is a pale yellow grosgrain that matches the yellow in the daisy (which I made a Black-Eyed Susan, because of the obvious!).

This one is already full, so I'll be making another one this weekend!


Sierra Grannie said...

Super book Pooka, thanks for giving us the idea. I'm thinking I can finally use up those 1,000 photo pages I've been cutting out of books!

Queen Kat said...

sooo pretty!!!

You've been awarded. check my blog. :)

the dreamer said...

So cool! I used to do ATCs and now have them scattered around. Thanks so much for the inspiration on how to store them! =)


toners said...

what a great idea! TFS!!!