Steampunk Journal Cover

By  Gabrielle Pollacco  for  Cheery Lynn Designs

size: varies


  • Spiral-bound journal with removable covers
  • Kraft cardstock
  • Patterned paper of choice
  • Alphabet cardstock stickers
  • Assorted white buttons
  • Assorted self-adhesive gems


  • Die-cutting machine with Cheery Lynn Designs Dies: Steampunk Series Gear Mesh Border (B361), Clock with Angel Wing (B357), Gears Set (B340)
  • Stencils: Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection Layering Stencil Measured (THS012); The Crafter’s Workshop Art Is (TCW261); Prima Marketing Sunrise Sunset Collection 6”x6” Checkers
  • Inks: Clearsnap Brown Smootch Spritz, Tattered Angels Sea Glass Glimmer Mist, Ranger Tim Holtz Adirondack Pool, Maya Road Sunburst Orange Metallic Mist, Megilo Camass Black Pigment
  • Luminarte Egyptian Gold Twinkling H2Os Watercolor
  • Gesso
  • Homemade texture paste: talcum powder, white school glue, white acrylic paint
  • Adhesives: Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue; Multicraft 3-D Pop-Dots, Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue

Basic Supplies

  • flat paintbrush, thin plastic card (promo credit card), hairdryer, spray bottle of water, paper towels, paper trimmer, ruler, newspaper (to cover work surface)
  • 1. Remove covers from journal. Prime covers with two coats of gesso; let dry.
  • 2. Make your own smooth texture paste by mixing 1/4 cup talcum powder with 1 Tbsp. white school glue and 1 Tbsp. white acrylic paint in airtight container. Add water to achieve toothpaste-like texture. (Note: Store excess paste for months in air-tight container.)
  • 3. Die cut shapes from cardstock. Adhere larger die cuts and apply texture paste to front cover in layers as desired. Adhere die cuts using Mono Glue. Apply texture paste through stencils using promo credit card; dry with hairdryer after each application. Apply die cuts, then textures, then additional die cuts. (Note: To enhance depth, trim die cuts to run off edge and lay flush with texture applications.) Repeat on back cover.
  • 4. Adhere title stickers to front cover.
  • 5. Apply two coats of gesso to both covers; let dry.
  • 6. Adhere cogs and clock hands to cover using tacky glue and foam dots. Use foam dots on front cover only. Adhere buttons to covers using tacky glue.
  • 7. Apply two coats of gesso to added pieces; let dry.
  • 8. Spray inks on front cover, one color at a time in several layers, both diluted and full strength. Mist with water to fill crevices. Tilt cover to blend colors; blot with paper towels as desired. Dry with hairdryer between applications. Apply brown first, then teals. Repeat for back cover. Lightly spritz orange as desired, blotting heavily.
  • 9. Spritz watercolor paint with water; let sit to activate. Load paintbrush. Holding bristles parallel to covers, apply paint to raised surfaces only. When dry, apply second coat.
  • 10. Ink cover edges of with black ink. Adhere gems to centers of cogs and gears on front cover only.
  • 11. Cut panels of patterned paper to fit inside cover; adhere using tacky glue.
  • 12. Replace covers on journal.
  • Tip
  • 1. To view a step-by-step instructional video tutorial of this project, click here.