Monday, November 7, 2011

December Daily 2011 : Cover + Foundation Pages

Today I wanted to share my December Daily album shell that I will fill next month with daily entries + stories as we prepare for Christmas.

First, the cover. I've been very attracted to all of the woodgrain scrapbooking products out there now. Just a few months ago I used Hambly's woodgrain paper on my Scrapbook on the Road. It's been out for years, but it is still a hot pattern + texture. So my idea for my cover was to use 1/16" plywood + stain it. It was a little bit of an experiment too, but the 12" x 24" piece I bought was plenty to play with. I bought a small $3 sample can of water-based stain in a coffee color and went to work. I'm using Ali's 2010 December Daily overlays (more on that later) which are 6" x 8", so I cut my covers to 6 1/4" x 8 1/2". I rounded the corners, sanded everything, and after two coats of stain, this is how it turned out :
I love how the grain pops through! I could have probably put a third coat on, but was afraid to lose that texture. So I let it be. There are so many possibilities with a wood cover!
For the cover embellishment, I hand-drew (is that a word?) 2 pointsettias on freezer paper and ironed them onto some scrap ivory felt I had. If you've never used freezer paper (I hadn't) - this is where I learned about it. Pretty freakin' cool. It makes it way easier to cut shapes into felt and fabric. Nice. I cut out the felt poinsettias, turned the top one so the petals didn't completely overlap, and put a couple of stitches in the center to hold it together. I used my tape runner to adhere the flower to the wood album and then added two 1/2" glue dots (for height) to attach the December 2011 button from Ormolu. I wrote our last name on a mini hang tag and dangled it from the button with some baker's twine. And the cover was done!

If you missed it last week, I wrote a little tutorial on how I made the cover on my 2010 album.

My foundation pages, if you want to call them that, ended up being what I've been calling "bookmarks". I chose 6 holiday patterned papers with colors that matched the Ormolu Merrymaker Number Tags that I got. I cut them all down to 3" wide x 8" high and so I got 4 bookmarks out of each 12x12 sheet, plus I got another 3x8 from the gray polka dot paper (since there is no 'direction' to the paper). I adhered a number to each bookmark - kind of like a file folder tab. I attached the "3" first to get the center, then the "2" and "4" just above + below, and then the "1" and "5" at the top and bottom. And then the next group of 5, and so on. Last year I did all 31 days of December, but this year I'm only planning to do 25. Here is how the bookmarks turned out :
And a couple close-ups. VERY simple. Maybe too simple. I might add some stitching :
All of the papers I choose have either a nice pattern on the back or are a solid color that matches the front. My thought right now is to use the back side for journaling only - to tell the story from that day or that photo.

I'm trying to stretch my dollar a little further with this project, especially because I/we still need to purchase all of the photos that go inside the album, so I'm using the overlays Ali designed last year. I deleted the day of the week in every .png and replaced it with the correct day for 2011. I did not print all of those daily pages like last year because I am planning to use them as photo overlays - where the entire 6x8 page will be a photo with this overlay on it. Maybe with a little text or embellishment added later. On the back of each photo will be the first page of the next day and I don't know yet how I'll fill that. Maybe more journaling, some ephemera (haha, Kristin!), clipping from holiday cards we received, more photos. I'll figure that out when I get there.

For the title page, I used the one from 2010 (with the number 25) - changed the year, changed the .png to red and printed it on transparency :
So, as you flip through the album, it will be :
  • title page / transparency
  • December 1 bookmark
  • (back of bookmark is for journaling December 1)
  • December 1 photo / overlay
  • (back of photo is for extras from December 2)
  • December 2 bookmark
  • (back of bookmark is for journaling December 2)
  • December 2 photo / overlay
  • (back of photo is for extras from December 3)
  • and so on...
And that's it! Are you playing along this year? I'll be watching the links go up on Ali's blog with everyone's foundation pages. Love the inspiration!


  1. I can hardly wait to see it all put together. Very nice.

  2. I really really love the cover! I made my own cover too, but it isn't as beautiful!


  3. I LOVE your cover! The cream flower is perfect.

  4. Love love LOVE the cover. I'm an architect and we get samples of pre-stained wood in the office from time to time. I've kept a few pieces at my desk for a while now thiknking I'd make a DD cover with them one of these years... after seing yours I am DEFINATELY doing that next year. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love your cover!!! Absolutely beautiful and so unique! I can't wait to see how it turns out...

  6. Your cover is beautiful - very warm, cozy and simple. All things I love. Plus, way to make it work financially for you this year! Definitely will check back to see your other stuff...

  7. This is just lovely---what a sweet treasure it will be! I came here from Ali's tweet about your cover---very cool! ;D

  8. This is fantastic! Such a fun project:)

  9. Gorgeous. I love what you have done. I'm still on the fence if I'm going to do one, but you may have tipped me over.

  10. Your cover is so beautiful! This looks like such a fun project; I've seen it on Ali's blog, but I've never done it. I'm thinking of trying a simple digital version this year.

  11. your cover is nothing sort of gorgeous! and I love the logic of the book date pages - lovely.

  12. Love your album!! And I'm drooling over your cover!!! I just may steal your idea!! Thanks for sharing! Off to check out your Etsy shop!!

  13. Nicole - I wanted to leave a comment to let you know how much I love your 2010 DD. I wanted to do one last year, bought everything and then went into a panic about second guessing size, etc. etc.

    I decided this year I am just going to go with it and came across your 2010 book. I have to say it is exactly what I want out of my DD and have to thank you so much for the inspiration.

    I am looking forward to see what you do with 2011...I will be creating right alongside.

  14. Superb! LOVE the simplicity. Enjoy adding the story ...

  15. Hi there - love this idea! I scrapbooked and journaled for years, and now make coffee table books out of other people's works of art - so that they can have more than just one copy, and keep one for when their children get older. Sort of a family history. I'd love to make one for you of one of your gorgeous book - free of charge of course - in exchange for you letting me use you as a sample. Let me know what you think! You can find me at - thanks! I love your things, am off to peek at your etsy site!

  16. Love woodgrain :P So simple yet cute !

  17. Very cool! I love the idea of a wood grain album (for anything!) Looking forward to seeing your pages!

  18. This is FABULOUS!!!!! How did you cut the wood down to size and round the corners?!

  19. Thank you!! NoraAnne, the plywood is thin enough to cut with an exacto knife and a metal straight edge. I snipped the corners off with the same knife and used sandpaper to smooth all of the edges and round the corners. :)