I’m so excited about this month’s printable ephemera downloads, in a geeked-out, paper and ephemera fangirl way. We’ve taken some incredible vintage ephemera and photos and turned them into two pockets, a mini file folder, and a tag. A little cutting, folding, and gluing, and you have some great new embellishments to incorporate into your art. I had so much fun working with these, and I’ll show you how I made an art journal page that incorporates the file folder, plus a few more ideas.
First, let’s take a look at the goods. There are two folded pockets, a mini file folder, and a tag. All have images created from my personal stash of vintage photos and ephemera, such as ledger paper and French receipts. The best thing is that you can print the library pocket and the file folder with images on the inside and the outside. So cool, no? Instructions for how to print them are on the pdf. A huge round of applause goes to Janice Tapia, a production designer for Interweave, who designed this amazing printable ephemera.
I love incorporating pockets and folders in my handmade books and art journal pages, but they also make great card and gift card holders, too. I can’t wait to see how you use these in your own artwork!
I decided to use the file folder as the focal image on an art journal spread. The lovely woman featured on the front reminded me of an ethereal flower fairy, so I went with a flower theme and chose a limited palette of dark red, titanium buff, and black. Working in a spread in landscape journal, I brushed a coat of gesso on the pages and, when it dried, I painted both pages a deep red, using acrylic paint. While the paint was still wet I moved it around with a wadded up paper towel, creating a swirly texture. I then masked off the top third of the spread and stenciled a Moroccan design with titanium buff. To add a bit more visual texture I dry-brushed wisps of titanium buff over the entire spread.
After masking off the stenciled design I stamped some vintage roses over the dark red, again using titanium buff. More stamped images were added with black permanent ink, and for a little detail I splattered some black paint on the pages. A strip of washi tape was adhered along the dividing line. Quick tip: If you have washi tape that doesn’t stick that well, spread some glue stick on the underside and it will stay put.
To decorate the inside of the folder, I adhered some rose images and text from a vintage book. I also fussy cut roses from some fabric and adhered those as well.
For the outside, I used another fabric rose and stitched on a small fabric tab. I love interactive art journal pages, and the file folder allows you to add photos, text, drawings, fabric scraps, and more, all of which will enhance the story you’re telling. The folder was adhered to the page, and I also added a vintage black and white photo of roses. But it’s the surprise of opening the folder when it becomes part of the journal page that makes it all come together.
There’s so much more you can do with this printable ephemera. The mini file folder makes a great book cover on its own! I cut some found and decorative pages to fit inside the folder. For the cover, I glued a piece of sheet music to the spine and stamped two images.
After placing the pages inside the cover, I punched three evenly spaced holes and bound everything with a pamphlet stitch, using decorative ribbon and a tapestry needle.
Here’s another way you can use the library pocket: Print the template onto the blank side of a sheet of decorative paper or cardstock. Cut out the pocket, fold and glue and tabs, and now you have a fun contrasting back panel (below, left). And guess what…the tag fits perfectly inside the library pocket (below, right)! How did that happen?
We hope you have fun with this printable ephemera, and if you share your work on Instagram, remember to use the hashtag #clothpaperscissors!
Looking for more great paper art projects? Try these mixed-media infinity flip cards by Jill McDowell!