Mixed Media Technique- Art Journaling 101

Although this post was originally shared last year, I think it’s the perfect post for our “Exploring Mixed Media” chapter here at Gauche Alchemy.

We hope that you are inspired to get out some collage and paint and get messy. Enjoy!

Hi friends! Alchemist Rebecca here to share with you a little tutorial on how to start art journaling! Art Journaling is something I discovered by accident about five or six years ago! I started out scrapbooking, then found altered books and then my altered books turned into art journals! Art Journaling is a blast and I hope this post inspires you to try it!!!


Alright let’s get messy!!! I always start my pages out with some black and white type papers as well as my current favorite gold tissue paper; both of which came from our UNDRESSED Mixed Media kit! I tear my papers up and randomly glue them to my page!

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I then add Gesso (white paint if you don’t have any) all over the page with a palette knife (or old card)! I am a big fan of texture and this just does the job, its like frosting a cake!!

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I use an old room key or credit card to swipe paint all over the page, the flat surface of the card gets into all the crevasses of the textured back ground and adds some more as well! I love doing this particular technique because its quick, easy and dries fast! Plus it looks pretty awesome too!

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Ok now comes the fun part; decorating your page! There are so so many options here but this is kind of my process! I like to add some pattern and contrast (the plus signs, hearts and splatter!!) Then I like to find a focal point..


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In this case it was these two hearts I cut from my (overwhelmingly large) stack of painted papers! I also added some gold triangles around the page to add some cohesion!

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Found some cute gold stickers, added some washi tape and little circles and viola! My art journal page is complete! So how do you know your page is complete? My trick is to move around the page and just kind of trial and error it so to speak, if I try a few things and it just feels like nothing else fits then I go with it and call it a day!

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I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial and decide to jump in and try art journaling, there are so many possibilities

and really no wrong way to do it! So go for it girl take the leap!

Also, visit our online SHOP for some great mixed media kits and supplies to start you on your way.

Creating a Mini Journal using Artist Trading Cards

Hello!  Official Alchemist Ashley Findlow here.  Today I want to show you how I made this quick and easy Mini Art Journal using simple ATCs.  I found myself using many of the items included in my Wandering Soul Kit I received from Gauche Alchemy.  A complete list of items used will follow the tutorial.



Begin by deciding how many pages you’d like your mini journal to have.  I chose 5.

I began with 5 basic playing cards.

I began with 5 basic playing cards.

I covered all the cards with a couple coats of gesso.  Some folks may choose to lightly sand the playing cards before applying the gesso- I find that it isn’t necessary.  But, by all means, do it if it makes you happy!  :)

I added a very quick and inconsistent swipe of Opal Magic paint to one side of a couple of my cards.

I put two very thin coats of gesso on all the cards. Some with white and some with black. I used Art Alchemy (Finnabair) Opal Magic paint on one card of each color.

I put two very thin coats of gesso on both sides of all the cards. Some with white and some with black.
I used Art Alchemy (Finnabair) Opal Magic paint on one card of each color.   The color of paint I chose to use is Pink-Blue.  It appears to be Pink when put on a black surface, yet it appears Blue when applied to white surfaces.  How fun!

I always find things more interesting when they have texture.  It doesn’t have to be a lot.

I slapped on some pink paint with my finger, and topped them off by running some colored modeling paste over a stencil.

I slapped on some pink paint with my finger, and topped them off by running some colored modeling paste over a stencil.  I love adding texture to my simple Artist Trading Cards.

I dug through my piles and piles and piles and piles of fun and interesting papers and ephemera to find the items I thought were just perfect for this project! Featured here: UNDRESSED Mixed Media kit  and SEE-THRU Patterned Vellum pack. Once satisfied, I glued them on with my favorite product ever: Glue and Seal. (Matte, of course.)

I decided how to decorate the other cards, as well as the other sides of the cards.

I decided how to decorate the other cards, as well as the other sides of the cards.  I used plenty of items I received in the Gauche Alchemy kit “Wandering Soul”.  From patterned vellum to foil tissue paper, to punchinella and book pages, and more!

A quick and easy way to add color and texture is by using these hole reinforcements.  They are very cheap, and there are many ways you can personalize them.  I chose to spray with ink and them to stamp them with archival ink.  Be sure to use permanent ink when spraying these guys, or you’ll have a mess later on!

After the cards were completely decorated, I punch one hole near the center of the left side of each of the 5 cards. Then I reinforced the holes with these inked and stamped reinforcements.

After the cards were completely decorated, I punch one hole near the center of the left side of each of the 5 cards. Then I reinforced the holes with these inked and stamped reinforcements.

Some of the ATC details:

One of the "pages" in the mini ATC journal.

One of the “pages” in the mini ATC journal.  I added texture here by using joint tape.   I used some heavy matte medium to adhere the bigger items, and a thinner matte medium for the smaller items, like stickers.


My favorite page!

My favorite page!  I wrote my words with a white UniBall Signo gel pen, added some punchinella I got in my Wandering Soul Kit from Gauche Alchemy, a little jute cord, and a piece of paper ephemera to finish it up.


Here are photos of the finished Mini Art Journal:






This is the back of my mini journal.



To make this project I used:

5 Playing Cards

Single Hole Puncher

Various Items from Wandering Soul Mixed Media Kit

Dylusions paints

Art Alchemy Opal Magic Paint

Matte Medium


Paper Ephemera (Gauche Alchemy Variety Ephemera Pack is perfect for this!)

Jute Cord


Heavy Matte Medium



Prima Marketing Gypsy Cord

Joint Tape


There were a few other odds and ends like a stapler, etc. that I used.  I hope that this has inspired you to start creating your own Mini Art Journal!  Please head over to our Facebook group, Gauche Alchemy Studios, for more inspiring project ideas and to share your creations. Next month we will be offering a new inspiration topic; so stay tuned!

Happy Crafting!


Gold Ribbon Moments Journal


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Gold Ribbon Moments Journal

Hey y’all this is Chantal.  First let me say THANK You for such a wonderful welcome from everyone here at Gauche Alchemy!  I am thrilled to be able to share with y’all a little of my inspiration and creative process while encouraging you to be inspired and to find your creative strengths.


Gauche Alchemy Treasures!!

When I received my Gauche Alchemy Alchemist package, I was drawn to the 3 x 3 handmade papers that varied in texture and color in the Color Blocks Specialty Paper Pack. There was a hint of gold throughout the pack. I loved this and when combined with the Punchinella (I used the tiny circle Punchinella as both a stencil and as an element on the cover.). I had my inspiration. The color gold brings to mind (just to name a few) ….Kate Spade, wedding rings and  Olympic Gold medals.

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Handmade Paper squares

With this inspiration, I thought of a smaller art journal that could be a place to share Gold Ribbon Moments in the everyday lives of my family. It could be a place to record firsts or bests, a place to record good things and even greater things, blessings and joys… We each have Gold Ribbon Moments- sometimes we just need to write them down, so we can remember them in our days when the Gold seems out of reach.


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Close up of stenciled gold paste using Punchinella

To create this journal, I have shared the steps and techniques I used…let this be your beginning and “Go for the Gold” when you create your very own!!


1 small journal

Variety of Ephemera – Gauche Alchemy

Small circle Punchinella- Gauche Alchemy

Color Blocks Specialty Paper Pack – Gauche Alchemy

Painter’s tape

Block sander (like the ones for nails)

Collage Glue, Ultimate Glue


Nuvo Embellishment Mousse in Gold

or a creamy texture paste

Gold Ribbon- 2 varying widths

Zots glue dots

3 Gold Metal Medallions

Sizzix Die – Prize ribbon by Tim Holtz

Sentiment Stamps – various

StaZon Ink pad



  1. Tape the edge of the journal with painter’s tape.

Tape edges using painter’s tape


Play with the paper before adhering to the journal cover

  1. Sand the Front and back covers of journal. This will help the paper adhere. Some journals or small tablets have a shiny finish.
  1. Using Collage Glue and the 3 X 3 papers, create a pleasing background by layering different sizes of papers. I did keep all the lines clean as I felt this was a more elegant style.

Gluing the paper down with collage glue

  1. Repeat for the back cover
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The back cover

  1. Once dry, remove the tape. With a small brush, brush a small amount of gesso along the front and back edges and the middle seam binding. This doesn’t have to be a perfect edge, let loose and let it have a bit of an uneven look.
  1. Once dry, cut a small piece of the Punchinella. Lay the piece on the Gesso edges and spread a small amount of the mousse, using a Popsicle stick. Move the piece randomly as to create a border.   Let dry.

Punchinella as a stencil!!



Spreading the Mousse on top of the Punchinella

  1. Using, the Sizzix die and the paper from the gauche Alchemy packet, cut the prize ribbon pieces.
  1. Ink the edges of each piece. Set aside.
  1. Trim the banner piece form step 8 to fit the size of your journal. Stamp sentiment on the banner and the smaller piece.
  1. On the cover of the journal, adhere a small piece of the Punchinella with glue of choice. Cut a long piece of ribbon that will fit around the journal with enough to tie a bow at the front. Glue this over the punchinella and wrapping it around the journal.
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The journal completed.

  1. Build the prize ribbon with the glue dots for dimension and then adhere metal medallions to the cover of the journal.

**On the medallions, I added some of the Nuvo mousse in gold to make the medallions have more brilliance. **

12  Stamp banner with ink and sentiments of your choice and adhere to cover with collage glue.


Now, the Winner of the first Gold Ribbon Moment, YOU… For creating this journal!!

May you have many Gold Ribbon Moments to journal and to remember!!



There is nothing better than unwrapping and cracking open a brand new journal. The possibilities and potential for creating are wide open. Susan here today to share my first art journal entry in a brand new Dylusions journal. I don’t know about you… but for me staring at a blank page could be a bit daunting…

Not this particular day. I just received a box from Gauche Alchemy with the “UNDRESSED” mixed media paper art kit which was chock full of inspiration and goodies to run with… and I’m feeling a little “cheeky”!

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I have several different art journals, each have their own purpose and theme – art quotes, techniques/play, documented life, etc. Today as I unwrap this book it’s apparent that I need a place to drain and unload the drama when “LIFE HAPPENS”.

Growing up I had a diary, though it never saw much action. I was too busy reading, or cooking, crafting or babysitting my siblings. I guess I kept a lot bottled up in me, that stuff that propels most of our muses and drives us to create.

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How do I start these blank pages?? I grabbed a black permanent brush tip pen {that happened to just be out on the desk} and I began to write “Dear diary”…

I begin to unload the drama of my life from the past several months – totally raw and unfiltered – stuff on my mind that can’t be said to a friend or family member… the private things that I suppose are best reserved for “Dear Diary”. I get it all out. It started out a bit angry and with despair, but as I continued to completely fill the pages, the tone changed to that of hope and a pep talk to myself.  I don’t plan on going back to re-read it or dwell on it ever again. I feel undressed, yet refreshed and ready to get messy!

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Back to the “UNDRESSED” mixed media paper art kit… this cheeky collection features modern neutrals sure to spice up any scrapbook layout, card or mixed media art project. I have mentally taken everything off and put it onto the page and now it’s time to GET DRESSED.

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I took out my favorite base paint and completely painted over the written pages. I’ve probably mixed this up hundreds of times. One day it dawned on me to make it in an empty paint bottle – its simply a mixture of gesso with some glazing medium and a bit of color to my liking.

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This gives a nice wash with a bit of color, but the bold black type is still too prominent. I want to see it – but I don’t want to be able to read it. When this first layer dried, I went over with another layer of just white gesso – leaving the text slightly peeking through.

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With a nice textured base to start, now I need to add back in some color. Using a stencil with teeny polka dots, I brushed in some burnt umber pan pastel.

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I used the punchinella from my “UNDRESSED” kit to stencil in larger dots with yellow ochre pan pastel. I’ll dish – I have a reserved stash of punchinella just for stenciling. Thanks Gauche Alchemy for enabling this little obsession {teeheehee}.

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It was nice to not only break in a new journal, but to also play with my Pan Pastels for the first time. This added nice depth and pattern to the scripted background hidden below.


A nice neutral background from just a few steps. This will nicely display my nice lacy papered panties that I so enjoyed making!

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I free form cut pantie shapes using the patterned cardstock and patterned vellum from the “undressed” kit. The ribbon tied around the kit set me off on this racy adventure.

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I used some scraps of other ribbon and trim from my stash to “DRESS UP” three pairs of panties… to my delight! I’m usually a glue stick girl, but since I’m working with things that don’t work well with glue {ribbon and vellum}, I am using a herma dotto adhesive runner that I only use for ribbon.


For the layered woven lace/ribbon stripes I used clear mini glue dots. I used the dotto adhesive placed strategically behind where lace and ribbon details are placed to adhere vellum panties to the page.


Now with everything in place I use alphabet stencils to pencil in my quote. I fill in the letters with a couple colors of distress markers. I could have used stamps for this, but I was already in the handwriting mode and the stencils help make my scrawl more pretty.


I added a bit of color and shading around vellum shapes with distress markers and smudged out with my fingers. I fashioned a strip of cardstock from the kit into a narrow tag that holds some hidden journaling about what this page means and the time of life for prosperity.

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I edged the vellum panties with white paint marker and touched up some areas in the background where the type was bleeding through… with more finger painting. A labor of love complete with these pages fully dressed. Now I’m ready for more arting in this journal!

How you “DRESS UP” your art journal pages? I’d love to hear how you tackle a blank page. Have a creative day!

Susan M. Brown {sbartist}

Summer BUCKET List

Marsha here showing off a few journals I have made.  The first one is one of those $1.00 notebooks from the Dollar Store.  The second one I made out of canvas fabric and the binding and lock are made from an old leather belt.  The third one is made from book covers which I covered with joint compound (or you can use modeling paste) and then stamped a design on it.
This one I made using some  supplies from Gauche Alchemy! It’s my Summer journal.  Small enough to fit inside a cosmetic bag with a few supplies and I can journal on the go!


You will NOT be disappointed with these awesome KITS from GA!  I have to admit I got them mixed up but one of them is the Wandering Soul kit which has a book cover in it.  HOWEVER, you can purchase many of the supplies independently.  My FAVORITE Gauche Alchemy SUPPLIES are the PUNCHINELLA and the SEE THRU VELLUM KIT!!!


This book cover was in the kit!

I cut it in half and then added some fabric from an old money bag for the spine.  There are so many different ways to attach the spine, but I opted for a quick and easy way, staple gun!

The kit also included thread and rings.  I opted to do this quick and easy binding technique.   I’ve tried all sorts of different ones, but this one for me has been the easiest!  Are you getting the impression that my creative style is easy peasy and I am not neat about what I create?  I like a tattered look.  I prefer to tear pages as opposed to using scissors– besides the fact that no matter what I do, I cannot cut a straight line, take a straight photograph, walk straight ha ha

I used watercolor paper for my pages.  Can’t wait to cover them with paint!

We normally take lots of weekend road trips and a vacation in July, but with Sophie girl being laid up with her TPLO recovery, no road trips and/or vacation until August or September, so my Bucket List for this summer is pretty sad, ha ha.  Here’s mine!

So what’s on your LIST?!?!?!