Mixed Media Journal by Colleen Balija – March 2022 Guest Designer

by Altenew

Hello crafty people! Look who is back at our blog again! The wonderful Colleen Balija is our Guest Designer for March is sharing with us a lovely handmade mixed media journal! If this is your first time hearing about Colleen, let's not keep you waiting.

Get to know Colleen

Hi, everyone! I’m Colleen. I live in the Chicago area of the United States with my husband and 85 lb dog named Atticus (who thinks he’s human). My goal is to eventually move to a place with a warmer climate like Arizona! I have two grown kids and one granddaughter, all of whom light up my life! I am passionate about my full-time job in human services and the mental health population. I adore music, reading, volunteering, and of course, crafting!

My crafting experience started about 6 years ago and has evolved into such a joyful part of my life.  I challenge myself constantly to learn something new.  I like to utilize my passion for volunteering in the crafting community, lifting one another up, building collaborations, and establishing lasting friendships. I hope to inspire you to do the same; you will feel so good about yourself when you learn a new skill, make wonderful friendships, and then pay it forward to your followers! I have met some of my dearest friends in this industry and feel so blessed to have found it. 

Colleen's Mixed Media Journal

handmade mixed media journalHello everyone!

It’s Colleen joining you on the Mixed Media blog! Today I’m going to show you how to create a handmade mixed media journal that would make the perfect gift for someone! Journals are a unique and fun way to send a personal message to your recipient, especially if you want to send a little more than just a card! And it’s very easy to do! 

mixed media journal

This journal is 6 pages and requires the following supplies: 6 sheets of white cardstock trimmed to 6.25 x 4.25, two sheets of black cardstock for the binding trimmed to 6.25L x2W, Altenew Mixed Media ink in Frayed Leaf, Buttercream, Coral Berry, Caramel Toffee, Frosty Pink, Ruby Red, Moon Rock Crisp Dye ink, Mini Blending Brushes, your favorite Altenew layered floral stamp (I used Fairy Tale Florals), Stone Mosaic stamp, and Wings of Hope stamp.

Creating the Mixed Media Journal Pages:

  1. Score the trimmed black cardstock at 1 inch and fold it in half. Adhere the two sheets of trimmed black cardstock together at one side so that you end up with 3 lips, as seen below. This is what the journal pages will be adhered to when finished. For now, set this aside. mixed media journal
  2. Create a geometric “frame” that the flower will be stamped within by placing a sheet of scrap paper over the white cardstock at an angle close to the edge of the page.
  3. Using a mini blending brush and Caramel Toffee Mixed Media ink, flick outward in one direction with the mini blending starting from the scrap paper and moving onto the white cardstock. There should be a blended line that forms onto the white cardstock. Below is a photo of what it should look like when finished.mixed media journal
  4. Repeat the flicking process about 6 more times, alternating between Caramel Toffee and Frosty Pink inks, until a geometric frame has been created on the white cardstock (leave plenty of room in the middle to stamp the floral image). Allow the pigment to dry naturally or use a heat tool to dry. To keep the lines thinner, do smaller flicks.
  5. Mask off the lines around the frame (as seen below) to protect it, and then stamp the floral image in the middle using Moon Rock Crisp Dye ink, don’t use black as it will be too dark).mixed media journal
  6. Stamp one of the layers to the flowers and leaves. Remove the masking. The flowers will look like they are incased within the lines!
  7. Stamp 2 or 3 sentiments around the florals, lining them up with the inked-up lines.
  8. Stamp a square from Stone Mosaic stamp around the edges of the inked-up lines using Coral Berry ink. Do 2nd generation stamping so the image is light.mixed media journal
  9. Finish with embellishments as desired.
  10. Repeat the steps above for the remaining 5 journal cards, but change the design, colors, and sentiments on each one to keep it interesting and create a story. See below for layout ideas for each journal page.

mixed media journal

Binding the Journal Pages:

Once the journal pages are complete, put them in the desired order and then adhere each page, one at a time and back-to-back, onto the black binding that was created earlier. Allow enough time for the glue to dry. There should be 3 double-sided pages when finished. Add washi tape at the seams on each page for extra binding strength. Use a bone folder to press the washi tape down firmly.

TIP: Be careful not to add bulky embellishments on the pages or they may not close properly.

This journal will fit nicely in a 5×7 envelope! So glad you joined me today and I hope that you will create your own mixed media journal. Thanks for stopping by!

This is amazing, Colleen!! A mixed media journal made completely by hand from scratch! This would make such a heartfelt gift too! And I love all that masking, the look is very modern and pretty too! Thank you so much for being our Guest Designer for March and we do hope to see you again soon! It is always a pleasure!

Everyone, please leave a bit of love for Colleen in the comments below and let her know your thoughts on her project. Thank you for reading! 🙂


Wings of Hope Stamp Set
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Stone Mosaic Stamp Set
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Fairy Tale Florals Stamp Set
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Mini Blending Brush Set
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Moon Rock Crisp Dye Ink
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Ruby Red Pigment Ink
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Frosty Pink Pigment Ink
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Caramel Toffee Pigment Ink
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Coral Berry Pigment Ink
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Buttercream Pigment Ink
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Frayed Leaf Pigment Ink
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