Art Journal Page With Sunflower Paper Napkin

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Taking some time to create something beautiful is both fulfilling and rewarding. When I feel the need to create I typically reach for my standard size travelers notebook from Planner Perfect. The paper quality is amazing and holds up to all the mediums I’ve used. It comes with 80 sheets of 24 pound journaling paper and even holds up to most pens and markers. This is my second mixed media art journal page created using paper napkins.

Check out my first art journal page using a paper napkin. It’s quite unforgettable and I’m totally in love with it. When I started this page I had no specific direction I was going with it other than I wanted to use these sunflower paper napkins. I used a variety of techniques to get the end result. I’ll detail them below.

While parts of this art project didn’t quite come out like I pictured in my head, I do still love the end result. Sometimes as you work with a project, such as this, and you’re not 100% happy with it; you just have to keep adding elements until you are satisfied.

01. Get Supplies Together

While you won’t know all of the supplies you’ll end up using, there are some essentials you’ll need to get your page started. For example, the napkin, mod podge, a brush to apply the mod podge, etc..

There was no shortage of supplies used to create this page. All you have to do is check out the supplies list below to know what I’m talking about. But that’s what gives this page so much dimension. For this project I did try another mod podge that was specifically for paper. Did it work better than regular mod podge? That’s debatable. I feel like I’m doing something wrong because my napkins always bubble and some corners don’t always stick down.

02. Pull Apart The Napkin

To get started you’ll need to separate the paper napkin layers. Sometimes napkins are 3 layers other times, 2 layers.

Once you have the napkin separated, the only layer you will be work with is the top layer which is the printed sheet. There are two ways to isolate the image or print that you’re planning to use in your design. The first way is to simply, gently tear the napkin.

The second way uses water. All you do is wet a paint brush to delicately run a border around the image you want to isolate. By using this technique, you will have better control over what is included from the image. This is especially helpful if the image has a lot of detailing.

03. Adhere Napkin To Page

Once you decide how you want the napkin on the page, you’ll need to adhere it to the page. But, don’t use glue!

Use mod podge to adhere the napkin to the page. It’s best to first put a layer of mod podge on the page and then lay the napkin down. Then use more mod podge over the top of the napkin to smooth it out and seal it to the page. After the page is completely dry, now you are ready to layer your elements.

04. Apply Gesso

There are two kinds of gesso I use -clear and white. Clear gesso will give your page some grit or “tooth” as it’s called. White gesso is great for adding white or light areas to your page. It’s also great for mixing with acrylic paint. Both types of gesso will give you a good base to start adding layers.

For my page, I used white gesso just on the parts of the page that was not covered by the napkin.

05. Add Acrylic Paint Colors

Once you have a good base on your page, you can start adding in acrylic paint colors. You can apply them using a brush, a sponge, a dauber or really anything that will give you the effect you are working towards. Don’t be afraid here to “get wild”. If you mess up, no problem! Simply use white gesso to cover it up and start again.

It was at this stage that I also added in the green “leaves”. I say that loosely because they were supposed to look like leaves and they ended up looking like green globs. To tidy them up, I added some gold acrylic paint in the shape of a leaf in each green area.

Still not satisfied, I then used my brown micron 01 pen to draw a leaf pattern offset from the other two leave elements.

06. Get Stamping

The next layer you can add is rubber stamping. I used acrylic stamps from Close To My Heart. They work perfectly and I love how easy they are to clean and store. Since I already had some sunflower stamps, I chose those to add into my page.

07. Use Stencils

Using stencils is a great way to give dimension to your journal pages. I used texture paste, a craft spatula and my new Tim Holtz burlap stencil. I just love this stencil! I used it to create my October journal intro page. The plan by using this stencil was to hopefully detract from those green globs.

After the texture paste dried, I used bronze acrylic paint over the tops of the burlap stencil.

08. Create a Flip Up Journal Space

As the page was getting filled I wondered where I would journal on it, or even if I wanted to journal on this page. It’s not a requirement to journal on every page you create. But, I did have a quote stamp I wanted to use because as the page developed it took on an autumn or fall feel to it. That the quote reads, “begin each day with thankful heart”.

I decided to create a small journaling space by placing some torn brown craft paper on the page and folded it in half. Then I used the banner style acrylic stamp from the same sunflower stamp set with Tim Holtz mowed grass (green) ink stamp. My most favorite part was using an embossing kit with the quote stamp with gold embossing powder. I’ve had that kit forever and just hadn’t used it. But, today was the day that changed and now I’m hooked!

09. Create Die Cuts

The last step in creating this art journal page was to use leaf shaped acrylic stamps to create some die cuts that I scattered between the two pages. This journal page is now finished and ready for a short memory or journal note.


If you are inspired to create a sunflower napkin art journal page don’t forget to share by tagging me on Instagram and using #btdinspired, I’d love to see your work (and I just might repost your photo)!

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