Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tutorial: Four Seasons Accordion Booklet

Tutorial time! Today I am sharing a step-by-step tutorial using Karen Burniston's Sizzix Accordion Flip 3-D Album die, as well as a lot of other dies and as always some fun techniques.

This die is fabulous and there are so many possibilities, you can make an accordion card, a mini-book, or even attach it to a scrapbooking page. It is a Bigz die, so it is not large, but you can make a pretty large project with it. I did a Four Seasons accordion booklet with four pages, you can add as many pages as you need.

Here's the outside when the mini-book is folded up. I used some of my favourite quotes about nature and built a little seasonal scene on each page, using ink, stamping, shrink plastic and paper.

Here's how I made this:
The Bracket Frame die coordinates perfectly with the Accordion Flip Album die, both the inside label and the outer frame. This is a very useful die, it cuts a fabulous label and two different frames. I used all the parts on this card. Die cut as many pages as you need from watercolour paper (or another cardstock that can handle water, such as manila).

Since Distress Inks are reactive with water, they work perfect for watercolour techniques. Smear two shades of blue on a craft sheet and mist lightly with water. Use a paint brush and apply an even layer of clean water where you want your sky to be. I took this photo at an angle, so you can see how wet the paper is. The water helps the ink to move around and blend nicely. Start from the top with the darker shade of blue and start dropping ink in, continue with the lighter blue and leave some areas the white of the paper. Quickly drop in a little bit of the darker blue to create cloud shadows. Leave to dry. Don't fiddle around too much with the ink, you usually get a better result by working quickly, before the water dries, and then let it dry.

Continue in the same way with the other four labels. I used Salty Ocean and Tumbled Glass on all the skies, by altering the amount of water, you can get many values of blue from one ink. My spring and summer skies are bluer than the autumn and the even paler winter sky.

After the skies are completely dry, use the same techniques on the grass/snow. This time, start by painting clean water only on the grass area, one at a time, and then drop in two shades of green. I used Shabby Shutters and Mowed Lawn for the spring and summer grass, Peeled Paint and Forest Moss for autumn and Iced Spruce and Pumice Stone for the winter snow. Leave to dry, or dry with a heat gun.

To add some texture, I used background stamps and stamped with the same colours Distress Inks, holding the stamp in my hand for a random impression. The spring scene was stamped with Shabby Shutters and the summer scene with Mowed Lawn and an alphabet stamp (below the spring scene on the photo) and with birds using Stormy Sky. The autumn grass was stamped with Forest Moss and the snow with Iced Spruce and a dotty texture stamp.

Die cut the Accordion Flip album four times from white cardstock (only two are shown on the photo). Cut the flaps off the first page since you don't need them - I forgot to cut the flaps off from the label on the first page shown here. Apply adhesive to the places shown, I used Wonder Tape, but you could use another double-sided tape or glue dots too. Karen shows how to assemble the album in this video.

Attach the pages as shown in the photo, and continue with the rest of the pages in the same manner.

Here you can see all the four pages attached together. I adhered the four labels on top. If you want to you can decorate them first. Don't attach the flaps on the labels yet, that will make decorating difficult.

Die cut two frames from kraft resist paper using the Bracket Frame die.

Attach them to the front and the back of the accordion book using double-sided tape. Here you can see the front of the book. The Accordion Flip die both cuts and scores the pages, but you have to help the score lines along a bit when you fold up the book.

Now to decorating the pages. Since I wanted to create little seasonal scenes, I need small embellishments, and one of my favourite ways of creating them is to use shrink plastic. You can see how much the pieces shrink if you look at the large cloud on the photo, which is still the original size. Die cut the Tree & Heart, clouds from the Kites Framelits set, and Birds on a Wire (which might need a bit of help with scissors) from shrink plastic. Stamp some of them. I used a swirl stamp and Olive Stazon ink on the tree, a text stamp on the birds and an alphabet stamp on two of the clouds with Jet Black Stazon. Shrink according to the instructions on the package.
I decided that I needed more shrink plastic pieces, and cut a Mini Bird, Mini Tattered Leaves and a Mini Butterfly. The leaves were stamped with a texture stamp and Olive Stazon ink and the butterfly with a dot stamp and Pumpkin Orange.

Color all the shrink plastic pieces at the back with alcohol inks. I used Stonewashed and Lettuce on the birds and coloured the wire with a black permanent pen. The leaves were coloured with Sunset Orange and Meadow, the tree crown with Meadow, Lettuce and Pesto, the trunk with Meadow and Espresso, the heart with Red Pepper, the little bird with Stonewashed and the butterfly with Sunshine Yellow. The clouds were painted with white paint at the back, to create a fluffy look.

Let the alcohol ink dry, then paint the back (where the alcohol ink was applied) with white paint. This gives a more opaque look to the pieces. As you can see, the paint picks up the colour of the ink a bit, but that doesn't matter.

To give a more finished and rounded look to shrink plastic pieces, I like to apply a layer of Glossy Accents on top. Do this on all the pieces and put aside to dry.

I had to break off a little piece at the bottom of the trunk of the tree, so that the tree would fit on the label. The trunk was placed into the wet glossy accents on the crown.

You might see the glossy accents on the birds better on this photo.

I wanted some parts of the scenes to be paper, for a variety of materials. The tree from Halloween Shadows was die cut twice from green and brown Core'dinations ColorCore cardstock (there are three trees on the photo, but I didn't use one them). This is a Halloween die, but many of the shapes on it work great for lots of other themes too. I also cut the fence from white cardstock and the little owl from brown Core'dinations. The Mini Pine was cut from Kraft-Core Core'dinations. All the Core'dinations pieces were sanded a bit and white paint was dry-brushed on the branches of the pine tree.

I wanted to repeat the label shape, and die cut it from shrink plastic. Punch a hole at the top (remember that the hole shrinks too). A sentiment was stamped on top with Jet Black Stazon, before shrinking. Here you can see how much it shrinks.

Coat the label with Glossy Accents and leave to dry. I pierced a hole in the frame and used a jump ring to attach the label.
Time to assemble the scenes. I used four shades of blue ColorCore cardstock to die cut the names of the seasons, using the Alphabetical Sizzlits die. Sand the letters a bit. Print quotes that you like on ledger paper and cut into strips. The flowers were die cut from white cardstock with the Tattered Flower Garland. Glue all the pieces with Glossy Accents.

The summer scene, with the butterfly fluttering over the picket fence. Each of these scenes would work very well as a card too, if you don't want to make the whole accordion booklet.
The owl can be glued so that it looks as if it is sitting on a branch of the tree. The leaves are falling down.

Finally, the frosty winter scene, with one small little blue bird and one of my favourite quotes.

When the labels are decorated, you can finish the assembly, by attaching the flaps on the labels to the label before it.
Every second flap is attached in front of the frame, and every second flap behind the frame piece, as you can see of this photo of the finished project.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Thank you so much for the visit!

Happy crafting!

Surfaces: Ranger shrink plastic; Tim Holtz Idea-ology Kraft Resist paper stash; Core'dinations Tim Holtz Color-Core and Kraft-Core cardstock; Bazzill white cardstock; Basic Grey Basics 6 by 6 ledger paper; Daler & Rowney Watercolour paper
Stamps: Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz: School Desk, Mixed Media, Mini Ornates, Tiny Textures, Words for Thought; Hero Arts Seasonal Memories LL007
Ink: Ranger Distress Ink: Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Shabby Shutters, Mowed Lawn, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss, Stormy Sky, Iced Spruce, Pumice Stone; Stazon Jet Black, Olive Green, Pumpkin Orange
Alcohol ink: Ranger Adirondack: Espresso, Denim, Sunset Orange, Red Pepper, Stonewashed, Butterscotch, Sunshine Yellow, Pesto, Lettuce, Meadow
Paint: Ranger Adirondack Snow Cap
Adhesive: Ranger Glossy Accents, Wonder Tape


  1. This is such a work of art! STUNNING! I love your use of shrink plastic! I, too, have an affinity for the surface but can't use it as masterfully as you!

  2. Oh wow- each panel is a masterpiece! Was trying to figure out how you did the tiny birds- shrink plastic! So cool! Love this Anna- Karin :-)

  3. Holy wow! This is AMAZING! You blow me away. All the detail is incredible! LOVE!

  4. Anna-Karin, I love everything you make, but this one gets extra love. It is, in all ways, a masterpiece. WOW!

  5. Wow! I agree with Karen and Eileen - this is a masterpiece!

  6. WOW! Lovely - this is just a true work of art - thanks for the inspiration.
    my wish list is growing .... need those dies!
    Sandra ltb

  7. Wow! This is really overly awesome! I LOVE how you created the scenes with shrink plastic. I wanna run to my Stamp Hole and create!

  8. Wonderful piece! Each season is its own work of art. Have to try the shrink plastic pieces. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  9. You are creatively BRILLIANT!! Each season is beautiful and I love your use of the shrinky dink!!

  10. Wow, wow, wow! Such a great idea that makes into a wonderful booklet! Love the tutorial and your imagination, Anna-Karin. NancyD

  11. That is an amazing mini album, love all the various textures looks so fun to do!

  12. Another amazing work of art!!! I love what you have done with the shrink plastic.
    Thank you for the tutorial and inspiration!

  13. Another amazing work of art!!! I love what you have done with the shrink plastic.
    Thank you for the tutorial and inspiration!

  14. That is such an awesome project! Love the little shrinky bits!!

  15. Wow! You did a fantastic job on this! Love it!

  16. Wow, that is amazing, the shrink plastic really adds a new dimension, really cool project and loads of great tips, thank you.

  17. This is just amazing! I have been desperately trying to buy that die and it is out of stock everywhere! So bummed.

  18. I adore this project! So many different technique's to try and so many interesting layers...thank you for sharing this adorable project!

  19. Absolutely beautiful! I admire your creativity and perfect works!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! Happy Crafting!