Wednesday, April 14, 2021

How to make an album cover from a table placemat

Hi, Friends! I'm back with my as-promised tutorial of last week's Mini Album made from the New Eileen Hull Folio die. I will be breaking this tutorial into segments this time around. The entire project was just way too long to cram into a single tutorial. In today's segment, we will be covering how I made the outside cover of my album using a plastic table mat. Let's get started!

Supplies Used
Eileen Hull Folio Journal (Sizzix)
Eileen Hull Mandala  (Sizzix)
Big Shot Foldaway  (Sizzix)
Mat Board (Sizzix)
Vinyl Table Mat
Black Gesso (Golden)
Red Peonies (I Am Roses)
Red Rose Buds (I Am Roses)
Daisy Leaves (I Am Roses)
Red Crinkle Ribbon
Paint Brush
Kitchen Shears
Fine Tip Permanent Pen

These are the two Eileen Hulls I used in today's tutorial...
The Folio Journal and...

The Mandala die.

I started with a plastic table mat I bought at my local dollar store. It was highly detailed with a lace-like pattern. But it was 1) plastic and 2) gilded gold and blindingly ugly (to me- seriously not my taste but I'm not knocking it if it's yours-seriously. To each his own).

I really loved the pattern and could easily envision it toned down and believed it would make a gorgeous cover.

I started by laying my mat board onto my mat and using it as a guide to cut the table mat into long enough strips to cover the back and front of my cover. I used a permanent pen to trace a thin line and then hand-cut the strips with kitchen shears. This material is somewhat thick and would have been too difficult for my crafting scissors to go through without overworking my hands. The serrated edges of kitchen shears, on the other hand, cut through the mat like butter.

I made sure to get the flowers all along the top edge onto one strip and the latticework all on the other.

Since both my mat and my mat board materials are on the thick side, I decided to die-cut them separately as to not overstress my machine. If the material you're cutting is too thick you could potentially break your machine if you force it. 

Before die-cutting, I ran my mat board through my Xyron Creative Station. I covered both the back and front of 2 whole pieces of Sizzix mat board. I left the protective film on, then die cut my mat board piece with the Folio Album die. Then Die-cut the plastic mat strips, with the gold side down facing the die.

Once die-cut, you'll see the lined impressions left by the crease blades. I used a pen and ruler to enhance all these lines so I could see them better. Then used my kitchen shears once again and snipped apart my mat.

I only needed one spine of each side (pattern). I will be gluing the spines together so I needed full contact free of the mat in this section.

Then I removed the protective film off the mat board and individually added my mat pieces onto it.

The top row pictures below show the inside of the folio cover. The next row is for the front cover. Take notice the gap of bare matboard in the last picture, that is where the spines overlap and connect. Remember, the entire matboard is cover in adhesive already so all I have to do is press the pieces together and adhere the spine.

Once both the back and fronts were adhered to the mat board, I applied and completely covered it with black gesso. I waited until one side was dried before proceeding to the next side.

At this point, I'm very pleased. The cover looks tons better already just covered in black!

But I did want to accentuate that gorgeous detail. I used Sizzix's new Luster wax over the raised edges. I simply dipped my finger into the wax pot, dabbed or scraped off the excess, and rubbed the raised details of the table mat. I continued this until both the back and front were completely covered.

For the outside of the front cover, I die-cut a mandala from heavyweight cardstock. Because this is a heavily detailed die I made sure to line my cardstock with adhesive first before die-cutting and also die-cut it using a Sizzix Chrome Precision Plate.

I adhered it to a piece of patterned paper that I had previously used on another part of this project (it will come into play in another follow-up segment). Then cut it out with my craft scissors. Cutting a background helps to ground the mandala. I'll be adding this to my from cover and I didn't want the intricate details of the mandala fighting with the lacey details of the mat. Matting the mandala focuses your attention on the mandala and brings it to the forefront.

Up till this point, the cover has been very monochromatic. I wanted to give it a pop of color. and added a splash of RED with peonies and rosebuds. Then surrounded it with daisy leaves and sprinkled in tiny white flowers. I attached the flowers using Quik Grab adhesive, a heavy-duty glue that grabs almost immediately.

Then finished off my cover by adding a crinkle ribbon in a matching red color.

Here is my finished album cover...

I love how this turned out! The details of the mat are accentuated beautifully with that gorgeous luster wax!

I think that red color is striking against the black, don't you?!!

Well, that's it for this portion of the tutorial! I hope you enjoyed how I transformed my dollar store mat into a beautiful album cover!!

Stay tuned for the next installment of this tutorial! We will be diving into the GUTS of this folio album and working on all the inside pieces- POCKETS, TUCKS, PAGES, & MORE!!

Thanks for stopping by!!
And until next time...




  1. great tutorial! that cover is so gorgeous. =)

  2. Wow! This is amazing!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow - I thought your cover was made with an embossing folder when I saw it on the hop - what a great table mat and love how you blackened it and then highlighted it with the paste - a beautiful journal Mitsyana!