My son had an imaginary friend when he was a toddler. Unfortunately, I was unable to photograph the elusive friend and he has since disappeared.
What better way to capture the essence of imaginary friends than with clear scrapbook pages?
There was a lot of trial and error involved with this seemingly simple project, so I’ve divided the post into two sections: how I made this page, and general tips for making clear scrapbook pages.
How I Made This Page:
- Transparency (I got one from my husband’s office stash)
- 2 Bazzill Basics 12×12 clear “plastic paper” (found at A.C. Moore craft store; also available online at Scrapbook.com)
- Invisible Thread (can be found at sewing stores)
- Heidi Swapp’s “Lemonade Stand” ghost letters (old product in my stash that had my name written all over them)
I printed journaling on a transparency with an inkjet printer. Transparencies are kind of flimsy and have a rough side for the ink to stick. I wasn’t sure how long to allow for the ink to dry, so I waited until the next day to touch the transparency.
My scrapbook album is 5½ x 8½” so I trimmed the transparency to about 6 x 8½. The extra ½” was to allow for hole punching.
I lined up the ghost letters, put a few sticky tabs on to hold them in place, and stitched them to the transparency with invisible thread. Ghost letters are thick, transparencies are thin, and invisible thread is stretchy, so I stitched slowly. The tabs were not as temporary as I’d hoped and left some sticky residue upon removal, so I had to lightly scrub the areas while avoiding touching the ink. I tied and cut the loose thread ends.
At this point, I could have simply put the page in a clear page protector and been finished. But I decided to make it a stand-alone clear page.
I trimmed two pieces of clear plastic paper to 6 x 8½ just like the transparency. I sandwiched the transparency between them, and punched holes in one side. The plastic paper added support to the flimsy transparency.
You would think I’m in the home stretch now, but oh you would be wrong.
Every piece of lint in my house decided to cling to the plastic. When I managed to get the lint off one side, more would cling. It was a race to see if I could make it to the sewing machine before more lint attached itself to the inside layers. Maybe my house is just extremely dry and static-y.
Finally, I stitched the edges with invisible thread. Again, this was tricky sewing because two layers of plastic paper is thick (like the ghost letters) and because invisible thread can stretch and break. Plus I was still trying to keep lint away. I tied and cut the loose thread ends.
This is what the page looks like with another scrapbook page behind it:
Can you see it? I’m pretty sure there’s lint trapped inside.
Anyway, it’s a fun page and my children love it.
Tips & Ideas For Creating Clear Scrapbook Pages:
1. Transparencies are expensive (and yes, my iPhone photo skills need work… I almost cut off the price). Unless you find someone who works in an office and beg them for a transparency (I mean, who uses overhead projectors for presentations anymore?), you may want to skip to Tip #2.
2. Vellum is a good alternative to transparencies. They’re not totally clear, but they are easy to find, way cheaper than transparencies, and you can print on it.
3. Bazzill Basics plastic paper is clear and sturdy. You can’t print on it (I tried), but you can use a permanent marker (Sharpie), rub-ons and/or stickers on it. It’s also good for stabilizing flimsy transparencies and vellum.
4. Instead of a clear page, create an imaginary friend using plastic paper and a Sizzix die cut machine (or cut out your own).
5. Invisible thread is nice but stretchy. If you’ve never used it before, try practicing on scrap paper/transparency first.
6. Ghost letters are unfortunately hard to find now (ha! hard to find ghost letters!). I saw some in the clearance section of Michael’s craft store last month, and there may be some available online.
7. When arranging ghost letters, if you use a few sticky tabs to temporarily hold them in place, be prepared for sticky residue.
8. Keep your eye out for other clear items that could be useful: Dymo clear embossing label tape, acetate shapes, clear buttons, even clear packaging materials.
9. When photographing clear layouts, try having the light source behind the page to reduce glare and reflections.
Clearly, this was a lot of fun!