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story books from recycled paperIf this looks a bit familiar you are not wrong: this is a tutorial to make a story book like this one here. The workshop during the Etsy Craft Party was a success and I was simply amazed by all the little variations in outcomes and creative uses of material provided. That’s the best part of this technique: it’s simple, but very versatile.

To start you will need the following items:

DIY story book tutorial

– One big piece of paper to fold into a story book. Magazine pages work the best because they are quite thin and fold very well. Plus you are bound to find a nice colourful and interesting looking page to use. You can download a free folding guide here.

– Washi tape for decoration and seal off the edges so that they look nice and straight. I simply adore washi tape and it’s become more and more common to find in ordinary shops. There’s also a brilliant selection available on Etsy.

– For the story itself I use pages from old books that have fallen apart. You can also just skim a magazine to find the words you need. However, book pages do give a nice atmosphere to a story book. If you don’t have any ready you can order a packet of 20 pages with a variety of colour, typefaces and languages on Foregone Finds.

– Glue for sticking all the interesting bits and pieces into your book.

– Scissors or an x-acto knife for cutting all the interesting bits and pieces out.

– Optional: a pencil to press and slide over all the folding lines so that they are extra sharp and neat.

2a

– Also optional is a piece of sturdy paper to cut a nice envelope packaging from. You could also print out a nice image on sturdy matte photo stock to use if you can’t find anything else. I have uploaded a free template to use here. This envelope is for (gift) packaging only as it is too small according to post regulations!

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Now the most important part is picking out a nice piece of paper to fold into a booklet. Like I said, magazines are perfect for the task. Just keep in mind that you’re going to fold it into eight pages (counting both sides) and every page should have something interesting on it for your background. In the image above I’ve drawn a rough guide to keep in mind how your pages are going to look like.

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Once you’ve picked your paper it’s time to fold. Keep in mind that for step 1 and 2 the side you want to use needs to be visible from the outside when you fold.

1. First you fold it lengthwise. Use the pencil to press and slide over the fold to accentuate the fold.

2. Open your paper and now fold it crosswise.

3. Keep your paper closed and fold each end towards the centre to make a sort of a harmonica.

4. If you open up the paper again it should look like this.

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5. Cut alongside the first fold from step 1 until you reach the crosswise fold from step 3.

6. This should show how far you should cut. Now hold the paper on both ends of the cut and carefully pull it open…

7. Until it looks like this. You have now basically made your own booklet and the possibilities are endless.

8. Look through your booklet to decide what the cover should be. The orientation of your story book could be both portrait or landscape, so you can weigh that into your decision.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the edges won’t align. That’s okay! It’s pretty impossible for it to do so no matter how careful you are because paper always has a thickness. I go around this problem by taping up the edges with washi tape.

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9. You can tape up as many edges as you want. Personally I like to mainly tape up the cover and leave the inner pages be.

10. You can use the same colour tape for your project or mix it up. If you mix it up it might be fun to carefully make a cross cut with an x-acto knife where the two tapes meet so that the transition between two tapes looks more smooth.

11. And you’re done! Once you’ve taped the edges it won’t be possible to choose a new cover, so choose wisely the first time.

12. You can now trace the envelope template over the paper you want to use for packaging and cut it out. The thicker paper will be harder to fold so you might want to go over the inside of the fold very lightly with a scissor or a bit harder with a pencil. You can use glue or washi tape to close the envelope.

Now that you’re done it’s time to decorate the inside. I can’t really tell you how to do that; it’s up to you and your imagination! But if you need some help here’s an example:

DIY story book tutorial

As you can see I’ve kept the text quite minimal. I made up a short story myself and then went on to look for the words in the book pages. You will find that it is extremely hard to find the exact words, so it might be best to look for parts of words or even individual letters. If you’re consistent in the pages you use it won’t look too much like a ransom letter! For the story book above I only used two pages. It’s best to keep it short and simple or you’ll be browsing for the right word for a week!

The story is (with bookpages mentioned):

1. Op een nacht zat Rena voor het raam 2. de sterren te tellen. 3. Toen ze bij 70 was 4. viel er een ster uit de hemel. 5. Ze wenste om een vriend 6. en kreeg een schat.

Translation:

On one night Rena was sitting in front of the window counting the stars. When she reached 70 a star fell down from the heaven. She wished for a friend and received a treasure.

6And this is basically it! Above are some more examples and variations of how it can look. I like to stick a white square on the back to write the name of the recipient or add a small message. You can buy all of these booklets in a story book kit that comes with loads of recycled material to decorate them with in Foregone Finds. Each kit contains a booklet and envelope packaging, 2 book pages in English and 2 book pages in a different language, various interesting bits and pieces to decorate and a piece of matching washi tape to close the envelope. These kits are like the minimal effort for great results!

If you finish your story book I would love to see the results!

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***Don’t forget, two days left to participate in my giveaway quiz “Music as a muse”. Everyone has an equal chance at winning a goodie set, one goodie being the notebooks in this post.***

I am so in love with the colour combinations of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black/key). It dates back to the days that I first started out tinkering with photoshop and graphic designs. I mainly kept busy making signatures (images below someone’s post in a forum). There would usually be trends that came and went. One of them was the CMYK colour combination trend and it definitely stuck! For me these colours will always look hip and retro. So it’s no surprise that they keep sneaking into my  designs.

To prepare for a christmas fair I had all kinds of ideas in my head for what I could offer. Sure, I could always offer what I already have, but making something new is so much more exciting. Plus, I can immediately test out if people like it. Now I’m sure my family means well, and I like getting compliments from them, but hearing thoughts from strangers about my designs is a lot more satisfying. One of the designs I’ve thought up was a simple notebook, with graphic design elements. I wanted it to look funky and retro and wanted to do something subtle in the inside instead of just making a fancy cover. I headed over to photoshop and created a pattern which I printed out in the CMYK colours.

Printed colourful patterns

I was pretty pleased with the result. The pattern naturally forms lined paper, perfect for writing on. And if someone wants to draw or scribble, they can also do this on the blank pages, as I only printed everything out on one side. Now I had to start thinking about the cover. I needed something sturdier and eyecatching and it had to go with the paper inside. I immediately thought of my Hahnemühle tracing paper which I use to sketch out my geometric designs. The paper is sturdy enough and sheer which gives awesome results when printed on.

Hahnemühle tracing paper makes for great effects when printed.

This part was a bit tricky because I had to think about what the printed pattern would look when wrapped around the notebook. They are of A6 size, so only a quarter of the printed paper would be viewable from one size. I probably could have made a design and then mirrored it two times, but I am someone who first does the hard/tedious way a couple of times before I figure out I’m an idiot and I could have done it a lot simpler 😛 I printed out the pattern I already had and some other designs.

Blending in

The different kinds of paper and colours blend in perfectly together.

Bundling everything up

Bundling everything up.

The sheer paper has such an awesome effect when combined with the other patterned papers beneath it. With magenta and cyan I immediately think of anaglyph 3D images you have to look at with the red and blue glasses. Very pleased with the result so far! Now to finish it up. The scary part…

Oh well, that wasn’t so scary!

I gave them a simple finish with some red thread and they are ready to be sold in packs of three.

Find more creative workspaces here.

This is another very simple tutorial for a shop banner for Etsy. Like the previous one it should be easy enough to follow for beginners of the program Photoshop. While the other tutorial focused on the texture and recognisable print of the products, this one has a focus on individual pieces as worn by models. This could also work with pieces that are photographed in a certain scenery, background or props. Products that are photographed on clear white background will not work for this tutorial.

This tutorial would work best for products that are worn on a model (clothing, jewelry or other accessories), are photographed with props or on backgrounds other than white. A romantic or classic themed shop could probably benefit most from this tutorial.

Freja, from LikeFreja, has offered her shop for me to experiment with. Her products and product pictures were perfect for me to work on. I especially love all the modeled pictures as they convey a beautiful atmosphere and really bring out the excellent quality of the products.

LikeFreja

Her pictures were perfect! They fit right into the coming winter season. The two pictures I chose are especially beautiful and soft. I didn’t want anything too bright to keep the banner calm.

This is the result:

LikeFreja

I’ve copied Freja’s idea of having the F in a different colour from her current banner. I feel like it’s a nice centre point of the composition. Now to begin the tutorial the first few steps are the same as the previous one.

Step 1

Step 1: You can open a new file by pressing ctrl + N or through the top menu: File > New

Step 2

Step 2: Your Etsy shop banner needs to be 760 pixels wide and 100 pixels high. Because the shop banner is for internet use only a resolution of 72 pixels/inch is more than enough. Select a white background so that it will blend in nicely with Etsy’s layout. Press OK to open your new document.

Step 3

Step 3: We start by selecting the type tool from the menu, but you can also get it by simply pressing T. Now you can either drag a rectangle following the canvas or simply click on the canvas and you can start typing. The former takes longer, but you can centre the text more easily.

Step 4

Step 4: Just below the main menu you will now see your text menu. Here you can choose your font. For this tutorial it’s best to use a simple sans serif font like Arial. I have chosen Helvetica ultra light, but you can choose whatever you like. A thin font would probably work best so that it doesn’t become too crowded. Finally I chose 93 for my size. Anything between 50 and 100 should be good, depending on the font and how much of the canvas you want to cover.

Step 5

Step 5: Now that you’ve chosen your font and typed your text you’ll probably need to centre it. Click on the Move Tool in the left hand menu or press V. Now you are able to drag the text around and even use your arrow keys to nudge it into the right position.

Step 6

Step 6: Open the picture you want to use. Make sure the background is not locked. You can do that by right clicking the layer and selecting “Layer From Background,,,” Next select the Elliptical Marquee Tool (or click M) If the right icon does not show up, press (don’t click) on the button and the right tool will show up. Now while holding shift, click and drag until you have the area you want to use. Once you let go you can still drag the circle around. Press ctrl + C to copy the selection.

Step 7

Step 7: Paste the selection in your document by pressing ctrl + V. Then you can press ctrl + T to select the transform tool. Hold shift while making the picture fit into the canvas. You can click and drag the image to the place you want it to be.

Step 8

Step 8: This step is optional. I didn’t like how close the letters were to each other so I opened the characters window (window > characters) and widened the gaps between the individual letters.

Step 9

Step 9: Repeat steps 6 + 7 until you are satisfied with the amount of product pictures in your banner. As you can see I also changed the colour of the letter F. You can change the colour of individual letters by selecting the text tool (T), selecting the text layer, clicking on the text area and simply select the letters you want to change colour the same way you would do in a Word document.

Step 10

Step 10: Once you’re satisfied you can save the banner (File > Save for Web & Devices…) Select jpeg at 100% quality and you’re done.

Done!

The result: Upload your new banner on Etsy and admire the result!

For Brigitte from BacaCaraJewelry I made a similarly styled banner. Here though I chose to display single beads from her jewelry. The beads are very warm in colour and they look very sophisticated. To make a banner like this it’s best to have the detail you want to use pictured on very white background. This way you can either use the magic wand tool (W) or roughly brush around the subject with the eraser tool (E).

As you can see you can easily be inspired by other designs and still give it your own twist.

Good luck on making your own shop banner! If you get stuck or simply need some advice, feel free to leave a comment.

In this tutorial I want to show you some simple ways you can make a shop banner that fits your product. If you don’t have Photoshop you can also use the free software The GIMP as well, but the layout differs so you’ll have to do a lot of searching. Nevertheless, it’s a fine program and it pays to get to know it if you cannot download afford to buy Photoshop. I am using Photoshop CS5, but you can use any version to follow the tutorial. Don’t panic if the screenshots look a bit different from what you see on your screen, you’re probably using a different version of photoshop then.

I will post another tutorial with different outcomes. The first is for a minimalist text banner. This tutorial is really basic, meant for beginners. It is very detailed and everything is explained step by step. Someone who is a bit more experienced might find the pace a bit slow. This tutorial works best for shop owners who sell products that have a lot of detail and are very recognizable. Products that might work:

Anything knitted or crocheted, paintings with strong brush strokes or water colours with lots of details, (silk) scarfes etc.

Mada has gracefully allowed me to use her shop for this tutorial: MADEbyMADA. What I really like about her products are her earrings with traditional folksy prints. She has them in wonderful colour combinations and different sorts of print.

I wanted to make a subtle reference to these products in the banner, but also something that fits with Christmas which is coming up soon. I chose the last pair of earrings as I don’t want a print that is too busy.

So this is my result:

Now you can make your own banner based on a product picture. First, let’s start by opening photoshop.

Step 1

Step 1: You can open a new file by pressing ctrl + N or through the top menu: File > New

Step 2

Step 2: Your Etsy shop banner needs to be 760 pixels wide and 100 pixels high. Because the shop banner is for internet use only a resolution of 72 pixels/inch is more than enough. Select a white background so that it will blend in nicely with Etsy’s layout. Press OK to open your new document.

Step 3

Step 3: We start by selecting the type tool from the menu, but you can also get it by simply pressing T. Now you can either drag a rectangle following the canvas or simply click on the canvas and you can start typing. The former takes longer, but you can centre the text more easily.

Step 4

Step 4: Just below the main menu you will now see your text menu. Here you can choose your font. For this tutorial it’s best to use a simple sans serif font like Arial. I have chosen Helvetica, but you can choose whatever you like. Depending on the thickness of the letters you might have to consider making it bold text, because you’ll want to see some details. Finally I chose 70 for my size. Anything between 50 and 100 should be good, depending on the font and how much of the canvas you want to cover.

Step 5

Step 5: Now that you’ve chosen your font and typed your text you’ll probably need to centre it. Click on the Move Tool in the left hand menu or press V. Now you are able to drag the text around and even use your arrow keys to nudge it into the right position.

Step 6

Step 6: The text we have now is merely a guide for what we are making. Lower the opacity in your Layers menu to about 60%. Your text should look a lot lighter right now.

Step 7

Step 7: Our text base is done and we need a new layer in which we are going to paste our textures. Press ctrl + shift + N or click the small icon at the bottom of your layers window.

Step 8

Step 8: Since this will be only a short tutorial, you probably don´t need to name every layer individually. However, it´s good practice to name your layers and keep everything organized for when you need to back to a project.

Step 9

Step 9: The new layer will show up at the top of your layer list. Click and drag the new layer in between the background layer and the text layer.

Step 10

Step 10: It´s time to import image you are going to use. If you have it online you can copy (right click and copy image or select it and then press ctrl + C) the image and then paste it in the new layer. If you have it on your computer you can either open it (file > open) or drag the image file into photoshop. Then you need to select the whole image with ctrl + A and then copy it with ctrl + C. Either way you can paste the image in the new layer by pressing ctrl + V.

Step 11

Step 11: Since the image is bigger than your canvas it will align to the top left corner. To get it into the position you want you can select the Move Tool (or press V) and drag the image.

Step 12

Step 12: Because several steps ago you lowered the opacity of the text you now have a clearer view of how the texture will look in text form. As you can see I chose to use only one of the earrings as a texture. This means I will have to do this in a few more steps, but that’s okay.

Step 13

Step 13: Now we need to get rid of the undesired part of the picture. Click on the magic wand tool or press W. Make sure the magic wand tool is selected and not the quick selection tool. You can check that by clicking on the icon. Once you have selected the magic wand tool you need to select the text layer and click anywhere on the canvas where there isn’t any text.

Step 14

Step 14: Next, select the texture layer and hit backspace. As you can see the inside of the A and D are also filled with the texture. For this design I have chosen to keep these letters closed. If you want them open you need to select the spaces one by one in the text layer and clearing them by hitting backspace in the texture layer.

Step 15

Step 15: You will probably have some overlay on the other letters that you do not want to use. Easiest way to get rid of it is by selecting the texture layer and either brush those parts away with the eraser tool (E) or by selecting it with the rectangular marquee tool (M) and then hitting backspace. Both ways should work fine.

Step 16

Step 16: Repeat steps 10 through 15 until the whole text is done.  The last step is clicking on the eye icon left of the text layer and you have a banner. This could be the end of your project if you like it the way it is and you can go on to step. I however think my text is a tad too bright for the Christmas feeling and isn’t pronounced enough. So I am going to work on that.

Step 17

Step 17: I don’t want to edit too much so I’m just going to add an adjustment layer: Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast. Make sure this layer is on top.

Step 18

Step 18: Play a bit with the settings until you get what you’re looking for.

Step 19

Step 19: If you’re satisfied with the results it’s time to save File > Save for web & devices. The reason I’m choosing this is because we want small files when creating images for the internet. There are still a lot of people out there with slow internetconnections and we don’t want them to wait forever, now do we?

Step 20

Step 20: Choose for .jpeg and a quality of 100. This is your last chance to spot any mistakes.

The result

The result: Upload your new banner on Etsy and admire the result!

For Helena from BrandlessBerta I also wanted to put an emphasis on the detailing of her work. However instead of repeating the crochet pattern, I simply wanted to highlight a very small piece in a big way. The piece I chose fits right into the coming colder seasons. The rest of the banner is very plain, very simple, but classy.

BrandlessBerta

Now you can take a look at your shop and think about what small detail you would like to put an emphasis on. Good luck on making your own shop banner! If you get stuck or simply need some advice, feel free to leave a comment.