Friday, 17 April 2015


Hi everybody

Here's my Niches project for PaperArtsy. I decided to use an old catalogue and a box lid to make a kind of shadow box in a book. Just a bit of whimsy for my Easter scheme in the house so I wanted ice cream colours and a sense of Spring. I've used pretty much what I had to hand, so it's paper, glue and paint PLUS the all important catalogue and lid box. Nothing fancy but it does make a really solid structure so it's not going to fall apart any time soon.

It struck me how well Clare's stamps would go with my much loved Squiggly Ink stamps. I knew I wanted to make a paper doll and the rest was

Once Upon a Time there was a sad neglected catalogue and a lonely box lid who wanted to be together always...

I carefully trimmed out the pages from the catalogue and stuck the box lid to the back panel of the book cover (my glue of choice for most things is Cosmic Shimmer but any strong glue will work well).

Now line the whole thing with paper. I used little strips of waste paper glued on and sealed with Mod Podge, which is another staple item for me, but you could also use a gel medium or PVA glue if you prefer. My waste paper was a horrid shade of green so I laid down a coat of gesso as well.

The swirls were drawn free-hand with Cosmic Shimmer glue.

When it goes clear it's dry; then you can paint over it. How I love that Mermaid Fresco paint! When dry I sealed with Liquitex Iridescent Medium but actually I could have mixed it with the paint and got the same effect (brain not firing on all cylinders that day...). Finally I highlighted the swirls with Treasure Gold in Aquamarine

Now for the paper doll. I used the girl from Clare's latest release EDC04. There are lots of fantastic free resources for paper dolls on the internet but in the end I decided to draw a pair of simple arms and attach them with brads so I could move them and pose the doll when I assembled my project.

To make my niche I cut three identical tag shapes with my die cutter using some old packaging. I've stuck a small piece of acetate on the back layer to give my doll's heart something to "float" on and then layered the other two tag pieces on top with foam squares to give the heart a niche to sit in.

I made the skirt with plain old white tissue paper and, to be perfectly honest, I'm still wondering if I should have stamped some pattern onto the tissue paper using the additional stamps on the plate. The only reason I didn't was because I wanted the eye to move across the top of the page rather than be distracted by anything at the bottom. It seemed like a sound enough reason at the time but all that white space is kind of tempting.

A bit of paper ribbon for a belt, a magic wand made from a punched star, some gold glitter and a quilting pin (they're longer with a larger head) and I was ready to move onto the other side of the book

I used Squiggly Ink stamps for the sentiment (from the Mini's range) and the dragon flies. I used my Copics to colour them in and sealed them before fussy cutting them. I used some dies to make a sort of hanging sign. The leaves were painted with Fresco paint in Guacamole and then highlighted with Treasure Gold. The little magic stars are just bead spacers. I thought they were pretty and they draw your eye from the doll to the sentiment

I kept the cover of the book pretty simple because I loved all the swirls so much AND because I didn't want anything too bulky that's going to get knocked off when I slide the book in and out of my book shelf. I couldn't resist adding a few little flowers though. I'll have to see how they fare over time.

...and that's it. They all lived Happily Ever After...


Blimey! That was an EPIC post. I hope you're not too traumatised. I hope it's been interesting and I've given you some useful ideas. You could definitely adapt this idea to make all kinds of things. I have plans to make a junk journal and a printer's tray by adapting the same technique.

If you haven't lost the will to live please check out the PaperArtsy blog for links to all the PaperArtsy products I used.



  1. This is gorgeous Lauren, your swirls are fabulous - I thought they were embossed at first! You have chosen such pretty colours and your paper doll is beautiful.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  2. Incredible. Love it. So inventive. Thanks for the step instructions too. I would never have thought of using glue to make the 'embossed' swirls.

  3. Beautiful, the sentiment is the wording in my card to Keith on our Wedding Day 💖💖

  4. Lauren, this is a project and a half, and what an amazing job you did. Love your swirls, and that aqua is one of my favorite colors. Your doll is fantastic. The sentiment is awesome, love that! Lots to look at and enjoy, over and over again.


  5. Lauren this is so beautifully made, love your swirls, very inspiring. Thanks for sweet comment on my blog.

  6. Not sure how I missed this matey but it's well worth the wait - fun and FABULOUS, love the added texture with the cosmic shimmer too

    Happy Sunday



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