Altered Art Journal Cover – Tutorial with DecoArt Products

I’m really excited to announce that I was selected to be a part of DecoArt’s Blogger Outreach Program! 
Today, I will demonstrate how to turn a boring art journal cover into something exciting and inspiring – using DecoArt products. 

(Disclaimer: While I receive DecoArt products to complete these projects – all the ideas and opinions are my own)


First up, here’s a time-lapse video, below I will have step by step instructions as well as photos!

Cast of Characters 

Gelly Roll Pen – White (Or any kind of SMALL white pen)
Black acrylic paint marker (I’m using a refillable montana marker). 
First you want to select the journal you want to use.
Here, I just used an inexpensive journal. I liked the cover but I felt like it needed something more.

Select the Decou-Page paper you want to use and trim it down to size.

Use the matte medium to adhere the paper to the journal. Do the front, let dry. Then do the back.
I also added a layer of matte medium on top of the paper just for added protection.

The Decou-Page paper is incredible… it’s not quite as thin as tissue paper, but not quite as thick as wrapping paper. It adheres very nicely to anything you are wanting to decoupage. It doesn’t rip or tear easily, but it also doesn’t put up such a fight like stronger paper does.

I was pleased that *some* of the original journal showed through the paper. If that’s not your thing, you might want to spread a layer of black or white gesso down first.
Go ahead and set the journal aside now. While it’s drying I used a piece of cardstock and began stenciling the face. This stencil has two face options. I picked my favorite.
For the stenciling, I used an old washcloth and some of the Payne’s Grey Fluid Acrylic. 

(Pro tip: Though not pictured, I used a couple small pieces of washi tape to keep the stencil in place. You don’t want it to move!)

Let your face dry… it won’t take long.
After that, go over the entire piece of cardstock with a layer of the gold fluid acrylic. Then, begin to outline some of the features with the white gelly roll pen. 

Using the black acrylic marker create the face shape, and fill in with Titan Buff fluid acrylic, and highlight with the Titanium White fluid acrylic.

Once the journal is dry it is ready for your next layer. Adhere the cardstock with the image of the face to the journal using matte medium. Once again, I added a layer of matte medium on top.

Then, make a puddle of carbon black mister in the top right corner. Hold the journal upright and allow that mist to drip down.

These misters caught my eye because unlike some other mists I’ve tried – they are completely permanent!  No longer do you need to worry about any additional layers reacting to your spray!

Let that mist dry before you continue so that you won’t accidentally smudge it.

Once the mist is dry you can now go in with adding some gears for the “hair”.. again, I just used some washi tape to stick my stencil in place, and went in with the washcloth and the Payne’s Grey.

Since the background is a bit darker anyway, I really wanted those gears to pop, so I outlined some of them (once the paint was dry) with the white gelly roll pen. 

For that pop of teal in the bottom right corner, I used a palette knife to mix together some of the Texture Sand paste with the teal fluid acrylic. Then I smeared it on with the palette knife, and dripped some of the carbon black mister to finish it off.

You may also notice that I added in another stencil embellishment in that bottom corner. I created that in the very same manner as the rest… and outlined with gelly roll pen. 

Once everything is completely dry, I added some button embellishments by simply sticking them down with some E6000 glue. 


What was once a generic cover, now has excitement and creativity and will *hopefully* inspire you to create more within it’s pages!

If you have any questions, comments or if you would like to share YOUR finished product, I welcome you to leave a comment below!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s