Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cutting Windows and Doors

 I know, it isn't quite Friday, but here's this week's technique a little early.
I hope you enjoy this jump start to a creative weekend.

This is an easy technique, and one that can add a lot of interest to a page.  Let's start with a door.
You'll need three consecutive pages in your AB, but only one will need to be finished (decorated), and you can do that either before or after cutting the window.

Page 3 is the one I'll decorate.  In the following photos, it's already been colored, and I'll talk more about what I used in another post.
First I'm going to stamp a design that will be the outside of my door, or the door frame.  If you don't have such a stamp, you can use border stamps, or draw the frame, or create one using decorative papers or ribbon.
Now, place your cutting mat under this page, and using your ruler and SHARP craft knife, cut around the inside on only three sides.

Attach a brad, bead, or small button as the doorknob.
Cut a piece of heavy decorative paper or cardstock a bit smaller than the door and glue it to the back of the door.  This will give it added strength and also cover up the prongs of the brad.
The image you put behind the door should be slightly larger than the door.  Arrange it on the page below the door page until you like the way it looks when you open the door.  (By the way, that is my Dad, and that is the backyard of the house I grew up in, in Brooklyn, NY.)
Then glue it down, and apply adhesive to the entire page, like this:
Press the page onto the adjoining one until they are well adhered to one another.  I will likely add more to this page, but wanted you to see the mechanics of making a door.
Your door can be any size or shape, and you can cut several on one page if you like.

A basic window is no different than a door except you will cut the inside of the frame out completely.  You can cover the window opening with a piece of acrylic or plastic or a transparency sheet to give it a more realistic window look.  You can add bars or even some fabric to look like a curtain.  The creative part is up to you.  And again, you can make a page that has one window or a dozen.

The window technique I like the best is a bit different.  You need four consecutive pages for this technique, and all four need to be decorated.  Here are the four I'll be using.  They were colored with several layers of glaze and bits of scrapbook paper.  

**NOTE**  This was my way of coloring the pages:  a layer of gesso, allowed to dry, a coat of glaze, allowed to dry, another coat of glaze in a different color, applied to only parts of the page, allowed to dry, followed by a final application of a third color of glaze, again to only parts of the page, allowed to dry. I added some torn pieces of paper (all from Tim Holtz's Lost And Found paper stack), and used a bit more glaze around the edges to help them blend into the background.

You will be cutting your window(s) out on the center page.  Place your cutting mat under the page, and stamp, draw or otherwise create the window.  I'm using a double arch stamp which will work perfectly with a photograph I have in mind to use.
Make sure your craft knife has a sharp blade, and carefully cut out the inside(s) of your window(s).
You'll see in a later picture that I stamped the arch again on this side as well.  What I did was ink the stamp, placed it face up on the adjoining page and slowly lowered this page down on top of it, making sure it was in the right position.  Then I pressed down, and now have the arch image on both sides. You can also decorate the outside of your window differently on each side if you want.

I have a portrait of my parents taken around the time of their marriage.  They didn't have a big fancy wedding, so this is the closest to a formal wedding photograph that I have.  It will fit perfectly under the double arch.
I've mounted it on paper that coordinates with the pages I'm using, and once I find the spot where it fits just right under the arches, I'll attach it permanently to that page with glue.
Here's how it looks with the window page over it:
And without the window page:
Now I have to find images to affix to page 4, so that there is something that shows from behind the arches when the window page is in the above position.  I have photos taken on my parent's Atlantic City honeymoon, and that seems like the perfect way to continue the wedding theme.
Doing windows this way does require a little advance planning, but I love that these pages are interactive.   By turning the window page you change the appearance of the page beneath it.

Last week when I added stitches to some pages, I mentioned that I'd be adding photos to the page adjoining the one with the niche.  Inside the niche is a photo of my mother at the beach the summer before I was born.  I found a photo of my mother taken at the same beach, off season,  right before she married my father, and one of him taken on the boardwalk on their Atlantic City honeymoon.  I think they work well on the page and alongside the niche, tell a nice story.  (Notice that I gently inked the photos with some brown and aqua to better go with the background.)

And this also points out that you don't have to finish a page all at once.  I started that page weeks ago, and have added to it a few times before feeling that it's done.


  1. Stunning, again! I still haven't started, lol! Perhaps I should at least find a book.....!!

  2. Coolio techniques! Love the interactive aspect. Your pages are GREAT!

  3. Wonderful! Love the technique, love how you've planned the two together. Thanks for all the information.

  4. I have never done an altered book and know very little about the techniques involved. What you have done is so beautiful - lovely aged, distressed look that shows off to perfection the lovely old photographs.

    This is definitely something I want to try!


  5. Love your window samples, Eileen!! FABULOUS pages and techniques!!

  6. Great tutorial. You really explained that well. Thanks for all the time you put into this post.