Hi friends,

I am deep in gift making mode still so I have more notebooks to share with you, this time using these cool baking-inspired chipboard elements.

So here we go!  As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to make some custom notebooks for some Christmas gifts and I thought the notebooks would be easy to post and easy to customise to each person.

Here are the notebooks I’m using, which are A5 size, and a popular size with bullet journalists so you will probably know the size I mean.  It’s approx 5.5 x 8.x inches. I started by painting the covers with black gesso, to give myself a good, primed base especially as these are clothbound books.

While that was drying, I sorted through my chipboards and selected a few that I might potentially use, keeping in mind the person for whom they were intended.   I had already made this notebook and this notebook and was now on to the third. I wished that I could think of something for my third notebook which was for a friend who has just become head lunch lady at her kid’s school…. Of course – the Kitchen Utensils set would be perfect! I was on a roll!  I also used Favorite Recipes for the title on this cover, and lined up the cord from the hand mixer so it looked like it was attached to the F in favorite.  This Favorite Recipes Title shape actually comes with a wooden spoon along the bottom of the Recipes word but I had to cut it off so I could arch the letters and make them fit on the cover.  I added the spatula and spoon to the bottom for the cover and glued everything down.  Then I used a few more of the utensils on the back cover.  There is one more shape left, an oven glove, which you will see at the end, but that also got painted with gesso!

Normally this is my favourite part of the process but this time I just didn’t seem to be able to decide how to paint this one!  So rather than paint with metallics, I decided to try matt acrylic in a nice light blue that was giving me 50s Diner vibes and thought it would go well with the recipe book idea.  So I painted it blue…

I left it to dry overnight but in the morning I wasn’t so happy with the colour – well that’s not exactly true, I do love the colour but not for this project.

Time was not on my side and I was very conscious of the pressure of needing to get this finished and posted!  With that in mind, I painted it yet again…

This is much better!  I used a gorgeous teal metallic acrylic and painted the entire cover and left it to dry again.

Then I used silver metallic paint and old silver wax to colour and highlight all the little elements on the cover.  I like to use my fingers for this job as they are easier to clean than brushes, though you can use old paintbrushes for this job, or stippling brushes also work quite well.

My dad always says “measure twice and cut once”.  I need to apply that to some of my projects lately as a bit of planning would save me some time and although I haven’t had any disasters, it could have happened very easily and perhaps with some of the elements that I can’t replace quickly or easily, so then I would have been stuck with no present for my friend!  If you want a less organic approach, sketch out a plan for your notebook covers, plan and test your colours, assemble all your elements in advance, and then glue them down and gesso them all at the same time.  As I started off with the intention of making Christmas cards, I did not have a plan in place for notebooks but was still able to make it work!

Oh and just because I felt like it needed a little more personal touch, I added her name onto the rolling pin using some Tim Holtz dies, and I also used the oven mitt chipboard from the set, and covered it in embossing powder, and tied it onto the bookmark ribbon as a little extra!

I hope you enjoyed this project and that it has given you some gift ideas for reasonably quick and customisable gifts that can be used all year round, but are perfect now for Christmas gifts that can be tailored to the recipient.

Till next time,


You can visit the GSL Cuts blog post here and links to the UK shop are in the Project Recipe below. Links to both shops can be found on their blog.



GSL Cuts – Favorite Recipes Title D54I, Kitchen Utensils D54J
A5 clothbound notebooks
Black gesso
Finnabair Metallique Paints
Finnabair Impasto Acrylics
Finnabair Wax
Wow embossing ink and embossing powders
From Stash: cereal box cardboard


Thanks for visiting today. Your comment is really appreciated.

GDPR Cookie Notice