Twig Journal and Crayon Etchings

Nov 15, 2012

Luckily, we have had pretty gorgeous weather on our vacation even though the forecast called for severe thunderstorms the entire week!  Today was the first day of rain so we were stuck inside for a few hours.  To pass the time, I thought of making a small sketchbook for my daughter to doodle in.  I was inspired by a little twig that Sophia picked up on our nature walk yesterday.  To make a twig book, gather a thin, but sturdy twig, a notepad, an elastic band and something with a point to make a hole in the paper.  


I prepared the sheets of journal paper by removing the resort logo and address from the hotel notepad. Scissors would be ideal, but since I did not pack a pair, I just ripped the paper by hand. I folded the paper first and then sharpened the crease by running my nail along the edge before carefully ripping the paper.  


I made eight sheets of paper for the book. I love the torn paper edges. 


I placed an elastic band along the left side of one sheet of paper.  I streched the elastic band straight, (but not too taught) and marked a dot on the top and bottom of the paper as a reference point where I would later make a hole to loop the twig through the elastic band.


A hole puncher would make a perfect hole, but since I didn't have one, I pierced a hole in the paper by using the sharp point of a nail file on a pair of nail clippers.  You could also use the tip of a pen or a cork screw.  I proceded to use the first sheet as a template to make holes in each sheet of paper.  


I made the holes bigger and rounder by pushing a pencil tip though the holes.


I pushed one end of the elastic band through a hole.  Then, I pushed the other end through the other hole.


I broke a piece of the twig about the same length of the paper and then put each end through an elastic band loop.


This is what the book looks like from the front.


This is what the book looks like from the back.  At this point your twig book is complete, but since we happened to have some oil pastels (the only art supply I packed!), I wanted to introduce my daughter to crayon etching. 


I took the twig book apart and my daughter and I filled each page with colorful oil pastels.  


Sophia and I colored a thick layer of black oil pastel over the lighter colors.  Crayons would work as well.


I put the book back together and kept the cover as well as some back sheets blank so that my daughter could create her own cover and have a few pieces of paper to draw her own pictures.  Plus, the crayon etchings can be be a bit messy (especially if you are using oil pastels) so a cover keeps everything a little neater.  Sophia used another piece of the same twig to create the scratch art.  She thought is was complete magic that a colorful design emerged as she scratched the black coating away.


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