Journals & Collaborative Projects

Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous collaborative projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:

Tutorials & Techniques

Below are some of our favorite tricks for adding depth and dimension to your art.  We hope you have fun giving these a try!

Current Group Swaps & Projects

Below is a list of current swaps and projects available to group members. If you are interested in joining our group and participating in these projects, please visit us at:  

For existing group members, you can sign up to participate  in these projects here: Swaps & Current Projects.  

We look forward to swapping with you.  Happy Arting!

Member Gallery for Group Swaps
Below you will find a sampling our members' work from previous group swaps and projects.  Click on images to view them larger. We hope this will inspire you to come and play with us! If you are interested in joining our group, please visit us at:
Come play with us... Join today!

Paper Traders is a friendly online community of artists from around the world. We nurture and value creativity, embrace new ideas, products, and techniques yet also value tried and true methods of artistic expression. Our projects consist primarily of paper arts, mixed media collage, artist trading cards, altered art, assemblages, collaborative journals, mail art, and more.

We are interested in creative individuals of varied skill levels who wish to challenge themselves artistically and help build a supportive community. We are at our best when we can share our creative efforts as well as techniques, resources, feedback, and insights. We encourage conversation about art, the art process, and what it means to be an artist.

Paper Traders is hosted on Yahoo Groups at
We hope you will consider joining us on an artistic journey!

In order to prevent spammers and to insure that all applicants are actual persons interested in creating art, a questionnaire will be sent to all potential members. When applying, please submit digital examples of your work or direct us to a website where we can view your art. The intent of the questionnaire is not to judge the merits of your art but to safeguard the integrity of our community.

Free Images for Download

Below you will find images that are owned by our group members and offered for your personal use as well as images found in the public domain. Images may be freely used in your personal artwork but may not be used for commercial purposes of any kind without written permission of the owner. No images may be used to create collage sheets or image collections for resale.

To download, follow the link provided. In some cases, you may be able to just click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click and select "save image as". Content changes frequently and many images are available for a limited time.  Please check back often for newly posted images to use in your art journey.

Open Art Challenges !

We're changing things up here at Paper Traders. Instead of the monthly challenges of the past, we'll now be hosting special challenges that might feature a specific technique or product and will be rewarded with actual prizes sponsored by our group members.

Our new challenge for 2013 is a year long word prompt journaling project/challenge. Each specific challenge will be open for one month and all art bloggers can participate, whether you are a Paper Traders member or not. Each artist will comment with a link to their blog post that features the artwork for that particular challenge. For each challenge, a winner will be selected whose art best exemplifies the challenge. The winning artist will be featured here and get a "Trader Treasure" blog button to display on their own blog. They also will receive one chance for each entry for the end of the year prize drawing. Watch this page for more details and challenge announcements.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Make a Manila Envelope Art Journal

Manila Envelope Journal Tutorial

I received a journal similar to this as a blog prize during
our Paper Traders Blog Hop (from Donna Miller) this past Spring.
I just loved the idea of it as well as the creative possibilities of where
I could take it, so I thought I would make my own.


12”x9”(30.4mm x 22.6mm) Manila Envelope
Designer scrapbook paper - stiff
Water color or Bristol board paper
Hole punch reinforcements
Large needle or book binding awl
Quilting or waxed thread
Paints, stencils, stamps, ephemera

1. Fold envelope in half and crease well. Cut two pieces of matching 
or coordinating scrapbook paper into 11.75”x8.75”pieces (29.7mm x 22.1mm).
Slip inside of envelope. These will line the envelope to make it stronger
and provide a pretty pocket inside at the flap end. Glue the scrapbook
paper at the ends to seal it to the envelope. Fold envie in half and crease well.

2. Reinforce the hole with paper reinforcements or you
may use a metal hole reinforcement that you can find
at the fabric store. You can leave the metal brad on or take it
off depending on if you want your pocket to seal or not.
I took mine off and used the flap to thread a ribbon through
to close my journal.

3. Coat your manila envie with a light coat of gesso.

4. Paint, embellish, stamp, and stencil to your hearts content.
Don’t forget the insides of the covers, front and back. 
I used a ribbon to close my journal but you could place a 
large button there that you could wrap
twine around to close it as well. 

5. Cut 5 sheets of watercolor or Bristol board into 11” x 8.25”
(27.8mm x 20.9mm) sheets. Fold in half and stack them together. 
Sew the signature of pages into the crease of the
journal with strong quilters thread, waxed thread
 or if you have book binding thread, all the better.

Here are a few Youtube videos on book binding techniques
in case you are looking for a different binding look for your journal:

6. Optional: you can lightly decorate that first and last back sheet 
if you want, like I did. I wanted my journal to open up 
and look like book end papers. 

We’d love to see what you come up with if you try making one
of these manila envie journals. Leave us a link to your  blog post , 
if you create one for us to see, in the Linky tool below.

Better yet, join Paper Traders as we will be swapping these
in an upcoming swap. Click the purple yahoo button in the
right sidebar for more information.

Happy Creating!!
Cathy Calamas


Jo Murray said...

That is such a great idea, Cathy.....and simple.

Bevlea Ross said...

fabulous idea... love what you've done :)