Christmas Recipe Book - Guest Design for

Hey Procraftinators! 

Today, I am so excited, because I am sharing my first guest design project. I am guest designing for Taylormadecards4u. Monica, the owner, has a bunch of fun stuff that she sells on her site - from the cards she makes to awesome digital kits.  You should check her out! Today, we are going to talk about one of her passport kits. The Santa's Workshop kit to be exact. I have included a picture of the kit here & will point out the elements that I used as we go along.  I was extremely impressed by the quality of the images when these came out of my printer. The colors were bright and crisp. They are gorgeous!

I chose to do a bit different project with this kit. I know, I typically make card videos. However, I am a woman of many talents and I do occasionally make things out of paper, other than cards. I thought it might be fun to make a Christmas Recipe Book with this kit. I know the images don't scream cooking. However, I had my mind set on making a fun, vintage inspired cook book for some reason and that is what I did. 

I started by ink blending my layering pieces for my cover. The largest layer piece measures 5" x 7". The Christmas Ad paper is from the Santa's Workshop kit and I used Ground Espresso on this one. For most of the papers in this book, I used Vintage Photo, but this paper was much darker and Vintage Photo wasn't showing up well, so I went with the Ground Espresso instead. I even ink blended the plain solid colored cardstock that I used. The solid cardstocks I used are Paper Accents brand. I find that it die cuts wonderfully in my Gemini and it cuts great on my Cricut too. For the green paper, I used black soot, as the browns did not show up. The red paper, I used vintage photo. On the inside of my cover, I used the Santa paper, instead of the Christmas Ad paper from the kit. For this paper, I used the Vintage photo (pictured below, along with the first divider in my cookbook, which we will discuss later).

Next it was time to assemble my covers. I am making this recipe book with the Happy Planner Discs and the Arc Punch. If you are not familiar with the Happy Planner or Arc Punch system. It is a neat binding system that allows for you to add or remove pages really easily. It's popular in the planning world, but I use it for all sorts of things. I made an art journal using it so I can remove the pages to work on them and not ruin the rest of the pages while I get messy. Anyways, it will make more sense as we get further, I think. I started by cutting the chipboard out at 7 1/2" x 5 1/2" and then punching it off screen. It barely fit in my Arc punch. So, covering it and punching it was not a good option. Ask me how I know! Yeah, this was my second try on a cover, that's how I know! Anyways, then, I cut my patterned paper to size and punched it. This plaid paper is from Hobby Lobby. It is the Paper Studio's Plaid Tiding's paper pad. All of the plaid paper in this recipe book is from that paper pack, so let's get that out of the way, so I don't sound like a broken record this whole video. Haha! I picked this particular pattern for the front, because it reminded me of an old Betty Crocker cook book that I am sure many of us have in our kitchens. I opted to attach the Christmas ad patterned paper from the kit to my plaid paper before adhering it to my chipboard, because I will be wrapping ribbon around this piece in a minute. After adhering the Christmas paper, I decided that the plaid paper looked too stark against the distressed Christmas paper, so I took some Vintage Photo and inked the edges of the plaid paper too. I really wanted this recipe book to look like it had been handed down through generations of family members. Plus, I figured that if it got dirty in the kitchen, this would make it less noticeable. My husband loves to cook, but he is literally the messiest cook I have seen in my life. I don't want to be too terribly upset with him if this gets messy! I did the same process to what will be the inside of my front cover, but instead of using the Christmas ad paper, I used the Santa paper to change it up a little.I used the same process to adhere my panels to my back cover as well.

Next, I took a Santa ticket stub from the ephemera that is included in the kit and I glued it to the green die cut that I ink blended in Black Soot. By the way, this die cut is from Spellbinders Grand Large Labels die set. You will see me use it repeatedly throughout this book. I did ink blend the edges of the ticket in Vintage Photo Distress Ink as well.  Now, here is why I didn't adhere my panels to my chipboard yet. I wanted to add this flannel ribbon to the front and tuck it around the front panel to the back. Then adhere the front panel it to the chipboard. I added 1/4" SCOR tape to the back of the ribbon. Once done with that, I glued the panels down. To glue my front panel to the chipboard, I started by only adding glue to the side with the punched edge. I find it easier to make sure everything gets aligned and properly adhered this way. I can focus on this part and only this part, which is the most important section to get adhered properly, as it will get the most wear and tear from sliding on the rings. Once I got it adhered properly, I just lifted the panel gently and squeezed glue under the rest of it to adhere down the remainder. 

After I adhered that down, I laid my pieces out to see what they looked like one last time to make sure I liked how everything looked. I was fine adhering down the Santa ticket and green die cut.  However,  I just wasn't happy with how the "Christmas Recipes" text looked. I felt like it didn't pop off that red background, since it was red text after all. I created the Christmas Recipes text on my Cricut using Sure Cuts A Lot & a Christmas Font called Christmas Sounds from I foiled the font with my WRMK Foil Quill onto a shadow layer of the font I created in the program. I cut the red shadow layer pieces out of cardstock 5 times and layered those pieces for dimension. So, since I wasn't happy with how it looked, I went back into Sure Cuts A Lot, brought up my saved file and created another shadow layer just slightly larger and cut it out of green cardstock, only once this time. That way it would contrast from the red in the background and bring in more green from the Grand Large Label die cut. I am much happier with the way this looks. I didn't include a tutorial in my video for this, because the video is quite long as it is. However, I am happy to do a seperate video if anyone is interested. After adhering all my elements to the front cover, I adhered the back panel to the front cover as well. Once everything was adhered to the front cover, I covered the Christmas Recipes title in Nuvo Aqua Shimmer Pen in Glitter Gloss and then covered it in Glossy Accents.

Now, it is time to work on the dividers! I created the dividers using my Cricut too. These were extremely simple to make. If you don't have a Cricut or other electronic die cutting machine, you could make these several different ways. You could cut rectangles and attach tabs seperately or there is that WRMK tool that makes tabbed dividers too. Anyways, in Design Space, I made a rectangle 7" tall by 5" wide. Then, I went into the Elegant Edges cartridge, which I own and found an image that I liked for a tab. It was called the Branch Leaves Border ( #M471E4) I got rid of the top layer with the branch image and only used the bottom layer. I duplicated my rectangles for how many dividers I wanted. In my case 6. I centered them on top of each other. Then I duplicated my tabs as well. I placed them along the edge of the rectangles, making sure that one was at the top of the rectangle dividers and one was at the bottom of the dividers. Then, I aligned them so they were centered horizontally and then chose the distribute vertically option in the alignment tools. This spaces them out vertically along the edge of your dividers. Next, I went systematically through each divider and welded each tab to 1 divider. Next, I placed my text using a writing font on each divider. Since I chose rounded dividers, I curved my text slightly to make it fit better. I hope that makes sense.  I didn't include a tutorial in my video for this either, because again, my video is already quite long, but I would be happy to do one separately if something like this is of interest to anyone. 

For each divider, I cut a piece of plaid paper that is 4.5" x 6.5". I just cut this using my paper trimmer.  Every divider has a different plaid design background paper from the Paper Studio Plaid Tidings Paper Pack I mentioned at the beginning of the video. Each divider also has a piece of the one of the papers from the Santa's Workshop Passport kit cut with the Grand Large Label dies, I mentioned earlier. I rotated back and forth between the 2 designs. On top of that, I stuck a piece of plain paper in the opposite color of the tabbed divider, either green or red, which is cut out of various dies & on top of that is a piece of ephemera from the kit. I will only fully assemble 1 divider on camera. After that, I will speed through just putting on the plain paper and ephemera on and show you the finished product picture. At the end of the video, there is a quick final flip through as well. Again, as a reminder, pretty much every piece in this book I have inked the edges in either Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso or Black Soot. So, that changes the look of the printed materials in the kit slightly.

For this first divider, I used an old Creative Memories fancy corner rounder for the green cardstock piece and the ephemera piece

This second divider, I used Spellbinders Pierced Circles dies. I used the 2nd and 3rd from the smalles dies in the set. I fussy cut the ephemera. 

The third divider, I used a Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Stitched Rectangles Die. This is the middle die in the set. I trimmed the ephemera with my trimmer. 

For the fourth divider, I can't tell you the name or brand of this die. I got it in a large lot of craft stuff I bought off of Craigslist and I have been unable to figure out the origins of this die. I apologize for that. I used a Creative Memories corner rounder on the ephemera. I adhered this one to the die cut wonky to add some interest.

The 5th divider, I did end up repeating this die cut. It's the Sizzix Tim Holtz Stitched Rectangle die again. I just couldn't find another die I liked to fit this image. At least it is a different orientation, I guess. I trimmed this ephemera piece with my trimmer.

For the last divider, I used the Spellbinders Grand Labels 4 die set. I used the smallest die in the set for this one. On the ephemera, I again, used the fancy corner rounder from Creative Memories.

Now, we finally get to the recipe cards I was talking about earlier. This doesn't have anything to do with Monica's amazing kit, but they are an integral part of a recipe book. So, I did want to quickly talk about this process. I used a Stampabilies Stamp called Recipe Card Classic. It was a wood mounted stamp, but no way was I going to sit there and stamp a million recipe cards with a wood mounted stamp. Ok, a million might have been an over exaggeration.  However, I did stamp 60 of them, which was actually way more than fit in this book, but that's beside the point. Anyways, I cut these 4 7/8 x 6 7/8". Then I punched them, so I knew where I could stamp them. For the first one, I placed a piece of acetate in my stamp positioner so I could get the position right before stamping on my card, since this is a rubber stamp. This way you stamp on the acetate and can wipe it off until you get the placement right, instead of wasting paper stamping until you get it right. I like to use this trick with rubber stamps, since you can't see through them.

So, once I stamped my recipe cards, I decided they needed a bit of pizzaz. They were going to look way too plain in this awesome book I was making. So, I decided I wanted to stamp on them. However, I didn't want to forfeit writing space and I didn't want to not being able see what I wrote if I wrote over top of the stamping. I decided that 2nd or 3rd generation stamping would be my best bet. I bought this Stampers Anonymous - Christmas Memories Stamp Set last year and felt that it would be perfect for this project. The images have a great vintage feel. So, I pulled it out and got ready to do some stamping. I didn't want to waste a bunch of ink stamping on scrap paper, so I pulled out some card bases and stamped the first generation stamping on the front of a card base and stamped the 2nd generation stamping on the recipe card. I even got some 3rd generation stamping on some recipe cards too out of some of my juicier ink pads. It was a great way to pull double duty on a project. Now, I have some partially done clean and simple Christmas cards & jazzed up my recipe cards for this project! I did 6 different designs of these recipe cards. I used all the stamps in this set and then I also pulled out Spellbinders Snowflakes Stamps designed by Stephanie Low and Spellbinders Santa's Sleigh Stamp..  One of each design went behind every divider. I probably could've fit more in this book, if I had used a thinner cardstock. However, I used 80lb cardstock for the recipe cards because I didn't have any lighter weight white cardstock on hand and honestly, I didn't feel like going to store when I went to start this project. I was in the groove. So, I just used what I had on hand. It's a nice sturdy book that will last us a long time though. I will just swap out for bigger rings if we fill it up. No biggie.

Once I got done doing the stamping on the cards, I pulled out a very old Creative Memories Storylines Template. It was meant for journal writing, scrapbooking, etc. I'm sure there are those out there that don't have this template, but this could be done with a ruler too or there may be other templates out there like it. I used it to draw lines with an Extra Fine Line sharpie on the bottom half of my recipe cards. Since the lines on the template were spaced further apart than the original lines in the directions section on my recipe pages. I just shifted the stencil to draw a second set of lines in between the first. They were also longer than my recipe card, so I masked off the card to make it look like it was all stamped with the same stamp as well. The template has black marks on it for alignment guides. I used these to line it up with the edge of my paper to make sure I was straight. I also used the top cut line in the stencil to line up with the bottom of the stamped recipe card image and the bottom cut out line in the stencil with the bottom of my page. Using all these guidelines helped me keep the liens as straight as possible. I know this seems like a lot of work and you are probably asking yourself why I didn't just print recipe cards on my printer? I asked myself that a couple times too! But really, it was kind of satisfying at the end that I made these myself and got exactly what I wanted in the end. 
[No pics of the recipe cards, sorry! The stamping was so light that it was hard to pick up in photos. You can watch my video to somewhat see it, but even then, it didn't show up on camera real well.]

I do include a full flip through of the book towards the end of the video and much clearer step by step process of everything in my video. I hope you enjoyed the project today and make sure to check out Monica's shop, Taylormadecards4u & the Santa's Workshop Passport Kit!


Stampabilities - Recipe Card - Classic - 1202365-PR
Spellbinders Grand Labels 4 - Smallest Die
Spellbinders Grand Large Labels - Smallest Die
Spellbinders Pierced Circles - 2nd and 3rd from the smallest
Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Stitched Rectangles - Middle Die
Unknown Brand - Label Dies
Neenah Solar White 80lb
The Paper Studio - Plaid Tidings
Red Plaid Scrapbook Paper that I had in my stash - No brand & I have no idea where I got it
Scor Tape
Distress Ink - Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso & Black Soot
Amazon Make Up Brushes
Happy Planner Mini Discs in Gold
Arc Punch
Stampers Anonymous - Christmas Memories Stamp Set CMS118
Spellbinders - Snowflakes Stamp set Designed by Stephanie Low
Spellbinders - Santa's Sleigh
Stampin Up Rose Red, Brilliant Blue, Handsome Hunter, Tempting Turquise, Lavender Lace,
Unity Stamp - Hybrid Ink  Brown
Encore Ultimate Metallic Ink - Champagne
Christmas Sounds font from
Paper Accents Cardstock in Jackpot & Red Devil


  1. Such a wonderful project and very detailed instructions. Just love it!

  2. This is like the coolest project I've ever seen with digital papers. I love how you made it your own with the ink blending. AND I've never seen that binding method.


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