Bookmaking with Gelli Arts® and Art Foamies

I have seen this book structure called a squash book or explosion book. It looks simple but packs a punch when you open it! I love the movement of this book as it is opened and closed. A simple Google search will give you pages of inspiration for the many ways this book can be interpreted. 

Let's get started!

The supplies I used are:

3 sheets of black cardstock cut to 8.5" squares

White cardstock for monoprinting


Random items for texture (plastic scrubbie, texture brush)

Art Foamies Stamps (I used this one and this one)

Bone Folder

Good quality glue stick (you could also use two-sided tape) 

Step one:
Create a bunch of abstract monoprinted papers! These papers will be trimmed down to be glued inside our book. Use texture tools to add variety to your prints.  Make sure to have at least three printed layers for your finished paper.

I used the Art Foamies to stamp onto the plate to lift the paint off and then stamp onto a finished paper. 

Step two:
While the monoprinted papers are drying it is time to fold the black paper to create the structure of our book.

Now that they are folded it's time to glue them together.

A note about my choice of glue: Since this project is made entirely of paper I am using a permanent glue stick instead of a wet glue in order to keep the papers from wrinkling and curling when they are glued together. You could substitute a thin layer of gel medium or Yes! paste for the glue stick but you would need to leave the papers to dry flat under a stack of heavy books to minimize curling. 

Step three:

Time to cut up our monoprinted paper and glue it to the inside of our book structure. This part reminds me of krazy quilts. I really like how all the different patterns, colors and textures are rearranged to make something entirely new!

Cut eleven 4" squares from your collection of papers. Six of them will be cut in half diagonally to make triangles. Of the remaining squares, four will be glued to the inside of the book (along with the triangles) and the final two will become the front and back covers.

To make this even more fantastic, and if you have enough printed papers, you could cut an additional eight squares, dividing six of them into triangles and attaching all of them to the backside to create a two-sided book! What a creative way to convey two different points of view!

Step Four:
At this point you can add words or other embellishments. I am planning to add journaling on the back of the book with a paint pen. You are only limited by your imagination!

One last thing, if you want your book to stay more flat when it is closed without needing to add a ribbon or band, just place the folded book under a stack of heavy books overnight. You are the artist so choose what you like best! Happy creating!


  1. Thank you for the step-by-step. I love making journals and every new technique I see I have to try it. Wish me luck LOL.

  2. Such a great book! Thank you for taking the time to show us all of the steps. I can't wait to give this a try.