A plain paper grocery sack gets new life as an arty photo album or journal cover.
1. Cut a piece of brown paper bag larger than size of album to be covered. Lay it flat and color the entire surface randomly using oil pastel sticks. Apply color heavily, overlapping if desired.
2. Crumple colored paper with color side inward. Hold under running water, squeezing paper until completely soaked. Squeeze out the excess water.
3. Lay wet, wrinkled paper on newspapers. Dab a generous amount of shoe polish onto wet, wrinkled paper. Let polish soak into wrinkles. Dab off extra shoe polish with paper towels.
4. Lay wet, wrinkled paper onto newspaper and lightly spray with a mist of gold spray paint from an angle. Spray lightly so the paint does not cover the crevices. Let the paper dry.
5. Cover ironing board. Iron with a cool iron on wrong side, leaving a texture. Apply spray adhesive to the back side of paper and lay on work surface with the sticky side up. Lay album on paper, allowing paper to extend beyond the edges. Trim each side to make neat edge, leaving enough to fold inward. Fold in all edges neatly, using extra adhesive where needed.
6. Paint a coat of glossy decoupage medium over surface of covered album. Let dry.
7. Spray a dried, pressed leaf and a small amount of raffia gold. Let them dry.
8. Apply a generous amount of decoupage medium to area where you want the leaf and raffia placed. Arrange items on the paper. Paint decoupage medium over leaf and raffia until secured. Apply several coats if needed.
When making several book covers, use brown crafting paper.