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How to Personalize Your Journal

How to make cute and fun Mod Melts crafts - This simple and easy journal is decorated with Mod Melts by Mod Podge. Ideas and pictures of crafts using these cool molds and shapes with a hot glue gun. DIY project. Mixed media journal with paper, ribbon, and Mod Melts.

We love journals. I have dozens of them, and Grace has at least ten. We both write and draw in our journals for all different reasons at all different times.

The only thing is that some journals are plain or (gasp) ugly when they arrive. If I'm going to use it, I need it to be pretty.

As soon as I signed up for this Plaid campaign for Mod Melts, I knew I wanted to create a personalized journal. Grace and I have been collecting a lot of leaves and other objects in nature, and Allie typically ends up throwing them to the wind because Grace and I haven't got a place to keep them. I thought a nature journal would be perfect.

When we got to the craft store and found the journal, I realized that I too needed a new journal (like I need a new tattoo, ha!). I have been dealing with some complex emotional stuff (that I can't share online), and I needed wanted a new place to collect all that.

We made these journals back in May, and I've written in mine every day since. It's a success. Grace, on the other hand, has not used her journal even once yet. She has, however, created many more Mod Melts and painted them. More on the painting in a minute.

Mod Melts are a new product from Plaid. They're little resin shapes that you make yourself. Using a high temp glue gun, you fill silicone molds with melted resin, wait a few minutes, and pop them out. You can use the cooled shapes to adorn anything from paper clips (I made these for my secret sister last week!) to jewelry to books to picture frames. At the very bottom of this gargantuan post, there is a Linky list of other posts in the campaign.

Grace is 6, so she doesn't have a super long attention span. We made our journals over a week or so, working in small chunks:

  1. Make the Mod Melts
  2. Paint and decorate the Mod Melts
  3. Apply Mod Podge to the decorations to protect the paint (make sure you do this if you use acrylic paint)
  4. Decoupage the journal
  5. Affix the Melts to the front of the journal
  6. Affix the Melts to the pages of the journal (I waited until one was dry before moving on to another page.)

Making Mod Melts

make-mod-melts-materials

Materials

  • Mod Melts sticks – You can buy white milk glass or clear sea glass. We liked the milk glass best, but they're both nice.
  • Mod Melts molds (or other silicone molds) – There are four different ones available. I received the nature one from Plaid, and we purchased the flowers one at Michael's.
  • A mini high temperature glue gun (go buy exactly that or it won't work. Mini. High temp. Both important.)

How to Make the Mod Melts

Making them isn't difficult, but there is a learning curve. Our first set was pretty ugly – a lot of air bubbles and a lot of wasted resin on the backs. We got better with each batch. Some other bloggers said they used a toothpick to get the resin into all of the little details. I thought that was a good idea, but I couldn't reach the toothpicks in the cupboard and was too lazy to climb on a chair to get them.

Grace tried really hard to fill the molds, but it didn't work very well for her. I ended up doing it instead.

Use good sense when making Mod Melts. You are using 400 degree resin here. My 6-year-old is capable of handling a high temperature glue gun without burning herself, but some older kids might not be.

{And a certain adult I know may have burned her thumb doing this project.}

{ahem}

make-mod-melts-glue-gun

Wait 5-10 minutes and then pop the shapes out.

I am impatient, and I ruined a bunch of our shapes by testing the back before they were ready. If you touch them and the resin is still hot, it will pull up and stick to your finger and destroy the back of the shape. Then, when you try to cover up your blunder with more melted resin, it will sit on top of the pre-existing goo and look like a bigger mess than before.

So.

Don't touch them until it's been a solid 5 minutes. Test the bottom of the mold first rather than the top of the resin. If it's still warm, you haven't waited long enough. Let them cool properly, and they will pop right out.

make-mod-melts-pop-out

This is what the shapes look like right after they've been popped out. They have some extra resin in lots of places. Where the resin is thin, like the little wisps, I just pulled it off with my fingernail. Where it's thicker, I used a small pair of scissors or a craft knife.

make-mod-melts-cooled

All of our shapes, cooled and dried and ready for painting. You can see the difference here between the clear sea glass and the white milk glass, and a few where the white and clear mixed together in the glue gun.

paint-mod-melts-all-out

Painting and Decorating the Mod Melts

paint-mod-melts-materials

Materials

  • A whole bunch of Mod Melts that have been cooled and dried
  • Folk Art Acrylic paints in a variety of colors
  • Nail polish
  • Mod Podge in gloss*
  • Gems
  • Glitter
  • Scissors
  • Paint brushes
  • Palettes

How to Paint the Mod Melts

paint-mod-melts-grace

Our preferred method of painting by far was nail polish. We happen to have a wide array of nail polish colors, and they made the best finishes. It was easy to control the amount of paint used, they dried very hard and perfectly glossy, and the tiny little brushes need no washing afterwards.

Once we realized how easy nail polish made the painting, we pretty much abandoned the acrylic paints.

Except Allie, who went to town with her acrylics.

paint-mod-melts-allie

Can you even see the shapes in this picture? She was crazy excited about her painting.

paint-mod-melts-allies-wake

When you're painting, pay special attention to the crevices and edges. Grace said she wanted her flower to look just like this, but I preferred to paint the edges on mine.

paint-mod-melts-edges

See how Allie's shapes are all very flat looking? The acrylic paint dried with a matte finish (as I imagine it's supposed to), and it didn't stick to the resin all that well.

paint-mod-melts-painte-matte

I picked out all the shapes with acrylic paint and gave them all a generous coat of glossy Mod Podge. Grace added glitter to some of the shapes before the Mod Podge dried.

paint-mod-melts-mod-podge

While we had the Mod Podge out, we put jewels in the center of some of our flowers.

paint-mod-melts-jewels

Here are all of our shapes as the Mod Podge dried. We tried all different combinations of paint over nail polish and nail polish over paint and glitter over everything. You'll have to look through the slideshow at the bottom to see some of our shapes up close. We were so excited about them!

paint-mod-melts-all-done

Personalizing Your Journal

mod-melts-journal-materials

Materials

  • A whole bunch of Mod Melts that have been painted and decorated
  • Mod Podge* (or some extra Mod Melts resin in the glue gun)
  • The journal
  • Mod Podge papers
  • Chipboard stickers
  • Assorted scrapbook supplies – pockets, tapes, journaling cards, pens
  • Scrapbook glue

My Personalized Journal

mod-melts-journal-shapes

Look at all those finished shapes! Aren't they great? These were all the ones I painted, a few that Grace painted, and a bunch that Allie painted. I was really thrilled with all of them.

(Grace hoarded almost all the shapes for her journal, then didn't actually use them and continues to hoard them in a plastic baggie on her school shelf in the dining room.)

My journal had a weird embossed design on the front cover, so I used a sheet of the Mod Podge papers to cover it.

Decoupaging is easy. Cut your pretty paper to size, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the journal cover, and smooth your paper over the Mod Podged cover. When it's sufficiently dry, fold the paper around the cover like a package and crease it. Cut the corners so they aren't bulky.

mod-melts-journal-book-paper

Unfold the paper, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on the paper from the edge of the cover to the edge of the paper, and refold the package. Let the cover dry.

mod-melts-journal-book-mod-podge-paper

After the Mod Podge is dry, cover the paper with a thin layer of Mod Podge. Let it dry completely and cover with another thin layer of Mod Podge.

When everything is dry, you can start the fun part – decorating!

I laid my decorations out on the journal, left it for a day, went back and changed it, left it for another day, thought about it, and then changed it back to the way I'd had it the first time.

I just wanted to make sure I liked it.

I used the chipboard letters to write my name and the date on the cover with a rose. Red is my favorite color, and I loved how this red fingernail polish rose came out.

mod-melts-journal-cover

I wasn't sure whether I wanted to cover the journal with Mod Melts (lest it get kitschy), but after several days' angst, I decided to go ahead an excess of adornments.

I made this a month ago, and it makes me happy every time I look at it.

I'm glad I overdecorated. Feel free to use more restraint when you personalize your own journal.

mod-melts-journal-finished

Because I had so many pretty Mod Melts, I decided to decorate some of the pages of the journal as well as the cover. Those pictures are in the slideshow below.(This page loads a wee bit faster with 25 pictures than it did with 43. Just saying.) I recommend you check them out, because they are awesome.

*The only minor annoyance I've had is that glossy Mod Podge always stays a wee bit tacky, and that made the Mod Melts on my pages stick to the facing pages a little bit. If I had that to do over, I'd coat them with matte Mod Podge instead.

mod-melts-journal-book

As you can see, my finished journal is thick, but I don't mind that.

Grace's Personalized Journal

Grace's journal had gorgeous flowers embossed on the cover.

I was imagining it with brightly colored petals, to make them pop out from the brown background. I had a gorgeous image in my head.

As you can imagine, my 6-year-old had a totally different image in her head, and it was nothing like mine.

{sigh}

mod-melts-journal-before-grace

Grace asked me to glue her shapes onto the cover of her journal. I told her if I put Mod Podge over the whole thing, she wouldn't be able to paint it anymore.

She thought about this for a long while, and then she decided that she wanted to paint a little more.

I hoped that she would paint them just as I imagined, and she most definitely did not.

mod-melts-journal-grace

When she was sure she was finished, she showed me where to glue her Mod Melts, and I covered the whole beautiful thing with Mod Podge.

Clearly, she gets her taste from me.

We don't understand understated.

mod-melts-journal-grace-flower

Here are lots more of our finished Mod Melts. I thought you might like to see how we painted and decorated them.

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You can follow Plaid on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on their Paint Me Plaid Blog.

AND! Here are a bunch more ideas for using Mod Melts. Take a look; there's great stuff here. I've already done some of them.


This is a sponsored post. I created the project using materials supplied by Plaid as well as a boatload of things I purchased myself. All opinions, text, and photos are my own.

© 2013 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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