How to Make an Accordion Book

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This article is written by Melanie Statnick

Recently I have noticed the trend in creating our own style of journals, mini books, according books and more. Pinterest is full of inspired artists in the present and in the past each with their own style. Some tell a story and others like the accordion book, are one long piece of art. This can be done in a horizontal or vertical fashion. It is up to your imagination. I had more fun with this book then I thought and it became somewhat addictive. Here is how to make yours, in a fast and simple way in case you’re making art at the speed of life.  You can always add more and take as much time as you need.

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

Supply list:

Watercolor paper 140lbs cold press

Cardboard (craft) or heavy card stock

Watercolors

Gel Medium

Stamps and/or other word stickers

Ribbon

Instructions

Begin with measuring your watercolor paper approx. 11”x4”.  You can go as big or as little as you want. Measure your cardboard the same to a bit larger 12 x 5”.  Paint your watercolor paper any way you wish.

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

Apply gel medium (glue) to the cardboard piece you’ve cut. This is the cover of your book. Lay your ribbon down onto the glued cardboard, then lay your painted watercolor paper on top of your ribbon. You may want to use a brayer to make sure all your corners are flat and everything is glued well.

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

Begin to fold paper into itself in an accordion fashion.

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

Here is where it becomes fun! You can stamp or draw anything you want to create one long piece of art. I used one of my favorite stamps, my city stamp and my star stamp. I found a heart stamp, some word art and a mini wood house. I painted the house, added some sparkle to my night sky and hand drew the moon using acrylic paint and Micron pens.

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

How to Make an Accordion Book with your own style

When you are happy with your end result use the ribbon to wrap around your book if you have cut it longer. Tie it up in a bow and use it for a gift or make a shelf full.

Happy Creating.

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Melanie Statnick is a Canadian Mixed Media & Collage Artist out of North Carolina. Melanie creates art daily from her private studio. Her style is fun, whimsy and eclectic. Melanie is also an Art Instructor for local venues and community colleges for students of all ages.

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A Healing Art

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Article written by Melanie Statnick

Five years ago I was faced with a difficult life altering situation. My world was about to be spin 360. There was heart ache and silent suffering.  First time mom being faced with having to venture on her own. It took a lot of will and strength to rise from the situation and keep going. I thought about the woman before me. My past of strong women in my family who immigrated to Canada from countries of war. They came on boats with what they could carry, which was very little.

I treasure the photos, stories and memories of my paternal grandmother. She in many ways has become my heroine. One item I had rediscovered as I was packing to move out of my home was my grandmother’s watercolor tins and brushes. I had also found a sketch book with a very tiny piece of charcoal.  The tins where rusted, the watercolor cubes were coming loose from each section. Her brushes had frayed and the painted handles began to chip. In my dramatic depression I related to the tins and brushes. The hard watercolors that had been mudded from use and mixing. Like the brushes I too felt frayed, chipped and used.

Use your art to reconnect with your past and find your hidden strengths

Use your art to reconnect with your past and find your hidden strengths

That afternoon I sat in the silent emptiness of my home, poured a small bowl of water and began to paint with her watercolors. I felt connected to family, to the memories of my childhood with her, playing cards, making pasta from a hand cranked pasta machine, picking grapes from her vines in the garden and staring at these exact paint supplies on her kitchen table wondering what she was painting in her pages. Every night after work I painted and drew and replaced the brushes and watercolors here and there when I could afford it. With every stroke of the brush I was healing, I was letting go. When I saw how the beautiful colors bled into each other there was more healing.

I started as a self-taught artist and I still use art as therapy. Organizations have been studying and using art to heal. Studies show how it works for PTSD, Physical and mental illness, rehabilitation, also with children and adults in domestic abuse. It can also be used for fostering self-awareness, and personal growth. To experience healing from art you do not have to be “going through” something. We all experience stress and tension on a daily basis and art is a healthy alternative to self-expression and a release of repression.

Use your art to reconnect with your past and find your hidden strengths

It’s a journey and there are tools, teachers and students at our access. Writing in journals, keeping an art journal, free style painting on canvas or paper, and even experimenting with a new medium can help you relax and focus. I no longer use my grandmother’s tins and brushes. I keep them on a shelf as a reminder of how far I have reached, how strong I’ve become. I quote “I stood yesterday, I can stand today.”  -Dorothy Dix either you’re in a challenging situation in your life, or not; Art is there, it’s there for you to use, use it well and use it often.

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Melanie Statnick is a Canadian Mixed Media & Collage artist out of North Carolina. Melanie creates art daily from her private studio. Her style is eclectic and often whimsy. She is also an Art Instructor at local venues and in the community colleges to all ages. Her artwork can be found in galleries and shops extensively throughout North Carolina.

You can see more of Melanie’s work at Mixed Media Art or at www.melaniestatnickart.com

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