Retro Cookbook Mixed Media Album

Retro Cookbook Mixed Media Album2017-12-27T11:25:30-05:00

Project Description

Retro Cookbook Cover

I love the sound of the words “mixed media.” Just hearing it makes me think of all sorts of materials, textures, surfaces, and shines. I feel like I’m listening to the language of artists.

Unfortunately, it can also stir up some feelings of “I have no idea what to do with that!

Joe Rotella's KitchenThat’s happened to me and I know it’s happened to some, especially when they look at my Mixed Media Album “What’s Cooking” from Want2Scrap. This album has eight pages for you to create with! There’s a chipboard cup & saucer, an acrylic Mason jar and circle, and six squares; two corrugated cardboard, canvas, denim, cork board and chipboard.

There are many ways to use this album (or even parts of it). My friend Lori at Red Letter Journals in Grove City, Ohio made a fantastic “Back To School” album with it.

When I look at it, I think of a cookbook. Not just any cookbook, either. A vintage one. I love anything retro. I live in a 1950’s ranch filled with Heywood Wakefield blonde furniture, Russell Wright dishes and even the original pink GE kitchen!

Velma Balint's Mother's Kitchen from KB and Friends

I wanted to create a cookbook that would hold a lot of recipes. I wanted it to look like someone had used it for years, with bits of recipes sticking out of the top, old paper clips and even faded bits of tape holding things together.

When I found a box of old paper clips at a local thrift store and came across digital papers and embellistments (Mother’s Kitchen by Velma Balint from, I knew I was ready to create this book.  The best part of digital papers is that you can print as many sheets as you need! Since this album is smaller than 8 1/2 X 11″, I could print papers without needed an oversize printer.

And the embellishments cut beautifully on the Zing! Electronic Cutting Machine. Just print and cut! Combine those with some real vintage recipes, buttons, a pocket from a child’s pair of jeans and some bits of fabric and you have a great example of a mixed media book.

Here’s how I created each page of this album. You can click on each photo to see it full size.

Retro 1950's Cookbook Front CoverUse a small round brush to apply paint randomly on the corrugated cardboard. I used Perfect Pigments™ – Pure Liquid Acrylics™ from USArtQuest. Since I wanted a bit of a sparkle and wanted to tie in the colors in the papers, I used Blue Pearl, Green Pearl and Metallic Copper.Adhere recipes, cooking related ephemera and embellishments using Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA)and vintage paper clips.Outline the cookbook title with Want2Scrap Pearls.If you want to protect everything, give it all a coat of PPA Matte. You’ll get a water resistant smooth finish!
Retro 1950's Cookbook Spread 1 - Image Transfer on CanvasDistress edges of designer paper and adhere designer paper to the back of the corrugated cardboard page. Tie baker’s twine through the holes in 4 buttons and adhere to the corners of the page. I cut the fork, spoon and knife from Silver Mirri Reflective Card using my Zing Electronic Cutting Machine.I bought a flour sack on eBay, scanned it and reduced it. Then print the image on Studio Paperusing an inkjet printer. Be sure to flip the image horizontally (mirror image) before you print! Lightly mist the canvas with water, lay the printed Studio Paper face down on the canvas and burnish with the back of a spoon.  You can wipe the paper clean and use it over and over again! Add grommets to reinforce the holes.
Retro 1950's Cookbook Spread 2 - Tea CupAdhere a scrap piece of fabric to the back of the canvas to make a pocket. You can sew it on (if you don’t mind stitches showing on the other side) or use a liquid adhesive or iron on fusing. Add buttons to embellish. Fill with your favorite recipes. Adhere the strip of chipboard that comes with the Want2Scrap albumto support the page.Cover the tea cup with designer paper. Edge the cup and saucer with metallic gold.  Create your own teabag using your printer and string. Mine says “Time for Tea = Time for Me
Retro 1950's Cookbook Spread 3 - Cork BoardPaint the cup and saucer. I used Green Pearl Perfect Pigments™ – Pure Liquid Acrylics™ from USArtQuest. Embellish with black rhinestones and pearls from Want2Scrap.Adhere recipes and ephemera to the cork board. Adhere CANDito look like tacks.Cut a “U” shaped spacer from 1/4″ foam board. Adhere the foam board to the back of the cork board, sandwiching it between the cork board and a piece of chipboard. That gives you a nice big pocket at the top for long recipes!
Retro 1950's Cookbook Spread 4 - Blue Jeans Denim PocketCover the chipboard with designer paper. Add paper embellishment and pearls from Want2Scrap.Age the denim by soaking it in a mixture of 1 Cup water and 1 Cup bleach for a couple of minutes. Check it often and continue to soak until you get the a fading you’re happy with. Cut the pocket from a pair of child’s jeans (garage sale find!) and adhere with liquid adhesive. Iron on a fabric applique. Another pocket for recipes!
Retro 1950's Cookbook Spread 5 - Coca Cola ClockCut off the bottom from the leg of a pair of child’s jeans. Fold the bottom up to close it off and adhere it to the denim page making another pocket for recipes! Paint the strip of chipboard that comes with the Want2Scrap album and adhere it to the denim to support the page.Print a Coca Cola clock face from a photo on the Web. Adhere it to the back of the acrylic circle using Perfect Paper Adhesive Glossy. Cut the circle trim from Silver Mirri Reflective Card and adhere to the front of the acrylic circle.
Retro 1950's Cookbook Spread 6 - Recipe Box with Recipe CardsCut two circles from designer paper. Adhere one to the back of the clock printout. Cut the other circle in half. Trim with lace. Only use adhesive around the edges of the half-circle and adhere it to the designer paper, creating yet another pocket! Embellish.Distress designer paper and adhere to the chipboard. Adhere the recipe box image. Cut a “U” shaped spacer from 1/4″ foam board. Adhere the foam board recipe box. Adhere the front of the recipe box to cardstock and adhere that to the spacer. The result is a 3D recipe box that can hold lots of recipe cards! Embellish with black rhinestones from Want2Scrap.
Retro 1950's Cookbook Spread 7 - Mason Jar of PicklesDistress a piece of designer paper and adhere to the back of the chipboard. Embellish.Print a pickle jar from a photo on the Web. Adhere it to the back of the acrylic Mason jar using Perfect Paper Adhesive Glossy. Adhere pieces of string to the top of the jar (both front and back). Wrap the top with aluminum tape. This gives you the effect of a threaded jar top!
Retro 1950's Cookbook Spread 8 - ChipboardAdhere a piece of designer paper to the back of the Mason jar. Distress the edges. Adhere a ribbon bow just below the lid. Adhere a recipe and embellish.Cut a piece of designer paper slightly smaller than the chipboard. Distress the edges and adhere to the chipboard. Embellish with a retro image and amber rhinestones from Want2Scrap.
Retro 1950's Cookbook Back CoverAdhere recipes, cooking related ephemera and embellishments using Perfect Paper Adhesive (PPA) and vintage paper clips.If you want to protect everything, give it all a coat of PPA Matte. You’ll get a water resistant smooth finish!

To me, the best part of this cookbook is its functionality. It really does have room for dozens of recipes cards. Ones you can actually pull out and use! And, of course, you can always paper clips bits and pieces on as you discover new dishes. The more wear and tear you give this book, the better it looks!

What do you see when you think about this mixed media album? What project comes to mind? I would love to hear your ideas. Just leave me a comment! Thanks!

Happy Crafting!
Joe Rotella


  1. Allie December 29, 2012 at 10:11 am - Reply

    I love your album, very fun idea. I like to do holiday recipe albums, thinking that some day when I'm gone, the kids will be able to know how to make their favorites for their loved ones.

  2. Nancy December 31, 2012 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    This is SO cute. I've been wanting to make a recipe book with all my favorite holiday recipes for a long time. I just love the retro look!!

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