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This week’s post is about making a journal or sketchbook.
Learning to make a journal is a great idea. This method is easy to make and there is lovely enjoyment in making your journal or sketchbook the size and thickness you prefer.
They also make great gifts and are a creative way to use your art in a new way.
for making a journal you will need:
- copy paper
- cover paper
- an image for your cover
- sharp exacto knife
- heavy thread
- embriodery needle
Choose your paper
I keep on hand good quality copy paper, weight 24 or 26lbs. It is a little heavier than the standard (which is 22lb) but you can try this first using whatever copy paper you have on hand.
Decide how thick your book will be. Knowing we are going to hand sew it together means it should be about 12-15 pages thick.
Fold 15 sheets of paper in half and place them in a neat pile.
- Find an image for your cover.
- My choice is an image of one of my paintings.
- Size it to fit on one side of a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 cover stock
- Print you image for your cover or find a nice heavy weight decorative paper to use.
Setting the Holes
- fold the cover paper in half
- measure across the fold every half inch leaving a margin of one inch at the edges
- using an awl tool or a needle and something you can hammer into (I used a cork hotplate) make a hole every half inch through the centre line of the cover along the fold.
- Lay the folded papers into the cover and keep them as even as you can in the spine.
Sewing the book
- start in the centre using heavy weight thread and an embroidery needle.
- line up the pages and lightly hammer the awl through all of the sheets for the first hole
- begin to push the needle through all of the layers.
- after sewing through the pages reopen the book and make the next hole
- sew back through with the needle and thread.
- continue to sew in and out of the holes, opening the book to line up the paper and make the next hole through the layers.
Only do one hole at a time as the pages are thick and will stay lined up the best they can this way.
watch part one of making a journal below :
I did try doing all the holes at first but with the thickness the pages slipped and they puckered as I sewed them. This way you can work from the center out and keep it as neat as possible using this hand sewing process.
Now sew the thread back though the holes to finish the binding.
watch part two of making a journal below :
trim the edges
- close the book and place a metal edged ruler along the paper where you wish to trim the excess paper
- trim the long edge first
- now trim the other sides as you wish working from the spine outwards
finish making your journal
Once the sewing is finished you can tie off the threads and decorate them if you wish. The third video will show you how to trim the papers and a playful twist technique for finishing the threads.
watch part three of making a journal below :
I hope this inspires you to make your own journals and perhaps a playful idead for a special gift you can make yourself… ENJOY!