Wednesday, August 01, 2012

make your own simple bound art journal with fabric cover

There are quite a few tutorials out on the intraweb for making
pretty much this same type of journal--this is a condensed,
super simple blend of a bunch of them.  If you've never
attempted binding before, this might be a good place to start.

What you'll need:
paper for the inside pages--you can use any decent weight paper
you want, any size, really.  This book has 16 pieces of paper, which
makes for 32 pages in the finished journal.

a piece of fabric a little bit wider and about 6 inches longer 
than the paper--we have three boys around the house, and I always
save their ripped up jeans, so denim it is for this one.
punch tool--if you don't have one of those pokey tools, a darning
needle with the eye shoved into the end of a cork works okay, or
of course an awl

darning needle
embroidery floss or other similar stuff to bind the journal, about
about 4 times as long as your book is wide, PLUS about 20 inches--
it doesn't have to be exact!
big button for the clasp
ruler, pencil, and clamps--I use the big black flappy paper clip type,
but clothespins will work okay

optional:  bone folder, stuff to embellish the fabric cover such as
paints, fabric stamps/inks, lace, etc.

1Fold all the papers in half If you have a bone folder, now would be
a great time to use it . . .
Open the papers, neatly stack them, and clamp them together.
Using the ruler, measure the center of the fold line and mark it with a dot. 
4.  Measure out from the center dot about 2 inches on either side along the
fold line and mark with dots.  You may want to measure out a little further
or a little less on each side, depending on how big your paper is--just make it an
equal amount from the center on each side. 

 5.  Using the punch tool, carefully poke through the entire thickness of papers
on the three dots you made.

6Thread the darning needle with embroidery floss--don't knot the end.  Place the
papers on your fabric as shown.  The longer side of fabric will wrap around the
finished journal.

7Keeping on the clamps, close the papers slightly, and mark on the fabric where
the three holes are.  These marks will be your stitching guides.

8.  Come up through the back of the fabric through the CENTER HOLE, leaving
about a ten inch tail hanging out the back side of the fabric.  This tail will later
be what wraps around the button to clasp the journal closed.  Continue through the
center hole of all the papers, and tighten the floss enough that the papers aren't
loose, but not so tight that the papers will tear when you try and turn pages in the
finished journal.

Sorry, didn't get a pic of this--you're on the inside center of the papers with the
floss--now go through one of the outside holes, through all the thicknesses of
paper and fabric,  through to the appropriate mark on the fabric.
Tighten the floss a bit.

Now go over through the other hole you haven't visited yet--be careful to
line up the mark on your fabric to the hole on the paper--

and again pull through all the thicknesses of paper.

11. Go through the center mark again, and through to the back cover where
you will---

arrange the floss so there is one tail on each side of the giant outer stitch.  Tie a
knot securing the giant stitch, and trim the ends to match, if you like.  (Take off
the clamps . . .) 

12Wrap the fabric cover closed, and decide where the button clasp will be.
13.  Stitch on the button, then wrap the floss around the button to close the cover.

See?  There it is again.  Well, yes, okay, I painted mine . . .

What do you think?  Have you ever constructed your own journal?  Leave me a
link, please, I wanna see, and come join in the Reader's Art Quests at Unruly
Paper Arts--this month's RAQ themes are "Dear Diary" (art journal pages, anyone?)
 and "Scrapbook Page."

It just so happens that the current challenge at Blockheads Paper Arts is to use
any bookbinding technique--you can find the details HERE.


Valerie-Jael said...

Great idea! Valerie

trisha too said...

Thanks, Valerie! My daughter wants to make a bunch of these for friends, which I thought was a brilliant idea!


Terry said...

Very nice and great idea! I think I could find some spare denim! Thanks for the tutorial!

Shar B said...

Fabulous idea for a journal cover! Thanks for sharing how you made it!

anna christensen crafts said...

Trisha, this is wonderful. Thank you so much for the clear tutorial. I am going to try this out, I am making a few of my daughter's birthday presents right now (she loves handmade gifts) and this was the perfect inspiration at just the right time x

Marjie Kemper said...

What a cool cover! Love this.

trisha too said...

Wonderful, Anna! My daughter really likes these journals--I hope yours does, as well!


Unknown said...

"Easily Amused, Hard To Offend" has been included in the Sites To See for this week. I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

Lynn Stevens said...

The denim is a wonderful as the cover! I'll never toss out those old jeans again. LOL
hugs Lynn

Brenda Brown said...

Beautifully made and such a fabulous make Trishaws. Just love it.
Hugs Brenda xox

Karen Letchworth said...

Trisha: This is a great project! Thanks for sharing.

I wanted to say CONGRATS on your win at Our Daily Bread. How exciting to have won a stamp set. I am green with envy, but I know you will enjoy your new set.

I hope you can play along at Word Art Wednesday. We're having another DOUBLE PRIZE WEEK and it would be great to have you play with us. I always love seeing your beautiful projects in our challenges. Hope you have time to join us this week.

Congrats again, and happy stamping when you get your new stamp set.

Karen L
Word Art Wednesday

trisha too said...

Thank you, Jerry, I appreciate it!


trisha too said...

Thank you for the heads up, Karen--I got to work with Kelley from ODB when they were in town for a stamp show, it was very nice to meet her and Rick. You know I always like to join in at Word Art Wednesday when I can, it's one of my favorite challenge sites!


Julie S said...

So cool! I have a mondo stash of old jeans lying in wait for a project (much to my husband's chagrin - they've been lying in wait for a while.)

Thanks for the nice comment on my housekeeping blog post. It's nice to know I'm not alone. ;)

Lucy Edmondson said...

You are amazing, Trisha!

Lucy x

trisha too said...

Oh good grief, I actually thought of you yesterday, when I found a pile of dirty clothes NEXT to the hamper . . .


Shelly Schmidt said...

How cool is this- I have never done anything like this- it would be a fun gift for my sewing friends! Love your tutorial!