Sunday, January 24, 2010

Making a handmade journal - part 1

So I missed the art day at my Church - I was still coughing too much to share the germs. I decided to share some journal making here instead. Since I had a day dedicated to art, and I needed to make something, I am going to show you how to make your own handmade journal. First - make your work space ready - a big surface is really helpful for tearing paper, assembling materials, having what you need at hand. and here is a hint -- when I moved my computer away from my work area, I got more productive. My desk is just a sheet of marine plywood on bookshelves, and I covered it with mylar so the wood is not too rough.

You will need 22" x 30" sheets of watercolor paper - cold press, so they are smooth to take all your collaging. You will be marking the length at 10" and 20" to tear the sheets into three equal rectangles.

Use a large metal ruler to tear the paper into three parts.

Fold the papers into three parts, the pages will be folded as a flip out for your book, so each sheet will be in thirds:

You will sew sets of two or three with a sewing machine - this is making what is called signatures in bookbinding terms - these signatures will be assembled together to make the whole book have more pages.

I am using a cover from another book I bought at the 90% off table at the bookstore - I removed the papers which came in it to use for collage, and I will glue my sewn signatures into this cover. Of course, eventually, I will collage on the cover also. Here you see the three signatures sitting on the book cover I am reusing. I also will sew these three together with cord so the middle one stays put - the front and back will be firmly attached with glue, but having all three connected is important - I simply tie the heavy cord together in the middle, and this can be covered up with collage paper if I don't want it to show in the journal.

I put lots of glue on the ribbon to glue the three signatures together - white glue is actually very very strong. Spread the glue with a piece of cardboard so it is well distributed.

Here is the binding - the three signatures held together with the ribbon.

The glued binding -- use clips to hold them together while the glue dries:

Here is the book - three signatures of three pages each, glued together then the front and back page are glued into the empty cover. Each page has a fold out, to make the pages bigger - more page area = more collage! Tomorrow I will show you the sequence of painting, collaging and adding words and marker to a page.
and don't forget to enjoy the process, however your book turns out is fine - it is YOUR journal, and you can enjoy the making as well as the filling of it.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." --Ursula K. LeGuin

["Det är bra att ha ett slut på resa mot, men det är resan som är viktigt, i slutet."]

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