Studio Check-in #7: Handmade Journal Update

There hasn’t been a lot of painting happening this month, I admit, though I have some preliminary sketches in the works for future paintings. In the meantime, remember all that coffee-dyed paper from last month? Well, I put some of it to good use, along with the fabric I bought for journal covers. I folded, cut, glued, and stitched up two full junk journals (so called, at least in my mind, because they use old paper scraps, ads, book pages, etc. to make up the journal pages) plus covers for four more.

They’re all a little imperfect, though I think that’s part of their charm. First up is a simple, single signature pamphlet-bound journal made with my peacock fabric (which I did also make a mask out of for work). It’s about 5″ x8″, roughly, and I tried rounding the corners (which was an interesting challenge when gluing the cover fabric on).

If anyone’s wondering, I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue to adhere all the fabric to cardboard covers that are roughly the thickness of cereal boxes. For the ones that aren’t wrapped (like the peacock journal) or sewn (like the Simplicity journal further down) I went around the edges with PVC glue, which we used in my book-binding classes, to keep the fabric edges from fraying.

Ads salvaged from an old magazine, plus a tag from a gift, a random oracle card I found in a library book, a sticker (the bird/flowers) and a couple pieces of ephemera from a Tim Holtz pack I bought. Intriguingly, at least to me, fairy trees (from which Fairy Tree Studios gets its name) are commonly Hawthorn trees.
There it is, my coffee-dyed paper in action (along with some scrapbook paper and a couple of salvaged book/magazine pages)
The inside and outside of the spine, showing (kind of) the stitching that holds the book together. It’s one of the easiest binding styles, requiring only 3 holes (which I punched by hand with an awl).

The other journal I finished was this Simplicity Pattern fabric journal, which I attempted to sew around the edges of with my sewing machine (I used a leather sewing needle and some top-stitch thread for this particular effect). Again, it’s pretty rough, especially on the front cover, but it got better as I went.

A preview of the inside pages of the journal (including more coffee-dyed paper and salvaged pages). See below for a video of me flipping through the pages.
This journal has two signatures, and the binding required a little more planning to get the result I wanted, but I was pleasantly surprised to work it out on the first try. I sewed the signatures with the same top thread I used to go around the edges of the cover.
The video is sideways because I’m actually rather inept at any media that’s more complicated than a photo. Hopefully it’s not too annoying to watch.

Here are the other covers that I haven’t had time to put signatures together for yet. I have TONS of paper scraps, stickers, Washi tape, etc. ready to go, so it’s just a matter of sitting down and assembling them all.

I have four more total currently in the works, including a Harry Potter themed one which I’m particularly excited about.
I’m going to attempt a flap closure on this galaxy journal.

So there you have it. I’ll share any new progress on these once I’ve made some. There’s a good chance that a few of these will end up in my Etsy shop once I get a little more practice under my belt, just because I already have more blank journals than I could probably fill in a lifetime (plus I keep making and buying more).

P.S. If you want to vote on your favorite plants for my next DIY painting kit, there’s still time; I’m taking votes for a few more days, and I could use your help to break a tie between a couple of the Instagram and Facebook favorites!

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