So as I said in my post yesterday, one way I want to make this journal different is by making it bigger. This is the standard journal size that I like to make. It’s big enough to have lots of room to play, but not overwhelmingly large.
The journal size I usually make
I used 90lb Fabriano Hot Press Watercolor paper. This is still my favorite for journal making because it’s not too heavy but the pages hold up very well to all sorts of media. It’s also easy to fold, tear and punch through. I get asked about this choice often and I’d like to insert that any paper that you like to use for mixed media art can be substituted. Your journal is a personal place for you to make art and the substrate you choose to work on is a personal choice. I just share what my favorite is:-)
To make the 7 1/2″ x 11″ journal that I made, tear four 22″ x 30″ sheets of paper into fourths, you’ll use 15 of these torn down pieces of paper. I used a tear bar but you can fold and score with a bone folder tool, wet the fold with a sponge and tear. Remember that this journal can be made in any size you want so if you already have a pad of paper you like you may just want to tear out pages and fold them in half.
Fold each piece of torn paper in half and score fold with the bone folder tool to create 15 folios. Nest three folios inside of each other to create 5 signatures of three sheets each.
Punch a center hole and one hole from each end for three holes total in the spine. (You can find complete instructions on stitching this in my book. Use waxed linen thread to bind each signature with a pamphlet stitch, tying the not on the inside of the signatures.
I like to store my awl and binding needle in a cork to keep them together and myself safe from being poked.
I get my waxed linen thread from the jewelry section of Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.
Because this is a larger journal and the stitches on the outside are a bit larger than my 2″ cloth tape, I’m going to use two pieces of tape in each stitch for a total of 4 pieces.
I find it helpful to use a piece of 2″ by 8″ piece of chipboard to act as a threader for the tape. Simply stick the edge of the tape to the chipboard and thread it through the stitches on the outside of the stack of signatures. Remove the tape from the chipboard and stick one side to the outside of the signature on one side of the stack. Then compress the stack of signatures and stick the rest of the tape to the other side of the stack. If needed use a second piece of tape beside the first one. Repeat for second outside stitch.
For the covers I like to use mat board or the heavy boards from the back of drawing pads. Just cut to the size of your journal. For the larger journals like this I like to have a nice sturdy cover so I wouldn’t recommend using just canvas as in the smaller journal in my book.
Use Yes glue or other good strong paper glue to attach the cardboard covers to the front and back of the signature stack.
To cover the spine I like to use Gaffers tape but any cloth tape including the one you used for the binding will work. Duct tape will even work. Just cut two pieces the length of your journal. Place one piece sticky side up on your worktable and then tear about a 1″ strip from the second piece of tape. Place this sticky side down, down the center of the piece on your worktable.
Set your journal, bound side down on top of the tape, it should be resting on the non sticky middle strip. Carefully stick the tape to the front and back of the journal.
Sometimes there’s a bit of a gap between the signatures when you ope your book.
To fix this I just add a strip of the cloth tape I used for the binding.
Let the glue set up overnight if possible, I like to weigh the journal down with a book or two on top of it. Then you’re good to go!
You can decorate your cover or leave it plain. For complete journal making instructions remember to check out my book Creating Art at the Speed of Life