Monday, April 23, 2007

Journals as gifts

This is what's been keeping my hands occupied in my spare time yesterday and today - bookbinding!

These are little hardbound journals that I'm making for some dear friends. I've always been a journaler myself (that's probably why the blog thing is such a good fit), and I love a nice, firm, blank journal. The style I'm making has a handstitched spine with 80 pages. Mostly I'm using bright 28lb paper (I could see how using something a little heavier would be nice).
The photo above is of two different spines, one glued and dry, one in the gluing process. You'll notice throughout the photos that I use wax paper to protect pages that are not to get glue on them, or surfaces from glue.
The photo at right is of one of the glued spines (from above pic) in place with the first page glued into the cover. You can see the glue applied across the inside two front pages for the endpapers to attach to (seen at left).

The closed journal is at right, with lots of pages of wax paper in between the glued endpapers, etc, to protect the pages from getting all stuck together.

This last photo shows all 4 journals wrapped and interleaved with wax paper awaiting pressing. I've now tucked them under a big, heavy, flat book to press them while the glue dries. They'll need to stay like this for 24 hours now.

I did the dragonfly journal yesterday (purple - at right in photo) as a tester and discovered that corrugated cardboard is too heavy to be the cover base...the original cover for this set of pages was rather different than the dragonfly fabric. The nice thing is that it was easy to cut the other cover off when I realized it wasn't going to work, and to salvage the pages. The perfect weight cardboard is the high density thin stuff that our granola bar cases are made of.

I kept an eye on that little book through the drying process and although there was a point at which I thought the moisture from the glue was going to leave the pages rippled, the weighting step seems to have taken care of things. The pages are all straight and true.

What I used:
printer paper, scrapbook paper (one day I may try scrapbooking!), needle and thread, fabric, cardboard and white glue.

I have a feeling this will not be the last set of journals that I make.

All the best,


(PS - my blog counter reached 5000 today. Since Dec 11. Cool. Thanks for looking.)


Suzanne Earley said...

Your journals look wonderful. I've always had great journaling intentions, but never seem to follow through. I'm using a Moleskine right now, and have been keeping it at pretty regularly. I was just thinking that maybe I needed to make a cover for it. Your pretty journals might be the inspiration I need!

Flippytale Quilter said...

What great little books, they look like fun to make!

Vicki W said...

Wow! These are great journals! I started "journaling" this year but that really means that's where I doodle. If I every get any good at it I may have to try my hand at making my own journal book - for now the Target version is most appropriate to the quality of the content! LOL!

swooze said...

I love your journals. It looks like you are starting at even assembling the paper center. This process looks very interesting. Is there a detailed link anywhere on how to do this?

Lisa said...

This is a great tutorial. It'll get you making a book from the ground up. Do follow what he has to say about paper weight, it makes a big difference. My journals are almost dry - I'll post a picture of them later today.

I used to just purchase cheap-o journals that had nice paper, then make fabric covers for them. I love the idea of being responsible for the whole process.

Have fun!

Debra Spincic said...

I do the cheapo routine too. . . .nice journals!

swooze said...

Thanks for the link!

Joanne S said...

Hello! Hit the random button for the Artful Quilters and got to visit you! Love the Journals and will come back to get instructions.

Wednesday's Child