I’m ready for this year with a new pair of art journals–an A6 one and a mini-book–that I bound and prepped recently! (I actually have three journals now–I’d bound the third one last year, and use it occasionally.)
So far, I’ve used loose A6-sized pages for my art journaling, which I’d eventually bind into a journal. And for my mini-journal, I’d use an accordion-folded book from a large, non-blank sheet of paper. This time, to shake things up a bit, I stitched and bound journals beforehand.
I wanted a rustic theme, so I hand-tore all the pages from a drawing book instead of using cutting / chopping implements. I also distressed the straight edges of the pages to keep things consistent.
For the mini journal, I used brewed tea to dye / stain my paper. I had to submerge the paper overnight to get the color sufficiently dark.
For the A6 journal, I used a variety of colors and textures. In addition to plain pages from the drawing book, I used tea-dyed pages, black card stock, and kraft paper. I also added a sheet each of wax paper and heavily textured paper–journaling on these is going to be a challenge! 😉
Then came the binding of the pages into books. I deviated from my usual method of employing Coptic stitch for an open-spine book, and used Kettle stitch instead. I then attached a piece of cloth over the spine of the bound book block to strengthen it before attaching the covers.
For the covers, I glued patterned paper over cardboard, and then attached them to the cloth that I’d glued to the spine. I also covered the insides of the covers with hand-stamped paper sheets, and then attached these sheets to the outermost pages of the book block.
I finished the book covers by adhering a strip of a different patterned paper along the spine, and slightly distressing the edges of the covers. Ta da!
I was going to leave the mini journal blank just like the A6 journal, but then, since I mainly use the mini journal when I feel uncreative, I thought I wouldn’t want to experience the blank page syndrome when I open the journal. So I did some background prepping.
The prepping was mainly some playful gel printing using my round gel plate. Again, to shake things up, I went with brighter colors. I always love gel-printing sessions because the results don’t always follow one’s expectations, and it’s fun to see what emerges. With this small a surface, though, the results were slightly more predictable. 😉
A couple of days later, I felt that the background was too bright, so I applied some white gesso over it to mute the colors. If I feel later that it’s still pretty overwhelming, I’ll add another coat of the gesso.
And that completes my art journal prep. I haven’t embellished the covers because I don’t want them affecting my journaling sessions (and vice versa.) I’ll add more embellishments when I’m done arting on all of the pages. I’m looking forward to the decorating as well, so if you have any ideas that I can add to my list, I’m all ears! 🙂