These are instructions for making my big journals. These posts are mainly for ME. Rather than keeping track of handwritten notes or even a typed document (which was in error!) I have decided to get rid of as much unnecessary paper as possible and store or backup things online. Our photos are on Shutterfly, our documents are in our Amazon Cloud, and for some things I am making blog posts so I can search my blog for the information.
6 sheets 22"x30" Stonehenge paper makes 1 Big Journal
These journals are Coptic Bound, which I learned to do in bookmaking class in grad school (back in 1997). In class we bound books consisting of many sections, sewn together with the stitching showing along the spine. My big journals only have two sections. Because that's the way I like them.
These steps are outined in the following blog posts: (links will be inserted as posts are published)
- Tear down the paper
- Prep bookbinding thread
- Sew the book sections together
- Attach the covers
I buy Stonehenge paper that measures 22"x30". I have been using Stonehenge paper since 1997 because after trying many different papers in the art supply store, this was my favorite. It is sturdy, has a bit of tooth (surface texture) and takes varied media well. I used it throughout The Journaling Project, tearing the paper down until it was the small size I liked to use.
I use scrap canvas to protect pages while working on them. I use two pieces of canvas, one behind each open page, and I have a folded piece of lightweight canvas to place between them (I experimented with some lightweight canvas but didn't like it at all). I prefer not to just splash away on journal pages without some protection for the pages behind.
After letting the surface dry a bit, I place the third scrap between the two facing pages before closing the journal so they don't get stuck together.
When drying damp pages, I weight down the journal with heavy books so the paper will dry flat.
Here are some of my completed big journals, which I am using for putting away old photos and old artwork, as well as what remains of The Journaling Project. Other mementos are in the decorative boxes below the shelf.
(made while taking Suzi Blu's A Lovely Dream online class)
Look how thick it is! Lotsa stuff glued in.
Note for Smaller Journal the size of my Butterfly Journal:
Pages are a quarter sheet of Stonehenge.
1 & 1/2 pages of Stonehenge per section. My Butterfly Journal has 3 sections.
Mark one hole from each edge 1" in. There are 5 holes total about 2 1/4" apart.
A Few Bookmaking Hints:
Always make any marks in pencil - ink will smear and bleed when glued.
When gluing on book covers, glue the page, not the cover.
When stitching, don't pull thread too tight. Be gentle during all steps so paper doesn't get torn.
Sometimes it's tricky sticking the needle through all layers of a section - may need to poke one page at a time to get it through. Sometimes I accidentally pierce to the side of a hole - I remove needle and try again, and usually don't notice these extra holes later.
Don't squeeze the sections together when stitching or the stitches will be too tight. Rest them together gently and pull the thread gently - slack in the thread is okay. If you add in a lot of extra paper (or canvas like I do), tight stitches will pull and tear the paper.
Adding Fold-Out Pages:
I have added a few foldout pages to my journals. You can glue a folded half-sheet of Stonehenge onto a page. But, for added strength I have also glued in two folded half-sheets, sandwiching the big journal page between them, so the foldout page is 2 sheets thick and the anchor page is 3 sheets thick.
Other Book Types:
I have created a few other blog posts on other types of books I learned in my bookmaking class. I kept my spiral of class notes for many years, then tore out the pages I wanted to keep. I didn't want to completely trash the information, so here are some posts on how to make the following books: (links will be inserted as posts are published)
Japanese Stab Binding
I kept my sample books for many years, but they didn't survive the big purge. I saw no need to keep them, even though some of them were pretty cute.