I've decided to participate in the 52 Week Art Journal class designed by Rachel Denbow's and with six other bloggers in conjunction with A Beautiful Mess.
One of the things you need for the class is: a journal
(DUH!—it's a art journal class)
Here's the problem: I know me. And finding a journal I like that meets my needs, as well as, the needs of the class = tall order!
The list of needs isn't huge, but proved hard to find:
• Nice paper (semi heavy stock)—personal preference
• Lay flat so you can work on it—class recommendation
• Have (at least) 52 pages. (Again, duh…52 week art journal. One page a week for 52 weeks.)
• Have some personality—personal preference
So I decided to make my own. I've been playing around with designing a planner for myself.
(Again, can't seem to find one that will really meet all my needs—I will post about this later.)
I already have an idea how to bind the planner so, I thought I'd give it a shot with the journal.
It worked out GREAT!
A Little Golden Book—I found mine at Goodwill. I wanted one that was colorful, had the gold tape fairly intact and already looked a bit used—then I can throw it around as necessary.
My Zutter All-In-One puncher/binder
1" binding (use whatever size fits your final journal: my final is 60 pages plus the original Golden Book pages— also use whatever brand you want: I used Cinch)
Paper cutter (mine is X-Acto brand I purchased on Craigs list earlier this year)
Pad of paper (I used Watercolor Paper, size 9x12 • 40 sheet pad)
Step 1: Look at the bound edge of the book. It's very basic. It's two pieces of heavy cardboard attached together by 2 staples and then wrapped with gold paper.
With your sharp X-Acto knife cut down each side of the cardboard on the binding end to cut the gold tape/paper. Be careful to keep the gold tape looking nice and not cut the pages.
Step 2: You'll need to locate the two staples used to bind the book. They are each about 1.5 inches from the bottom and top. You should be able to feel them if you run your hand down the front (or back) of the gold tape.
Step 3: After you've found the staples, use your X-Acto knife to cut a square around it and expose the staple. The tape (which is really glued paper) should just lift off and expose the staple. Don't worry about the hole—when you wire bind your journal you really won't see it and it just adds a little personality. If it bothers you. Save the gold square and glue or tape it back.
Step 4: Remove the staples. This sounds easier then it really is. I use the X-Acto to lift the ends of the staple so they were straight. BE CAREFUL: Depending on the age and condition of the book, the staple could be a bit rusty. Don't get jabbed with the staple. If you do get punctured…make sure your Tetanus shot is up to date or go get one.
Once you have the staples out you should 3 pieces: the cover, the back and the pages.
Step 5: You might have noticed that your book pages are made of 2 signatures or groups of pages. If you are going to use your pages in your journal (which I did) these pages will need to be trimmed to separate them. If you don't plan to use the pages in your journal skip to Step 6.
Otherwise trim the pages down (trim the bound end) so they are approximately 6.5" wide. This is slightly longer then my journal pages—but necessary in order to make sure that the words don't get trimmed off.
Step 6: Now it's time to trim your journal pages. My original sheets were 9"x12". I found that cutting in half length wise so they were 6" wide maximized my paper and I get two journal pages out of each piece of watercolor paper. After that cut I trimming to 7 7/8" (7.875") tall. I did ALL cuts 2 pages at a time—I wasn't really comfortable doing more then that. I think my blade needs sharpened. Do whatever you are comfortable with. Just continue this way until you have the number of pages you want. My journal has 60 pages plus the book pages. Below you see my paper, next group is my original book pages and then the back cover. It makes a nice little stair step and I like the variation of paper size and textures.
I held onto the 'scrap' paper. I don't know what I'll do with it. Maybe at some point make bookmarks…
Step 7: Use you Zutter/Cinch whatever you'd like to punch you pages and your cover. Choose the right settings for you. I used the Cover and Inside page settings. I did punch my journal pages and book pages separately, but with the same settings.
Step 8 (Only if you are using the book pages): Disperse the book pages in with the journal pages. No need to evenly distribute or anything (Unless you want to).
Step 9: Bind**. I used 1" Cinch brand wire on my book. I kinda wish I had gone a bit bigger, because I fear that once I start making pages the journal will get 'fatter'. But this size works great for now. Since I have the machine, I can always rebind it later should I choose.
**If you've never wire bound something head over to YouTube and watch some tutorials—there are tons! Watch to your hearts content and then when you're comfortable bind your journal.
Step 10: Use. I hope you love it, you took the time to make it.
If you want to take the class, A Beautiful Mess is giving one class away so go comment on their post to win!