Friday, June 15, 2012

July Journal Bind Along

Interested in bookbinding? Want to customize your own art journal or daily planner? Looking to give yourself a little push towards integrating creativity into your daily routine?

Join me as I work over the next two weeks to make another customized daily journal. Similar to how a composition book is bound, the binding is a simple pamphlet or running stitch. Right now I am planning the following steps in this series of posts:

Let's start today with looking at the supplies needed and thinking about what we want from our journals. Here are the supplies I will be using. Click the link to see an example of the item. I chose to link to to show everything from one source.
Let's go through the supplies in a bit more detail. Let me tell you about what I am using and we can discuss some alternatives. 

Text Pages & Card Stock
The type of paper you choose to use for the text is up to you and what you want from your journal. I was looking to make a journal similar in size to my usual composition books. I am using standard  8 1/2 x 11 inch paper just like you use for your computer printer. There is a lot on hand and it is easy to print the daily planner pages I want in my book myself using my computer and basic scanner. I chose to go with a variety of colors partly to provide contrast in the photos here and help you distinguish between pages as I work. I will be folding the paper not in half but so that I wind up with a text block about 7 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches folded. (If you would like to start more simply, you can choose to use any size paper you would like to fold in half for your journal.)

This is an easy one. Just grab your favorite small ruler in the ball park of 12 inches or so. 

I will use masking tape to hold my ruler down to aid in folding my pages. The duct tape or similar tape will be used as the spine of the book and seen on the outer cover. The standard silver is not the only choice. You could also use book tape, book cloth or fabric if you prefer. 

Bone Folder
A bone folder is a useful tool for achieving crisp folds and smooth glue ups. If you do not have one consider something along the lines of a wooden craft stick or just use your hands. 

Awl or Needle Tool
The awl or needle tool is used to punch holes or sewing stations in the text block of a sewn book. I prefer the style linked to here for the straight shaft just about the size of a needle. 

Sewing Cradle
I have a sewing cradle I learned how to make from Shereen LaPlantz in one of her workshops years ago. It's  collapsible for easy storage or transport and mine is still going strong after years of use. Let's not reinvent the wheel, so here's a great post about how to make one from Chewing with the Paper Chipmunk. 

I most often use waxed linen thread for binding. Other options are similar types of thread or even button hole thread from your sewing supplies. Cord or ribbon are possibilities in the case of this binding. 

I use around a size 16 tapestry needle. Just look for a blunt needle with eye to accommodate your thread.

Book Board
Board for the covers of books may be called a variety of names - book board, binders board, chip board, Davy Board - and comes in a variety of qualities, thicknesses and sizes. This book is easy. I will be making use of board I have saved from the back of legal pads and the like.

Cover Paper
I haven't decided on the exact cover paper I will be using for this journal. I need to peruse my box of partial sheets of decorative paper. I will be looking for something fairly durable since I carry this book around with me daily. That means saying no to the lovely papers with flower or plant inclusions. I do want to choose something with a soft hand, not too stiff (as in not card stock) so it will mold to my boards nicely. That being said don't sweat it too much. I used pages out of a large atlas for my current journal cover. If you don't have a stash of larger sheets of paper what about a roll of brown kraft paper or even a recycled paper source you can decorate yourself. 

Well, I think that's enough for now. If you want to bind along with me, think about your favorite journals over the next few days. What size do they tend to be? What kind of paper? Any feature you have always wished you could add? If you have any questions, please comment below. The next post in this series will move along to preparing the text block so that's what I am off to do!