The first thing you will need to do is gather the materials for the journal.
You will need:
a junk mail envelope - mine was 6" x 9" (If you don't have any envelopes, simply cut a piece of heavy cardstock to the same size)
Assorted pages for your journal. I used a total of 7 pages in mine. I like to use a mix of writing pages, book pages, paper doilies, and patterned papers.
Brown kraft tape (washi tape or masking tape also work here)
Art Glitter Glue (or your favorite glue)
Fabri-Tac/3-in-1 glue (or your favorite fabric glue)
Lace/ribbon/fabric scraps (I used lace and cheesecloth)
Never Ending Warmth Ephemera Pack (printed two pages per page)
Never Ending Warmth Polka Dot Paper (printed two pages per page)
Black and Tan Polka Dot Paper (printed two pages per page)
A clip to hold your journal shut
Paper clips/other clips to hold your pages together while binding
Optional: a sewing machine (if you don't have a sewing machine, you can bind your pages with thread using a 3 hole pamphlet stitch or your favorite method)
The first thing we are going to do is ink the edges of the junk mail envelope on both sides. Then fold it in half and reinforce the crease with a bone folder (or whatever you have).
Next, we are going to glue down the envelope flap. If you want to have the top of your journal have pockets, apply glue to the flap and then tuck it inside the envelope. In this case, the shape of the flap/opening didn't work for doing pockets (because of the sewing - coming soon - but I showed it to you anyway so you know how to do it).
After securing the envelope flap, flip the envelope over so you are looking at the outside cover. At this point, we will be reinforcing the spine using kraft tape. You can also use washi tape, masking tape, or even fabric at this step. Once you have applied the tape, fold your journal again and reinforce the fold.
Next, gather the papers you want to use for your front and back covers and cut them so they are a little smaller than your cover. I cut my pieces to 4.25" x 5.75" since that is what worked for my envelope size. I like to ink the edges of the pages at this point. Glue to papers to the front and back of your journal.
This next step is optional. I took my journal over to my sewing machine and sewed around the edges of the front and back panel. I like the look of stitching along the edges. If you don't have a sewing machine, just skip this step. If you sew, make sure to do backstitching at the beginning and end so you don't have your stitches start to unravel.
Next, we are going to assemble the front cover. You will need lace/fabric scraps and your ephemera that you want on the cover. I like to ink around my ephemera. Cut your lace/fabric to the size you want and attach it to the cover with your fabric glue. Next, attach the ephemera label on top of the lace. I then add some cheesecloth and layer the sentiment on top. I use fabric glue for all of these steps since I am adhering fabric to paper. I feel that this works better than using my art glitter glue.
Next, we will move on to decorating the inside covers. Flip your envelope over and gather your papers that you want to cover them with. The black page doesn't really have stripes. My print heads need cleaning. :) I decided to use the paper anyway because I feel like the stripes add some fun interest and I don't like wasting my supplies. I cut them at 4.25" x 5.75" again and inked around the edges. I adhered them with my Art Glitter glue.
We will also add ephemera to the front and back inside covers. I like to ink around my ephemera to let it stand out more.
Next, we gather our pages, fold them in half, and assemble them in the order we want by tucking the pages inside of each other. The second to last photo shows the order I put my pages in. If you have a page that is too tall, like I do, you can fold the bottom of the page up to create a pocket. If the page is too long and sticks out the side, you can trim it down to fit.
We will sew in your signature (pages) next. I like to line them up the way I want them so that I get a nice layered effect. If you can see parts of the next pages sticking out, it adds such fun interest to your journal. After I have the pages the way I want, I open the journal and use some large paperclips to hold them in place. To sew in the pages, you can either use your sewing machine and sew straight down the middle or do a 3 hole pamphlet stitch (you can find a tutorial on YouTube if you don't know how to do this). If you use your sewing machine, be sure to do a backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching. Hopefully your stitching ends up straighter than mine. :)
After this, I like to open each page and reinforce it with my bone folder. This helps to make your book sit flatter. You can also glue the edges of your pockets shut at this stage.
Finally, we start embellishing our journal. Gather the materials that you want to include and start gluing them in place, clipping them to the sides, or sticking them into the pockets.
Finally, step back and enjoy your beautiful work of art! You can add a clip to hold your book closed or leave it as it is.
Did you enjoy making a journal? Is this your first journal? I would love to know! Leave a comment below.
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