Saturday, February 25, 2017

I Finally Made a Junk Journal!


My desire to remain sane is in conflict with my desire to remain informed,  so I have adopted a new strategy - more art videos, less TV news.   To that end, I've been watching videos about making junk journals.   This one by Jolanda a.k.a. Jopke finally pushed me to try making one.  If you haven't checked out her videos, you must- she does such beautiful work.

Junk journals are journals made with stuff you have in your stash - bits of paper, ephemera, envelopes, tags - whatever.   The journal can be used for journaling, as smash books , for grocery/to-do lists - whatever.  

Time to dive in and try my hand at making one.   This isn't a step-by-step tutorial , just some of the things I did to make mine.

Lots of the videos I watched started out with using chipboard boxes for the cover  - like cereal boxes.   The beauty of using a box  is that the spine is already there.  I used a brownie mix box


I rarely do any precise measuring and this project was no different.  I just hacked the box down to the approximate size I wanted.   I did fold in the edges to make them more rigid, although I've seen plenty of videos that don't do this.  I also reinforced the spine with a piece from one of those return postcards that fall out of every magazine.  I glued everything down with Aileen's Tacky Glue and held it down with bulldog clips until dry.

Next, covering the cover - I used a paper placemat.

Folded in the edges and glued it down with gel medium.

 I forgot to take a picture, but glued some paper on the inside of the cover to hide the raw edges as you can see in the finished book.

Now, for the pages.   I went through my stash to find things that would work.  I wanted to use a variety of papers- scrapbook, text, craft, music ,  so there is no real theme going on!

I did measure here to make sure the pages would fit inside the cover.  I made one as a template and cut out the rest.   You can go shorter/ thinner than the cover, but not bigger unless you want the pages hanging outside.

Once the pages were assembled, I punched out three holes in each, using the template shown below.

Here are a few pages (already sewn in):

Gelli prints and under paper

Some stenciling and stamping.

This was fun - a little pamphlet (on the right) from one of my Flow magazines got chopped up, glued, and made its way in !

I made 3 groups of pages (signatures) with 8 pages in each signature.  

Then came the scary part - sewing the signatures into the spine.   I used a simple 3 - hole pamphlet stitch method.  There are lots of great how-to videos- my favorite is Johanna Clough's.   Really, this hardly qualifies as sewing - in one hole, out the other - yet oddly terrifying !   Once I started, it was really easy .  

This is what I used - a Martha Stewart punch, pearle  cotton run over beeswax and a large blunt needle.  I made a template (thanks for the tip, Jopke) of where I wanted the holes on the spine and on the pages.  Three signatures, three rows of holes.    Again, I just eyeballed the placement, but did use a ruler to make sure the holes were more or less lined up.  Check out the how-to videos I've linked for details.

Not gonna lie, I did a happy dance when I saw this !

Signatures actually sewn in and didn't fall out - yippee !  I felt like Sally Field, "I made a book!  I really made a book!"

I finished my journal with a closure - punched a hole with my Crop-a- Dile (thank you, Shiela) and added a white rivet and green ribbon.

 I'm pretty happy with my first attempt.   Some lessons learned:

*  A few of my pages were really thin paper , so the holes tore a bit as I sewed them in.

*  I think my punch was too big, so next time will try an awl.

*  Keep track of top / bottom - I sewed one signature in upside down !

*  Not sure the beeswax was necessary.

A new obsession is born - I see every box as a potential book cover.    Now, about that brownie mix....

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