take your paper (I got a 50 sheet package of drawing paper at a craft store - $1.10 - I liked the color) and cut out rectangles to make signatures with.<BR><BR>I determinded the size of the journal I wanted by the paper I bought. I cut my 12"x9" sheets in half 10 at a time, then folded the rectangles in half, so I ended up with 4½"x6" pages.
unfold your signatures and measure where to punch your holes.<BR><BR>I punched 6 holes to get a nice even stitching on the spine of my journal.
I used an awl for this part.<BR>I put a piece of cardboard between my pages and cutting board so the holes go all the way through better.
refold your signatures, press them down, and measure how thick they are altogether.
now the the outside - I used leather, but you can use whatever ya like. I LOVE the smell!<BR><BR>I got a 1/2 lb. bag of leather scraps at a carfts store - $6<BR><BR>try to get a large enough piece for the size journal you'll be making.<BR>measure the signatures your just made and allow extra for the flap to fold over the front cover.<BR>I didn't have a big enough piece, so I cut the leather in ways that gave me the most to work with.
A rotary cutter worked great on this, but any really sharp blade will be fine.<BR><BR>I wanted to have neat-o stitch lines on mine so I took advantage of needing to piece together my strips and cut diagonally along the leather.
match that cut with the piece you'll be joining it with.<BR>I like the raw edges the leather scraps come with, so I pick out the ones I like best for the ends of my strip.
measure out holes to punch with an awl so that they're even and match up well.<BR>that was a bit tricky with a diagonal line, so if you don't want to mess up your leather, make a paper template first and after you get the holes situated where ya want and it all goes together how ya like, punch the leather.
I used thick, waxed thread and a big needle to sew the pieces together.<BR><BR>you can stitch it however you like, but I like this sorta flat blanket stitch kinda thing I do. - I really don't know what it's called :P<BR><BR>leave a tail about 6" long or so, and with your pieces side by side, go through the holes as if they were wrong sides together, in the same direction.
bring your needle through the holes and go through the loop, pull tight and go through the next holes down the same way.<BR>The first stitch won't have a loop to go through, but you can wind around the tail you left and then pull it between the pieces where they're butted up together and run the thread under the stiches on the back side. do the same at the other end when you finish sewing it up, and run that tail up through the stitches on the other side, too.<BR><BR>I like using waxed thread for this because it sorta sticks to itself and I didn't need to make any knots on the back side - much smoother that way.
the spine - this is where you'll need that measurement from your signatures - mine was about an inch thick.<BR><BR>wrap your leather around your pages and decide where you want to sew your signatures in.<BR>I divided up my inch into six and punched the holes in the same spots I punched them in the paper before.
sew the signatures into the leather - I started at the top, went in from the leather side and through the pages, wove the needle in and out until I reached the bottom, then went back up, then down... and so on until you've got all the holes filled. tie the ends off and leave them long or string up some beads on them... I poked the ends back through so the spine was nice and clean.
cut a strip to wrap around the journal & hold it together.<BR><BR>I secured mine with a decorative silver button thing to match the snap I wanted to use at the other end.
measure around your journal and decide where to place your snap.<BR><BR>you could totally just leave the strap long to tie the journal up with, but I didn't have enough and I wanted to use a snap anyway.<BR><BR>