About

Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
2h00

a quick book that you can make with items you have around your house.
It's hard to find small books with thick pages that will stand up to markers and watercolors so I made this one. I love brown paper so I kept the cover natural so I could decorate it when I want to.

Posted by Runaway Journal Project from San Diego, California, United States • Published See Runaway Journal Project's 3 projects »
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  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 1
    Step 1

    You need a sketchbook or pad of watercolor paper. This book was under $3. This will work for any size book but I wanted something that I could carry in my pocket.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 2
    Step 2

    Pull the book apart and save all the parts.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 3
    Step 3

    You need to fold the watercolor pages in half and crease them with a bone folder or a wooden spoon or an old gift card. I used this fancy wooden mustard spoon that I use for crafts.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 4
    Step 4

    To make the cover cut the back cover from the sketch book in half. You can use the folded paper to mark the middle of the cover. If you don't have a thick knife you'll need to mark both sides to get the best cut. Use your knife to cut along the line. Turn it over and cut along the line on the other side. If you bend the board to cut it in two you won't get a crisp edge. I have a ceramic knife but a x-acto knife or box cutter will do the same thing.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 5
    Step 5

    Time for some math. This book came with 12 pages and I wanted to split it into 3 parts. So I placed four folded pages together to make a signature. Then stacked the 3 signatures on top of each other. Make a little sandwich with the paper and the cover board. Now separate the cloth spine from the front cover. If you used a spiral bound book can use graph paper, school paper, an envelope or any factory cut paper to use as a guide.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 6
    Step 6

    Now you need to figure out how thick you want your spine to be. I like to leave a little room so I can collage or add flat found objects and still close the book. In this book I used the width of the cloth spine to determine the thickness of my book. Mark the spine to the match the height of the book. Figure out what type of binding you want and then mark the spine to give you a guide on where to put your pilot holes for sewing. It's best to use a ruler for this next part but I've done it without one.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 7
    Step 7

    Clear duct tape and scissors.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 8
    Step 8

    Lay your sewing guide down first. Then cut your duct tape to twice the height + a 1/4 of an inch of your book. The 1/4 of an inch is to allow for the thickness of your cover boards. I used 3 pieces to get the correct width and add some stregth. Make sure the seam of the tape is on the inside of the book. Next lay the cover boards one at a time on the tape. Make sure you line everything up before you press the cover boards into the tape.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 9
    Step 9

    Fold the tape inward and press firmly. I grabbed two contrasting fabrics from my fabric stash and a ruler to create the spine and inside cover papers. Use the cover as a guide to cut the inside end pages fabric.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 10
    Step 10

    First measure the fabric for the spine of the book. Measure the width of the tape and add 1/4 of an inch to overlap a bit onto the cover (yellow).
    This way you won't see any tape when you are done with your book.
    You'll need a good white book binding glue or Weldbond (a small bottle is under$3)to firmly attach the pieces.

    Next I cut a second fabric to cover the inside cover pages to serve as end papers.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 11
    Step 11

    Glue,glue,glue and press, press, press. Make sure the seam of the fabric is on the inside of the book.
    Time for more glue. Grab your inside end pages fabric (orange). Line them up and glue them on. It will take 30 minutes to an hour for the glue to dry.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 12
    Step 12

    You'll need an awl or kids compass if you can't find your awl to poke holes in your folded pages. Mark each of your pages in the top right corner with a pencil to make sure everything stays lined up throughout the hole making process. Work on a flat surface and use the guide you made earlier to get the correct spacing for your sewing holes. Poke holes along the seam of all your pages. Poke corresponding holes in spine of your book. The duct tape has a self healing quality so you made need to add a bit more pressure get a hole.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 13
    Step 13

    Sew your pages in with waxed linen, cord or polyester thread. I made up the binding design for this project and if you are making up your own binding it is easier to work with an odd number of holes. This binding was three holes down and 3 across. I started sewing the middle signature in first because I wanted to make the threads cross each other on the outside.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 14
    Step 14

    Spine detail.

  • How to decorate an altered journal. Travel Book - Step 15
    Step 15

    Back cover. Waiting to be decorated.

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Comments

Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy · 6 projects
I can't believe i never thought of this
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