These are instructions for making my big journals. These posts are mainly for ME. Rather than keeping track of handwritten notes or even a typed document, I have decided to get rid of as much unnecessary paper as possible and store or backup things online. Our photos are on Shutterfly, our documents are in our Amazon Cloud, and for some things I am making blog posts so I can search my blog for the information.
6 sheets 22"x30" Stonehenge paper makes 1 Big Journal
These journals are Coptic Bound, which I learned to do in bookmaking class in grad school (back in 1997). In class we bound books consisting of many sections, sewn together with the stitching showing along the spine. My big journals only have two sections. Because that's the way I like them.
These steps are outined in the following blog posts: (links will be inserted as posts are published)
- Tear down the paper
- Prep bookbinding thread
- Sew the Journal
- Making a Small Journal
- Joining Two Big Journals
I buy Stonehenge paper that measures 22"x30". I have been using Stonehenge paper since 1997 because after trying many different papers in the art supply store, this was my favorite. It is sturdy, has a bit of surface texture and takes varied media well. I used it throughout The Journaling Project, tearing the paper down until it was the small size I liked to use.
Scrap Canvas While Working
I use scrap canvas to protect pages while working on them. This is explained in the Big Journals: Covers post.
When drying damp pages, I weight down the journal with heavy books so the paper will dry flat.
Here are some of my completed Big Journals, which I am using for putting away old photos and old artwork, as well as what remains of The Journaling Project. Other mementos are in the decorative boxes below the shelf.
(made while taking Suzi Blu's A Lovely Dream online class)
A Few Bookmaking Hints:
Always make any marks in pencil - ink will smear and bleed when glued.
When gluing on book covers, glue the page, not the cover.
When stitching, don't pull thread too tight. Be gentle during all steps so paper doesn't get torn.
Sometimes it's tricky sticking the needle through all layers of a section - it may require poking the needle through one page at a time to get it through the section. Sometimes I accidentally pierce to the side of a hole - I remove the needle and try again, and usually don't notice these extra holes later.
Don't squeeze the sections together when stitching or the stitches will be too tight. Rest them together gently and pull the thread gently - slack in the thread is okay. If you add in a lot of extra paper (or canvas like I do), tight stitches will pull and tear the paper.
Adding Fold-Out Pages:
I have added a few foldout pages to my journals. You can glue a folded half-sheet of Stonehenge onto one of the pages (just gluing half of it so the other half sticks out. But, for added strength I have also glued in two folded half-sheets, sandwiching the Big Journal page between them, so the foldout page is 2 sheets thick and the anchor page is 3 sheets thick.