I was asked to run a New Year challenge by the Craft Pimp Etsy team. The challenge was making a journal. It’s a kick start to the year exercising the creative muscles making something you have never done before. I gave myself the additional challenge of using only stuff I had already, although I wanted to buy puff paints and all kinds of lovelies but I managed to restrain myself, for now at least. I had a rummage around the house and gathered together some useful bits and pieces, it’s good to re-purpose and recycle and my intent was to make an art journal I could carry in my bag and actually use. I have some beautiful watercolour books but they seem too precious to use.
I did have a plan but as soon as I sat down the plan changed and my journal just evolved. The first task was to make the signatures from some quality cartridge paper, a sketch book is only as good as the paper in it, I do like good quality paper to draw on. The paper was torn to create a decal edge, I considered tearing the already cut edges but decided against it would just be a waste and all I want is a book I know I’ll use.
The cover was the part I was quite excited about, so much scope, I had a plan, but like I said as soon as I sat down my plan changed, I was drawn by the holographic wine bag, the paper was nice and sturdy, and the pretty gift tag would look lovely on the cover. So my saved tomato puree tube became an embossed frame for the image, I even managed to get my old sewing machine working and stitched the pieces together, which is so much more secure than glue. I decided to make a feature out of the creases in the bag by stitching those as well.
The cover was glued to the boards, and I made a bookmark with the left over tom puree tube, the cord from the bag was fastened to the cover to make a tie.
The inside cover was made from scrunching up baking parchment ( thank you Jamie Oliver) then I coloured it with ink, let dry a bit then washed it off. Once assembled I stamped the inside but it would have been a better idea to do that before assembling.
The holes were poked into the spine and now it was time to assemble the book, I couldn’t quite get my head around this part but thankfully there are loads of videos on Youtube. I was very pleased with my finished book but I didn’t like the holes down the spine so they were covered with some scraps of the old faithful tom puree tube.
I know I’m going to love using my little art journal, I wish I’d had it in my bag when I was at the museum in Edinburgh last week.
Cornish Dragon has a brilliant tutorial on her blog if you would like to make your own journal.
The Craft Pimp team have made some fabulous journals, I will tell you more about those in my next post.