Sunday, March 2, 2014

Journal Happy

I do so love a journal. My most popular blog post by far is this journal. Lately, I've designed another simple project that allows me to create thoughtful, customized gifts for family (and self, to be honest). Should be doable for both the whimsical and the serious crafters. By my 3rd one, the steps from start to constructed (not customized notebook) took about 30 minutes.

I'm posting the tutorial for the basic book. How you customize is limitless.

I had some cardboard sheets salvaged from the trash at work. You might also consider cereal boxes (not sure how you'll want to handle the colored side). The type of paper is up to you, although, you don't want it to be too stiff. I found the sweet spot seemed to be 10-11 sheets of paper per book.

My inspiration is this Moleskine notebook:

I like to customize...

The inspiration notebook is 3.5 inches wide and 6.5 inches long (exactly half a 8.5 x 11 sheet). After cutting my sheet of cardboard in half (at 6.5 inches), I measured and cut along the new long side of it at 7 1/8 inches. This way, when the notebook is folded and half, and carrying the bulk of multiple pages of paper, it still looks nice.

Now the cut. Straight edge, utility knife, done.

Now score down the center at 3 6/16 inches. In a pinch, a butter knife works just fine for this. Just don't press so hard as to cut into the paper.

Score>>>>>>>>>Will look like this

Gently fold along score, and press. Now, take off the corners (if desired). Got this tool for $6 with the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon. Worth it, from my perspective!

Now, the paper steps, in sequence:
Measure sheet at 6.5 inches (center line)

Cut at 6.5 inches.

Measure: at seven inches along new long side (not 7 1/18 as for cover)


Score at 3.5 inches. SCRATCH THAT. I just folded each sheet in half. Easier, and more uniform fold that way. Ignore difficult to achieve photo below.

To combine the elements:
Draw and poke holes in the cardboard every 1/5 inch. An awl is lovely for this step.

Eventually, I found the easiest way to punch the holes in the paper: line the up on the outside of the cover, and push the awl through each hole until it passes though the papers. Be gentle, so you don't end up pushing more than the tip of the awl through.

Now, place the paper inside the cover, and we'll sew her up. Start on inside, and leave a couple of inches of string. Sew down, turn around, and come back up, creating a solid line. Use a simple knot to tie it off. Tip: If you leave a lot of tail, you can sew it back through the outside of the cover, and use as to tie the notebook (see some below).

Your pages will all be wonky. I trimmed off the excess, to create a smooth edge...

...Then round the corners of the pages (it's tedious, but I found doing a couple sheets at a time makes the best result).

Some of my final products:

Built an easy pocket inside.
Extra points for getting the Freudian reference

(Possibly) Linking Here: