Saturday, January 8, 2011

Make a Handcrafted Collage Journal

I just made these beautiful journals
 to place on consignment in a local
store next Spring. I thought I would
share the project with you...
Lets start with the supplies you will need;

White Card Stock, Colored Card Stock, Scrapbook Papers, Old Magazines, Vintage Fabric, Asst. Ephemera, Filler Paper;
I like too use a nice weight drawing paper, some people like to use these as sketch journals.
Glue Stick, Ink Pads, Rubber Stamps, Paper Cutter, Comb Binding Machine and Plastic Combs, Sewing Machine and Asst. Thread
If you don't have a comb binding machine, you can experiment with other types of binding, just follow the basic directions for creating the covers, and go from there.
Start by figuring out what size you would like the finished journal to be; I found it easiest to just cut my filler paper either in half or fourths, no extra trimming. These pages started as 9"X12" so cut in half, that leaves a 6"X9" book. I precut all my filler pages and set them aside. Remember, 30 sheets means 60 pages, this gives you lots of room to express yourself! You will also need two pieces of white card stock, for the front and back covers. Make sure they are a bit larger than the finished journal.
 After you have done the boring part of cutting the plain pages, it's time to stretch your creative wings and fly! Start with a couple of nice ads from your vintage magazine. I love the old photos and drawings, and get a real kick out of the "June Cleaver" way of life these advertisements portray. Now using your chosen pictures as a color guideline, choose a snippet of vintage fabric, and at least two scrapbook papers that coordinate. If you are like me, nothing is safe from embellishment, so go at the papers with your stamps and inks. As you can see I started with a sheet of plain blue paper, and randomly stamped over the entire surface. I think the whole effect works best if you do a full sheet, then cut out the size you need, it adds to the eclectic look of the finished piece. Next cut all the papers you have chosen into assorted sized strips. Try not to be too accurate here, remember free form and unplanned! Using the glue stick, glue down the strips, covering both the front and back covers. It is alright to let the excess hang over the edge, you will trim the covers to their finished size later. Now take both the covers over to your sewing machine and stitch down the edges of the strips. You can use either a zigzag or a long straight stitch. DO NOT stitch the perimeter yet! You will do that later. Now tear a couple strips of vintage fabric and stitch them down as well. Here are the covers with the paper strips glued down and the fabric waiting to be attached. Don't try for perfect here, missed stitches and loose threads just add to the appeal.

Next, trim the covers to their final size. Go ahead and add some postage stamps, labels, words from old books and more inked stamps. I like to take a brown or tan ink pad and lightly rub over the entire surface, it subtly blends the separate elements into a united whole. Here are the finished covers.
Now put the covers into the binding machine and punch them. MAKE SURE YOU PUNCH THE CORRECT SIDE OF THE BACK COVER! I did it wrong once, and my back cover became a front cover for a second book! Live and learn... Now take a sheet of colored card stock and stamp it with an interesting design. This will be used to add a decorative element to the inside of the covers, and will also serve to cover up all the stitching you have done. Cut two pieces of this colored card stock to fit the covers, punch them in the binding machine, and glue them onto the backside of each cover. Make sure you align the holes carefully! I do this punching in two separate stages, because my binding machine isn't powerful enough to punch so many layers at once. If you are fortunate enough to have a heavy duty binder, by all means, glue the covers and inside covers together first and then punch them. Now go ahead and stitch the perimeter of each cover, I chose a zigzag stitch for mine.
The final step is to punch all your filler pages, choose a plastic comb and bind the journal! There you go, a beautiful gift for you or to share! Thank you so much for joining me, I hope you enjoyed this project...