Friday, March 13, 2009


So lately I have been on a DIY frenzy and started to make my own journals. I've always dreamed of being a book binder, only in Florence and with my own table set up on the cobble stone streets. But I suppose Brooklyn is the new Italy--for now! I was inspired by Heart of Light's DIY notebook--beautiful, simple, and best of all, tailored to personally fit her needs!

{photo from Heart of Light}

For a great and simple video tutorial, watch this clip from the lovely Judy from Five and a Half. She makes book binding really simple and fun! I wish I knew how to embed this video clip onto our site, but I'm just not that tech savvy. So click HERE for the link.

{photos courtesy of five and a half}
Here are some step by step photos from Judy's site.

Step 1: All the supplies you'll need. Her video explains the specific tools, but really it's just two photos which will function as your journal cover (you can use card stock paper), glue, clips, paper as the filler, a brush to brush the glue, a brick (or anything heavy) to clamp down the journal while the glue dries, wax paper, and two wood blocks to hold the papers in place.

Step 2: Stack your paper and covers evenly and clamp down with clips to hold in place. Make sure paper is even.

Step 3: Prop the wood blocks (you can use books) on either side of the paper stack to hold in place. Brush glue onto the spine and distribute evenly. Give about 30 seconds to dry. Do this twice.

Step 4: Take your stack and wrap it in wax paper and place the brick on top (I use my law books!) Wait about an hour or so so that it can fully dry.

Step 5: Take a strip of paper, cut to the height of your book, and apply glue evenly. This will function as the cover for your spine. Make sure it's not too thick, unless you really want a huge spine. Wrap it around the spine, covering the front and back cover evenly.

Step 6: Voila! Your beautiful hand crafted book is done!

Ok, I pretty much lifted this step by step procedure, pics and all, from the five and a half site. And she obviously does a better job of explaining the steps! So please visit her site and watch her video to learn!

I've made two journals so far, one with some personal pages such as sketches and ideas, finances, and lists. Here is my final version:
{please keep in mind this was my first attempt!}

I noticed that some of the pages weren't glued on as well, and resulted in a few stragglers. So I tried sewing the pages next:

Didn't come out how I wanted, but I'm learning more and more. Next is a book I am making for a friend's birthday! This time it's with better quality papers, so hopefully it'll turn out well. I'll keep you posted!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I'm so excited that you made your own! I'm still playing around with getting mine just right too - it's a work in progress.