This summer, I learned how to make a fabulous folding journal when I took a class at the Ink Pad with Kelly Kilmer. That beloved journal is almost full, so I decided to pull out Kelly's instructions and make myself a new one. This time, I decided to use recycled cardboard. I had been saving cereal, pizza and cracker boxes with an idea of up-cycling them into a journal.
After some deliberation, I settled on using some of my original fabric on the exterior. Here is the design I started with, which I uploaded to the Spoonflower website and translated onto 100% cotton fabric. I painted the design with watercolors and watercolor pencils.
I measured the pieces carefully, and then glued it to my cover fabric with matte medium. On the corners I added some Aileen’s extra thick glue. The fabric was a little bulky, so it was tricky to get the corners to be precise. (My first journal had a rice paper cover, which was much easier to manipulate, yet strong and durable.)
I discovered that the cereal boxes were pretty flimsy, so I cut another front, back and spine and glued it to the first set, which doubled the thickness. I glued the printed areas together so that the cereal and pizza designs didn't show through my fabric.
After the exterior was dry, I added an inside page, also made from my own design. Here is the original mandala that I made as a lunchtime relaxation exercise, and the textile design that I created from it and printed on paper.
My mandala series was done by tracing around a CD, then drawing inside the circle randomly with pencil. I filled in color with brush tipped markers and colored pencils. The mandala was scanned, reduced, then stepped and repeated in my QuarkXPress design and Photoshop programs to create the paper.
I only had blue cardstock on hand for the pages, but since I usually collage over the page anyway, the color didn’t matter much. I folded them into “signatures,” put in holes with an awl and sewed them into the book with waxed linen thread.
I couldn’t just leave a blank journal lying around…so I filled the first page with a printout of one of my self-portraits, and added newsprint, an Artistcellar pocket stencil word (of course I chose the very appropriate word CREATE!), a star from the Jill K. Berry Sunny Compass Rose stencil and added some dots with a white signo pen, black marker and pink paint marker.
This journal is not as precise as the first one I made, one side is about 1/8” bigger than the others, the corners are not quite square, I measured wrong so that the inside pages were too long and had to be trimmed, but I am pretty happy with it anyway. With my original fabric on the cover, and original paper on the inside cover, and a few new journal pages completed, it really says “me.” I made sure I used it right away; I have a couple beautiful journals on my shelf that are just too gorgeous to use, and I wanted to make sure that this wasn't turned into an art object, but something I would use and love every day.