Handmade Journal

My granddaughter came to visit last weekend and brought her journal we worked on in July back so that she could add more pictures (Click HERE to see the July journal). She also pointed out that her journal was almost full and that we needed to make her another one. 

Well, I'm always interested in trying something different so I went in search of ideas for her next journal and found a technique I thought would be interesting - sewing it together using a coptic stitch. I watched several videos of different people using the technique and decided I could do that. 

Here is a WIP image: 
I cut the front & back covers from chipboard and let her look through my scrapbook paper for something she would like for her cover. I did the cutting and she did the gluing. 

We used basic copy paper folded in half for the pages. I would start the paper folds and then had her press the crease with the bone-folder. Once we had folded 50 sheets (we could now call them "folios") we put them together into 10 signatures with 5 folios, so each signature was 10 pages. A total of 100 pages for her new journal.

In all my research/video viewing I happened upon one where the girl made her journal from duct tape - she used duct tape on both covers and on the outside folio of each book signature if you want to see that one you can view it HERE). I knew we did not want to make a duct tape cover, but I liked the idea of using duct tape to add to the spine. We looked through my duct tape and while I do have a couple of pinks they were not a good match so we settled on a nice purple. We then opted for a lighter purple for the inside of the covers to compliment the deeper purple of the spine.

I thought I could make the duct tape step easy by putting a guide on one of my plastic work mat with blue painters tape and using a sharpie marker to put a straight line down the center between the two strips of blue painters tape (you can see part of it beneath the journal components in the image above) - did not work as well as I had hoped. It seems that when working with an 8 year old you have to factor in the impact of her hands resting on the project as she attempts to place a 10 inch strip of duct tape evenly along the paper fold. the results are that the purple duct tape is not even and in some cases wonky enough to make a drunk man sober! But not an issue really, since it is her journal and she can take pride in having worked on it herself.

Next step was the thread and we got lucky - I happened to have a very good match on the purple in my old collection of cross-stitch thread. I don't/cant (due to vision) cross-stitch anymore so (YAY!) a good use for some of my thread!

So at that point we had all of the journals components and we had stopped and I finished up after she had gone back home. The finishing up consisted of sewing the book together and I needed an awl and some tapestry needles (and some quiet in the house) for that. Once the awl and needles arrived I finished the assembly. 

She doesn't visit every weekend so she has not seen the finished book yet, but she will be here for Christmas soon and will be so excited! 

Here are a couple more images:
The stitches in the center of each signature look like this:
And the stitched on the inside of the covers look like this:

Now I'm off to work on a journal for myself that I have been working on since back in October. I'll post that one soon! 


  1. What a wonderful experience for both of you! I make journals with tape all the time. It's my favorite method.

  2. Fabulous! I love all the purple.

  3. Loving it! And great that you worked on this together xx

  4. gorgeous! I love the name of your blog...I retired on Friday and am looking forward to many, many, art & craft hours!!!


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