Wednesday 9 July 2014

Handmade Journal {with Lin Brown Stencils and Sara Naumann Stamps by Designer Lin Brown}

Hello, Lin here today to share a little handmade journal project with you. I've got quite a few journals on the go at the moment, I've got one that I use to test out ideas and experiments, one that I use for textile ideas, one that I use for notes and ideas for class projects plus a few others!!!!

I thought it would be really quite handy to have a small journal/notebook to pop in my handbag to jot down things that inspire me when I'm out and about. It's usually unusual colour schemes that catch my eye and as my memory is pretty awful, unless I write down an idea, I know I will never get around to experimenting with it. I made this journal to fit my current favourite handbag but of course, you can make a journal any size you like.

I decided that 9cm x 17cm would be the perfect size and cut two pieces of Heavy Grey/White Board from the 5" x 7" size. (Sorry, I did all my measurements in cm then realised that the product packages are in inches!!)

I cut two pieces of canvas 11cm x 19cm, these will be used to cover the grey board and I cut one piece of canvas 16.5cm x 18cm for the lining of the journal.

I watered down some Chartreuse and Tikka paint from my Limited Edition set of Fresco Finish paint and randomly painted the colours on all three pieces of canvas.

When the canvas was dry, I covered the grey board with the two smaller pieces of painted canvas using some red line double sided tape.

I used Snowflake paint to print a selection of images from ELB01, 02 and 03. I also used the end of my paintbrush to fill in the gaps with tiny dots of paint. I love this technique, I haven't used it for years. I saw Leandra use it once when we were demonstrating together at a show, it really is quick and easy and fills in all those empty spaces like a charm.


All the canvas pieces are now ready for assembly.

With one of the journal covers facing down, I used Matte Medium to stick my journal ling in place. It is important to position the lining correctly as you need to leave a gap between the two boards for the pages to be inserted. I chose matt medium for this as it allows a bit of movement, if I had used my red line tape, I would have needed it to be in exactly the right place before placement and that is not an easy thing to do!!!

This is how is should look from the right side, once the lining has been stuck to both covers. I'm hoping you can see the gap in the centre.

Now for the pages. I cut three pieces of paper 18cm x 16.5cm (the same size as my canvas lining and folded them all in half.

Place the pages in the centre of the journal.

Hold the pages firmly in place and turn the journal over. Leaning on a foam mat, use a ruler and a pokey tool to pierce a hole in the centre making sure that you pierce through all the pages and canvas. You will also need to pierce another hole approx 5cm above and 5cm below the centre hole.

I used a very simple binding, it's like a figure of eight. Using some strong beading thread, come up through the hole on the left side of the journal, leaving a long thread hanging.

Take the thread through the centre hole.

With the book covers facing you, take the thread down through the remaining hole on the right.

Turn the book over again (pages facing you) and take the thread back through the centre hole.

You can know tie the two ends together. Don't worry about the ugly knot, this will be covered by the spine.

As I intend to keep this journal in my handbag, I want to protect the canvas a little bit so I cut two pieces of acetate 9cm x 17cm and used Stazon to print a selection of images from  Sara Naumann's Eclectica range of stamps. 

Stamping on acetate can be really quite tricky. I always put a piece of white card underneath the acetate so that I can clearly see where I am stamping. The temptation is to press harder on the stamp but quite honestly, that is probably the worst thing to do. It will only distort the image, making delicate lines look smudged and blurry. Simply treat the stamp the same as stamping on card or paper and you'll be fine.

When the ink is thoroughly dry (don't be tempted to use your heat gun to hurry up the process, it will only take a minute or two, Stazon dries pretty fast), use a strip of red line tape near the edge of the journal cover to adhere the acetate to the cover. Do this for both front and back covers.

The final touch, the binding that will cover the spine. I cut a strip of canvas 3cm x 17cm and painted it with Claret Fresco. Using another strip of red line tape, I stuck the front edge in place first, making sure that all the tape under the acetate was hidden from view and stretched the canvas around to secure the other edge to the back cover.

Back cover

And here's how it looks on the inside.

I hope this inspires you to make a handbag size journal of your own, you just never know when you may need to jot something down.


A huge thank you to Lin from all at PaperArtsy HQ for joining us this evening, it is always a treat to have you here. We love seeing your stamps on fabric, it's like they were made for each other. What makes this so striking is the use of a bold but limited colour palette, the red accent is the perfect finishing touch. 

If you would like to join in our weekly challenge with any of this week's guests who have blogged since Sunday night, then join in to link up your creativity HERE you will go in the draw to win PA stamps of your choice! You need to link your entry by17:00 (London time) Sunday 13th July 2014


Helen said...

What a fabulous little journal!! I love the mix of Chartreuse and Tikka.

Deborah Wainwright said...

Oh I love this Lin so handy. X

craftytrog said...

That's brilliant Lin, I love the arty covers!
Alison xxx

Lin said...

Love it Lin!! it's the acetate xxx

Hazel Agnew said...

A fabulous and very special little journal. The acetate overlay is a lovely idea. Need to playyyyyyyyyyy. Xx

massofhair said...

Great little book Lin:-) x

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

Love it, don't think I can make one anywhere near as beautiful though!

Donna x

Daniele said...

just a great mini journal Lin

Craftyfield said...

I would love to have one of those! Not sure I would be able to make one from scratch but maybe decorate...

Steven said...

Fab little journal, make a nice quick make gift

Etsuko said...

Stunning little journal Lin! I love it and I'll give it a go xx

craftimamma said...

This is even more beautiful now I can see it on the 'big screen' as opposed to my phone! What a fab and useful project!

Lesley Xx

Living to work - working to live said...

I just love handmade books. This is a great technique for creating the covers and binding the book. It has set my mind racing!!

But decorating the canvas like this would also allow for some stitching, perhaps to add texture before the paint or detail after the stencilling.

Just brilliant. Thanks Lin.

Unknown said...

je trouve ce mini journal sublime et la couverture est magique

Lucy Edmondson said...

Absolutely love this, Lin, and love it when you pop up on the blog. Can we see you more, please?

Lucy x

PaperArtsy said...

These would make great Xmas gifts for school teachers,friends and family! Love the acetate on the front too. Thx Lin

Leandra xx

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow absolutely stunning handmade journal, it look so easy to do but looks expensive and amazing wow :-) Kezzy xxx

Jenni said...

I love little journals and this is a real beauty! I like the colours and bold stamps you've used.I think I'll be giving this a go, something small and simple to keep with you (instead of the scraps of paper which I inevitably lose!)

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh Lin, that is gorgeous. And thank you for the detailed photos & explanation, I definitely want to attempt this when I have more time.