Monday, November 26, 2007

Covering Sketchbooks (or journals)

I promised a more complicated journal covering project in this 5 minute notebook covering post, so here it is. This is guaranteed to take longer than 5 minutes. ;0) I haven't done anything vintage looking in ages. This is kinda weird, but I like weird, hehehe. I had this old book that was falling apart & it was the exact width of one of my sketchbooks. Sorry for these bad photos. I have poor lighting. Looks better in person, honest.

STEP 1: Choose a sketchbook and an old book (which is the same width--or close to it) Make sure your book is one that you don't mind taking apart (secondhand stores or garage sales are great sources of course.) Sand the sketchbook cover & wipe dust off.

STEP 2: Prime the cover with gesso. (Don't forget the inside edges.) Let dry thoroughly.

STEP 3: Mix acrylic paints to get desired colour (that matches or coordinates with your book cover.) Paint over the gesso areas. You can speed up dry time with a hairdryer.

STEP 3 (continued): Again, be sure to get the inside edges of the cover. Let dry well before closing. Sand the whole book once its dry (if you want to take the gloss off.) You can't tell in these pictures because of the light, but my sketchbook looks matte like the vintage book cover...

STEP 4: Stamp with Stazon. Here, I've used a Fancy Pants stamp that is 6x6 inches. Let dry.

STEP 5: Add detail with a zigpainty (if desired.) I used gold to match the book cover detail.

STEP 6: Sand the stamping & the gold detail to distress it.

STEP 7: Measure designer paper to cover insides of cover. Apply plenty of good quality adhesive. I've used double-sided tape and a glue stick.

STEP 7 (continued): Adhere at one end and smooth down over the cover.

STEP 8: Adhere the book cover. I worked with mine in three pieces, so the sketchbook would open freely: front spine & back. If you apply a piece of very sticky double-sided tape (I love carpet tape) and you use crystal effects on the outside, then you'll be able to position it and have it stay. The bond is VERY strong.

STEP 8 (continued): adhere the spine in the same fashion and clamp it. These are just dollar store clips. (You could use string or rubber bands around the whole book.)

STEP 9: Weight the book down, so it dries flat and well-adhered. I used my tool box, but a stack of books would work well. (Just protect your books by placing a sheet of wax paper between them and your covered sketchbook.

Here's the finished project. An unusual book sandwich. Charles calls it "the book that ate a book"--LOL
Here are some other tutorials if you'd like to make your own books from scratch:

Dani's easy make your own sketchbook tutorial

Alison's Making a journal with a sewn cover

Photojojo's journal with photo covers

Thanks for checkin' this out. I'd LOVE to see any books you make or cover, so please leave me a link if you try it. :0)



Kim Etherington said...

Funky journal cover girl. You are so talented! Love the stamping and then the gold added touches.

Catherine said...

Mel - Love this and thanks so much for the tutorial! I'm definitely going to give it a try!

Margaret McDonald said...

very nice. would make awesome Christmas gift too!!!!