Before I learned how to properly bind a book I wasn’t brave enough to even try it at home. But as I learned more about bookbinding I also found confidence in making books. I found that it is not very difficult or scary, though mine still come out a bit bent, crooked and “special”, hehe.
This is how I started my first handmade Art Journal made at home (and not in class with my teacher to ask stuff):
For the cover I used two pieces of stiff cardboard that I collaged with text, some postal stamps and a map.
The pages are yummy watercolor papers, five sewn together in three sections.
Book binding at home
I sewed the book together with extra strong sewing thread, long stitch bookbinding-style, through a piece of linen that I glued to the cover together with. I love linen and I have a few pieces laying around that I want to sew something zakka style with, but I haven’t made up my mind about where to start with that yet.
…and, the top is decorated even more with a dangle made of different beads. Like this:
At the top of the spine where all the threads come together in a knot I made strings of black and green beads. I love how the dangle when I handle the book and how the black beads shimmer in metallic and green!
This is how the finished book looks:
I’ve varnished the cover a few times, drilled holes for the button closure and added one of my favorite images to the front cover. I’ve also made a couple of pages inside and let me tell you, I love love love working in this book. My last few journals have been altered books in big size. It’s a very different experience to play on watercolor paper than it is working in altered books. No gesso needed in this one. And I don’t have to take imagery already on the page into consideration before I start.
If you want to make something similar there are a lot of tutorials for bookbinding online. I’ve used Teesha Moore’s tutorial How to make a journal here. Try it out, and let me know what you think! I’ve also written about this book in Swedish in the article Visuell dagbok för alla!