Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Building a new art journal

Last night I started to build a new art journal. As a trial I decided I would use some scrap paper I had used as underground for some of my projects. Furthermore I wanted the front and back cover to look like metal plating, so I gathered all my materials en went for it.

Even though it isn't finished yet, I thought I would share what I did so far.

I took the scrap papers, all A4 size, and folded them in half. Reinforcing the fold with a bone folder to get a nice crisp fold.

I then made 3 signatures with 5 A4 papers each. I made 5 holes in the fold of the first signature (1 in the middle, 2 each 1/2" from de sides and the other 2 right in the middle between those 3). I used the first signature as a template for the other signatures. I took some green embroidery thread to bind the signatures, as I have an abundance of embroidery thread, though I do not embroider, nor have I ever done so....

I reinforced the back with some extra paper and added seperate A4 sheets to the front and the back (there is a name for that as wel, but I forgot it, so if you know what it is, please let me know). 

I let this dry overnight.

This morning I measured the size for the front and back cover and cut 4 pieces of the desired size out of pizza boxes and cereal boxes. I used 4, because I wanted the covers to be nice and sturdy. I glued the shiny sides together. 

I then cut some random pieces from some more pizza boxes, squares, as wel as rectangles, and glued those to the covers. I covered this with some thin packing paper, making sure all the ridges from the pieces were still visible.

I then needed some rivets! I tried using those tiny half pearls, but they drive me crazy and I didn't have enough anyway. So I used glue in stead. this worked reasonable well, but I feel I need to think a little more about this one. The glue took a long time to dry....

In the mean time, I started filling some backgrounds of my journal, with acrylic paints, decoupage and pastels. The pastels were really fun, but....they leave a lot of dust and dirty hands. So I tried to seal the surface with some thinned decoupage glue. I think that might not be the best way to approach it...another one I have to experiment a little more with... It did however leave a nice smooth surface for writing, so I did, I scribbled the litany against fear from Dune, by Frank Herbert.

By now the "rivets" were dry and I could start painting the covers. I first coated them with some black pearlescent acryllic paint, this took 2 coats.

Next I coated them very thinly, with some gold acrylic. Then it was time to play with blue, green and brown.

And used the remaining blue mix in the art journal, yet another background started =).

Next I added some copper and gold rub 'n buff, to get the metallic feel.

 The first picture is taken without flash and a lot less shiny, wich is what I prefer. So now I think I will wait untill morning to figure out what I will do next and what spine I will make.

If you want to see the finished book, please go to my follow up post.

Thank you for watching and should you have any questions, remarks or tips, please leave a comment below.


  1. Fabulous! Thank you for the step by step x

  2. Thanks for sharing your experiment. This is wonderful!

    1. Ow and by the way, before I forget, I love love love your work. Your books are so inspiring!!!
      Monique xx

  3. Yes, that's it! There is the tutorial for your awesome book. (I shouldn't have started reading your posts from the top down, sorry). I am so grateful for you sharing artistic secrets with us and letting us take part in your experiments. I hope you don't mind if I take your work as an inspiration...
    Greets, Manu

    1. I guess they are not secrets when your share them with the world =). I'd love to see what you create.
      I love how the internet enables people to find what was previously hidden, to learn, grow and be inspired. I only started doing this a couple of months ago and couldn't have made any of the things I made without all those wonderfull people out there who are willing to share their work.

  4. This tutorial was awesome! I just did the cover and back cover of a composition book and they look great! Thank you!

  5. Thank you, That's great =) and makes me very happy.
    I'd love to see waht you made.

  6. Incredible - I love how it turned out.

  7. AWESOME! LOVE, love, love, love it!!!

  8. I have just found you by accident and love your style. I will definitely be back again.
    Thanks for the great tutorial and happy crafting, Angela x

    1. Thank you Angela and happy crafting to you too ;-)


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