DIY Art Journal

I talked about this, a few months ago, about how one of my resolutions for 2016 was to buy a sketchbook and draw on it. I did in fact go out and buy a sketchbook and I did, in fact draw in it, but I found it lying around after a while. The pages were quite big and I honestly didn’t have any idea how to fill such gigantic pages with something meaningful or pretty while having fun at the same time.

That’s when I realized that I could cut my sketchbook down in half and turn it into an informal journal. It seemed like quite the feat and I gathered my ideas and supplies and DIY links and waited for summer to roll around so I could get started on this little project of mine. Here’s how I made my own art journal 🙂

First off, a list of miscellaneous materials I had that helped me get the job done.
– a sketchbook (supply of paper + cardboard support for cover)
– wood glue (or any kind of wet glue paste that can be caked on to the spine)
– scissors
– needle and thread
– ruler
– pencil
– tape (wide width, I used this funny paper tape I don’t know what it’s called)

The only reasons I added the metallic markers there was because they look pretty and I really wanted to show them off xD I bought them while I was buying all the other things I needed.

Right, so first things come first. You’ve got to make pages for the journal. I started by meticulously folding the pages in of my sketchbook in half, making sure they were all the same size before tearing them out of the sketchbook and cutting off the edges. Once I had all my pages folded, cut and stacked, it was time to use the pencil and needle to start the book binding step.

There’s a lot of different ways to bind pages together. Here’s a tutorial for more detail. Book binding involves first making holes in the pages through which you will be threading the pages together. I started off by lining up all the sheets together and then marking four lines down all of the sheets so that there was a mark on each individual sheet where you would start to poke in holes.

You have to be very careful! Needles are sharp and should not be treated as a joke! Poke four holes, equal distance from each other on each and every folded sheet of paper and then start threading the pages together, one by one.

Once you’ve got the pages threaded together, you can compress the pages together by putting a heavy book on top and then applying layers of glue on the spine. Add several layers of glue. By several layers, I mean add one layer. Wait for it to dry. Add another layer. Wait for it to dry. Repeat until you have a nice thick coat of transparent hardened glue on the spine.

You could apply glue with a brush but I decided to get messy and use my fingers. Mostly because it felt funny and also because the glue hardened my brush and that wasn’t fun.

Next up comes putting a cover on! I used the cardboard back of the water color pad, cutting it in half and glued it to the first and last pages. That gives the hard cover, but it’s super ugly looking so I decided to cover it with some nice looking tissue paper I had.
BAD IDEA. Don’t use thin medium that can rip easily with wet glue! I learned this the hard way! Manipulating tissue paper is super hard if it hasn’t stuck where you want it to. I ripped mine pretty bad once- and right on the front cover too! So I had to do something to hide it and obviously I chose to do something drastically obvious.

Aha, what do you mean something is wrong, everything looks great, I stuck that white paper on to draw a nice cover :))) nothing is wrong :))) nothing ripped :)))

And this is how I made myself an art journal! It’s going to be a totally fun random thing and while my work on it has been happening very slowly (I haven’t touched it for weeks), I’ll definitely be sharing what I’m up to very soon!


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