Quick Tutorial for my experimental art journal

VOILA'!! Lying open on its belly

BIND: Knot over center cord & trim ends.

BIND: Tails on both sides of center cord!!!

Starting to BIND

SPINE: 2.5"by 6.5". Place 3 parallel columns of 3 holes, matched to those in signatures to use for binding.

Punch 3 holes in middle fold of signatures thru all layers

Making Signatures: Trim the ends off 12 paper sacks just above their fold

trim the corners

The original project

You may remember about a month ago, I completed this “experimental art journal” for a DT project for Smeared Ink. I had some interest in how I assembled it, so I have tried to create a tutorial here. I am hoping the pics will place where I want them to be ;). NOTE:: I think if you look at the pics in REVERSE order, they will make more sense.  LOL
I began with a corrugated cardboard piece that a book shipped in & today I am using newspaper, rather than the textured paper towel. Terra did a great tutorial at SmearedandSmudged group site under Mixed Media University so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. The quickie version is: aluminum foil, coat with gesso, add paper towel, coat with gesso, DRY. Crumple, flatten, dry brush with acrylics as desired, dry & adhere.
1. Cut two pieces of corrugated cardboard to size (mine are about 6.5″ squared). I am using 8 lb. paper grocery sacks as my pages, so you will need to size to your pages, adding at least 1/2 inch to height and width over page size. Also cut a spine from the cardboard, same height as your covers & mine is 2.5″ wide. (If you think in metric, there are 2.54 cm to each inch.)
2. Adhere “skin” to front & back cover (newspaper here) with your fave adhesive–I used ModPodge but a xyron or even spray adhesive might work better. Smooth & trim to about 1″ extra all around, maybe a bit extra on the spine side edge to help assembly. Let adhesive dry, trim the corners on an angle so that the “skin” only extends about 1/2″ past each corner on a diagonal. Add adhesive to the outside edge and fold over to inside, smooth & secure. Add adhesive to the top & bottom corners, fold to inside, smooth & secure. Add adhesive to top overlap, fold to inside & smooth & secure. Leave spine edge free. Repeat for “back” cover.
I made a book with 3 signatures of 16 pages ( 8 sheets). To do this, take 12 paper sacks & cut the ends off (you don’t have to—you can use them to make pockets or extensions but I wanted my pages to be flat). (SEE PIC) Layer 4 paper sacks to make one signature, fold in half & poke/punch 3 holes in the fold for binding. (Repeat twice more). (SEE PIC) You will attach the signatures directly to the spine as you bind so poke a series of 3 columns of 3 holes to attach the signatures to.
Take thread equal to 2-3 times the length of the signature’s height (I am using Mason’s twine here to demonstrate) (waxed linen is recommended, I have used waxed dental floss & crochet thread as well). Layer spine & one signature (set of 4 punched bags), aligning holes. Insert thread in center hole (numbered 2 here) & pull thru all 4 bags & spine, leaving a 2-3″ tail for tying later. Come up thru hole 1 (or hole 3, it doesn’t really matter) and then down thru hole 3 (or 1, you get the idea), then back up thru hole 2, taking the thread to the opposite side of the long thread from the tail you left earlier. Trim, leaving a 2-3″ tail & knot tails over the center cord/thread. (NOTE: This will make my binding & knot show on the inside of my signature. If you want it to go on the outside, you just go out/up where I asked you to go in/down and so on.) SEE PICS. Repeat for 2 other signatures.
Take spine with attached signatures & front cover, placing them side by side. leaving about 1/8 inch between. Adhere tab left on front cover to back of spine. Repeat with back cover to spine. Here I added two more layers of newspaper running from front cover across spine to back cover for strength, then layered another piece of newspaper over the whole thing by opening the book flat & adhering. Use paper trimmed to about 6″ square to cover insides of front & back cover.
I used some red & blue acrylic craft paints to drybrush over the covers & spine. WIll go back in later & add my Mad Scientist & label. Considering taking Duct Tape to cover the spine for strength & fun effect.
1. The covering is newspaper vs. the paper towel surface, which seemed sturdier. Remember too that I had layered two paper towels, rotating the second 90 degrees before & with the gesso, it was much sturdier.
2. The covers & spine are now corrugated cardboard where the other was chipboard, which seems to make this one a bit sturdier, but I might layer the two next time to see what happens.
3. The decorative elements which I will add later.
Clear as mud, huh?? Hope this is helpful. I can’t get the pics in the order I want them, so I am trying, esp. with the later ones, to label the captions to help, maybe. Please—I welcome your feedback & suggestions. Would love to see what happens when you try this.
Happy Crafting!! Paula

PS> Be sure to head to Smeared & Smudged Ink forum for SMUDGEFEST happening this week—a week of daily challenges to kick off the new DT challenges format that starts next week!!!! There are prizes to be won—a mega prize!!


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GeckoGalz Design Team Member July 2011-July 2012

Smeared Ink Design Team

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