Making Canvas Covered Journals

A few months ago I spent an afternoon with the latest issue of “Pages” magazine from Interweave.  I had never been interested in making books, but I had a couple of hours to kill and this magazine was the only time-killer at hand.

When I first saw the article on canvas-covered journals I skipped right by it.  The examples did not seem compelling to me.  But after flipping by the article a few times, I saw the journals in a different light – “It’s the canvas, stupid!”  The canvas covers on these journals makes them a perfect project for a painter.  Suddenly, I couldn’t wait to get home and make one.

The one in the center was my first attempt.  I was just doodling with the paint, basically, and having fun.  Well, every step of making the journal was fun: preparing the signatures (groups of pages that are sewn in as one), sewing them in, and putting on the button closure.  I modified the procedure the article laid out.  I added more stitches for the signatures, and embellished the stitching with buttons.

Soon I was searching Etsy to expand my button collection.  I ordered better paper than the copy paper I used for the first one.  And I was making more and more journals.  One of my favorites is the one on the lower left.  I painted the entire cover – front and back – as a continuous landscape painting.  The more I worked, the more possibilities I saw.

I have made several more of these journals and will soon begin listing them on Etsy.  Making them is so addictive, but there only so many I can use myself!


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