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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

binding sample journals

Reading through comments on a recent post by my dear friend Kate (aka Cathy Johnson), I remembered a pack of sample watercolor papers purchased several years ago from Legion Paper. Kate mentioned binding a journal of a similar sampler pack.

Nearing the end of this journal, I've been considering buying more paper to bind a few more. But why not use what I have? First I cut the Bockingford tinted samples in half to make a smaller purse-size journal. Then I used most of the other sample sheets as-is, folding once to form signatures.

I checked in the old steamer trunk that holds my bookbinding materials for cover boards, planning on binding both of these with an open spine & Coptic stitch. But I found these two book covers, bug-chewed text blogs removed, that were rescued from a discard pile at a library sale years ago. Totally unexpected, BOTH of them fit the signatures I just made! The only adjustment needed was to remove two papers from the larger set, since the original book was rather thin. With the title "Near to Nature's Heart", the small book may be dedicated to nature sketches.

After cutting and folding new signatures, I leave them under this weight (an antique iron from Bill's grandmother) a few days before sewing. It helps the paper hold it's new shape.


  1. I love this idea. Any idea on where I can find instructions?

  2. There are a lot of links in our sidebar at right, April.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. That IS a good book, I have that one too!

    2. I posted the wrong book, so I deleted the comment and tried again. Hard working on a tiny iPhone screen . . .

  4. Thanks, Kate, for answering April for me. I'm currently away from home -- a challenging nearly non-sketching week.
    April, I first learned to bind books from a tutorial found on Trumpetvine Travels blog but the link isn't working. A book I've found very helpful is Gwen Diehn's "Journal Your Way: Designing & Using Handmade Books".

  5. The Trumpetvine site is working now. I learned how to reload a book cover here:



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