On the left is the new journal I bound for International Fake Journal Month and on the right is my next all purpose journal that I bound with Legion Multimedia 140 pound watercolor paper.
Since it had been a few months since my epic journal binding learning experience, I had to replay many of the videos and look at my notes to figure things out. And I made a bunch of new mistakes to learn from.
I have one big, confusing question. (UPDATE: See Comments for answer from Roz and note from Shirley) When I punched sewing holes I followed Roz’s video, along with Shirley’s tip to use a phone book to support the signatures. I punched four holes just like Roz did in her video demo, instead of the five I punched last time. But when it was time to sew the signatures together I couldn’t figure out how an even number of holes could work. When you have an odd number of holes and you start on the outside of the folded signature you always end up on the outside at the end of each row so you can attach each signature to the next. But with four, if you start on the outside you end on the inside. I’m guessing Roz was preparing a different sort of book.
Fortunately I had torn down extra sheets, thinking I’d bind two journals but I put aside the set I’d punched with four holes and punched five holes in the second set. Either I’ll find out how to bind with four holes or I’ll go back and make one more hole in each signature before binding them.
I also used Shirley’s tip to glue up the binding board and then place it down on the book cloth instead of putting glue all over the cloth and that was sooo much easier.
Some new mistakes I’ve learned from this time:
- MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE! (or in my case measure 3 times just to be sure).
- After gluing down the board pieces to the book cloth, I should have burnished them with the bone folder to ensure a consistently strong bond (a few small wrinkles showed up in the cover where it didn’t bond 100%).
- Don’t make the book so thick; use fewer signatures so it is lighter and less tiring to hold when sketching standing up.
- When you use “self-endpapers” that doesn’t mean adding yet another folded sheet, making the book even thicker. It means just gluing the book block directly to the covers (I think–correct me if I’m wrong). I had picked an ancient map print to use as end papers in the green journal but decided I didn’t like it at the last minute. I liked Shirley’s idea of just using colored drawing paper instead.
- Make the sewing thread long enough so you don’t have to join it in the middle (thus having to once again struggle with knot-tying from diagrams that are totally confusing).
- Don’t use white thread and white headband ribbons on black books.
Now I’m coming to the end of my journal bound with 90 lb Arches cold press paper. I will be sad to put “The Mutt” as I named it, on the shelf, as it has become a trusted friend and companion. And I really came to enjoy the paper, once I started using my Lamy Safari fountain pen to draw with.
Soon I’ll be getting to know a new journal, with new paper and new possibilities. I think I shall name it Froggie, given its green color, warts, and all. Someday maybe I’ll make a journal that is elegant and give it a posh name but for now, mutts and toads R Us.