Yesterday I bound a new journal and updated my instruction sheet on how to bind a 5.5″ x 7.5″ sewn-signature casebound journal with watercolor paper. Each time I bind a journal I learn a little more and update my how-to sheet as I work so that the next time it will get easier for me.
I created the instruction sheet as a guide for myself, compiled from many sources* but you are welcome to download the file if you’d like to make a journal like these. I keep it on my website’s Resources page here on JanaBouc.com because having it in one place makes it easier to find and update.
I name each journal (actually they seem to name themselves as I’m binding them) and decorate the cover after I’ve filled it with an image fitting the name. My last journal named itself “Aqua Baby” and is pictured above.
I wanted to try (for the first time) to bind a cover made from pieces of book cloth, one for the spine and two for the fore edges. I thought I had a big enough scrap of the purple but mis-measured (as usual). So I had to use some of the turquoise cloth to cover the other side. This journal has named itself “Scrappy” as it’s covered with scraps and was scrappy enough to demand to get made despite everything working against that right now.
Although I’ve bound other journals using a variety of methods, here are the five sewn-signature case-bound journals I’ve made and here’s another look at their covers. I love the paper, the dimensions, the feel in my hand, the way they’re easy to use sketching standing and for scanning. They are humble and a little plain, but I’ve always appreciate function more than fancy.
I can’t wait to finish the hated Moleskine watercolor sketchbook (which would be fine if it was just portrait, not landscape) that I’ve used since I got behind on binding. Watch for a flurry of sketching to finish it off!