Ok :) Here’s the tutorial for my sewn journal!
First: Get your fabric. I started with yellow for the main journal and pink for my accents. You don’t have to have accent fabric.. and if you’re using a print fabric you might not want one.
Next I cut my base fabric to 16” wide by 13” high so that I would be able to fold it over quite a bit.
Then I cut my cardboard to the right dimensions. This journal is the size of a piece of paper folded in half, plus a tiny bit of edging. (so it’s 9” tall and 5 3/4” wide). So you cut two pieces for the front and back (with the dimensions I just said) and a spine piece.. this one is however wide you want your journal to be, I made mine 3/4.”
Next I laid my cardboard out on my fabric just to get an idea of what I was going to be working with.. As you can see there should be about a 1/4” gap between the front and back pieces and the spine. I then cut out the corners of my yellow fabric so it won’t be so bulky in the corners when I sewed it.
Now take off your other two pieces of cardboard (keep the one you cut the corners away for) and after carefully positioning your fabric and cardboard, fold the top edge over and stitch along it. It is much easier to do this with the wrong side up than it is to do it from the front.
(Now, if you’re like me, you’ll stitch your cardboard in to the front only to realize that you put it in the wrong way and you have a pattern showing through your journal cover. You then will have to rip out all the stitches on that and flip the cardboard and do it again. I don’t suggest that method.. I suggest you start with your cardboard facing the right way (if there is a difference on your cardboard..).)
When you get to the corner you’ll fold it down and over (like when wrapping a gift).. this is just something you have to fidget with until you like how it looks.
After doing that, turn your corner and stitch down the side and across the bottom and back up the center part of your front piece. Your front will now be fully attached to the fabric.
Now is the time to decorate your front cover with anything else you’ll be attaching by sewing. I decided to make a flower on mine so I cut out petals from my pink t-shirt.
I then eyeballed where they should go and machine stitched them on one by one.
I then sewed a stem and put a button center and voila!:
Next you have to sew in your spine. Position it next to the front piece, but don’t forget your 1/4” gap or you won’t be able to open and close the book. Sew across the top, down the side, across the bottom and back up the other side! (duh ;P)
Then you sew in your back piece of cardboard. Position it where it should be and cut away the corners like you did for the front. I don’t like to do this until right now so that you’re sure the corners are cut in the right place. You then sew it on just like you did for the front. You should end up with something that looks like this:
If you want to decorate the back or the spine.. now is a good time.. I didn’t want to on mine.
Now you have to prepare the pages. I used the coptic stitch tutorial that can be found at this web site: http://personal.mem.bellsouth.net/d/r/d
After I have finished binding I like to hot glue the spine of my book.. I clamp it again so that the pages are nice and close together and then glue the heck out of it so that the spine part isn’t a whole lot wider than the edge of the pages..
Now it’s time to glue your pages in and have a finished journal! I like to use rubber cement, but you can use elmer’s glue or whatever you want, pretty much! I tried hot gluing but couldn’t put the glue on there and then get my pages there fast enough to stick it!!! I first put a layer on the cover of the journal.
Then I put a layer on the outside piece of paper. When you’re gluing, line up the hot glued edge of the paper spine with the center edge of your front cardboard, so there is an even 1/4” edge all the way around your paper.
Let the first side dry for a little while so that it doesn’t shift around, and then glue the second side on! When it’s all dry, you’ll have a finished, lovely journal!