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A Handmade Art Journal – Part 1

I am almost finished using all the pages in the  art journal that my friend made me.  I have really enjoyed the size of this journal – each page is approximately 6 x 8 inches.


There is something magical about a handmade journal.  So I have decided to try to make my own journal and show you how – as you might want to make one too!  🙂

I have been promising Margaret at Yuba Gold, (I love her nature paintings with such rich, vibrant colors!) that I would show her how to make one so here goes!

I started by gathering a few supplies:


I think a bone folder is really handy to have but it isn’t necessary.  I usually like to tear my papers but you may want to use scissors.  A ruler is necessary so you measure accurately.

You will next need to decide on the paper you want to use in your journal.  I decided to use 140-lb COLD and HOT press watercolor paper for variety.

I  started with a large sheet of watercolor paper – 22 x 30 inches.  I don’t like to waste paper so I chose to make my journal pages a little smaller in size than the one my friend made me.  Here is how I folded and cut (tear) my large piece of watercolor paper:


First, I folded my paper in half and tore (or cut) the paper so I have two halves that are     22 x 15 inches:


I continued to evenly fold and tear my paper so that I am left with a folded size as below:


After I had three folded papers, I could make what is called a “signature” in the book world.  (See photo below).  I covered my signature with tissue paper (so the papers stayed clean) and stacked several heavy books on them:

Since I don’t have a paper press, weighted books are the cheap alternative!  It helps to weight the signatures so they are relaxed before you punch holes in them.

I decided to make a total of six signatures like my current journal:


I will do some research and discuss some ideas for making a journal cover in 2 weeks on September 15th.

I hope you found this information helpful on how to start making your own journal.

Happy September!  🙂