How I made my travel journal!

Inspired by Hanna's sweet Egypt travel journal
and Lori's amazing Coptic-Bound journals,
I decided since I am actually taking a V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N
this year, I'd make myself a journal!
Just a warning now: This will be a long post!
I haven't been on a real vacation in a very long time.
Not since 2007.
My dad's side of the family goes to the Adirondacks every year,
and I haven't been since 1999...right before I left for college.
Life got in the way. School. Graduation. The Real World.
Isolation. Depression...you know :)
ANYWAY, my family all made an (unspoken) decision
this year to go. My Uncle was sick,
and we knew it would probably be the last time we'd
get to all be together as a family.
Sadly, he didn't make it.
This is the last time I saw him,
right before they told us about his cancer diagnosis,
back in October.
He made it 7 months.
Cancer is a cruel, cruel thing.
I love this picture of my aunt and uncle.

Ok. Enough sadness.
We all decided we would still be going this year,
and inspired by Hanna's awesome travel journal
and Lori's awesome coptic journal-making style,
I thought I'd make one of my own.
A combination of this website, and a YouTube video,
I sort of made a coptic bound journal.
By sort of, I mean not really.
It doesn't really look like it is supposed to
and there are TONS of mistakes.
It is my first one, so oh well.
 I already had all the supplies I needed
from Julie Prichard's class:
An awl, or hole punching device
A bone folder (or any straight edge)
exacto/box cutting knife
Thread (I have waxed thread from papersource.com)
Needle (18 gauge)
Glue (I use PVA glue, but really Elmers would work)
Book Board or Cardboard for the covers

First thing I did was figure out what size
I wanted my journal to be.

 I knew I wanted it smaller,
so I just cut my paper into what size looked good to me.
I cut 16 pieces of paper,
scrapbook, watercolor, hand-painted, graph...
at 7x10.5 inches.
Folded in half is 7x5.25.
Next step is the above picture.
Fold the papers in half.
Put together your "signatures,"
aka: pieces of paper stacked inside each other.
I did 4 signatures, with 4 pieces of paper in each one

 Next, cut the book board (or cardboard) to size,
just slightly larger (about 1/4 inch around)
than your papers.
Above picture is my signatures and book board
(with holes punched)

.I then covered the book board
with masa paper,
or any thin and durable paper.
I made the paper about 1/2 extra on each side.
Glue paper on.
Fold the sides in pretty, like wrapping a gift.
Decorate your paper if you'd like.

Next, you need to punch the holes
in each signature, and the cover.
They MUST be evenly spaced
for the thread not to get all crazy and screwy on you.
The easiest way is to make a template
to punch the holes in.
This is where awl comes in handy.
 Maybe you can follow the instructions
from the website and the YouTube better than I.
While my finished product is one I enjoy,
its so not as good as it can/should be.
Though, the book does lay flat,
which is really why I wanted to try this method.
 You can see all the different
pages are all meshed in here.
I lOVE it.
Each page is a little different,
and hopefully will tell me
how I should journal my trip.
This is what the inside of the covers look like.
I made a little mosaic of all my papers,
and painted a glaze over top to
try and unify it.
Also, a (non) helpful, but not necessary step
is if your pet tries to join in the fun.
Jack tried really hard to help me
get the supplies I needed.
Unfortunately, with the lack of opposable thumbs,
he just couldn't make do.
So he decided to dig out my bubble wrap
and fall asleep.
Its hard being a cat in this house.


  1. I think you did a great job. I am still afraid of book-binding.
    Hehe, my cats try to "help" too.

  2. Great post Dawn! I like how you documented it step by step. It is so satisfying to make a handmade book and then fill it all yourself!