When I started making lists of 10 Things I Love Right Now I thought it'd be nice to collect them all in one place to look back on. I normally have a journal to spare so I rummaged around in my closet - and came up empty. What I did have was a containers full of art supplies, all gathering dust for months. I knew that one day our wedding planning would end and I'd have time to get creative in other areas again and that day, it seemed, had finally arrived.
I've gotten better at (not) hoarding over the years, and I'm actually quite good at throwing things away that I don't need. The one thing I've held on to since I moved to Austin from Brooklyn 2 years ago? Stack and stacks of paper. Just regular, old, white paper in different weights, tones, and sizes. It's heavy as a whole and I can get it anywhere, so don't ask me why, but I just couldn't say goodbye.
Guess what makes a journal?
This project was so much fun and so surprisingly quick! This is the first By Hand post and it's got me itching to create and share more. So let's get to work!
1 sheet of heavy watercolor paper (I used 140lb)
10 sheets letter-sized printing paper
Long, sharp needle
Bright, contrasting thread
Watercolors and brush (I have fancier paints, but these are the classic and reliable Crayola!)
You may also need: scissors, X-ACTO knife and board if trimming pages (optional)
1. Fold watercolor paper in half.
2. Paint your design and set aside to dry. I used a very basic and rough blending technique. You can find several easy YouTube tutorials like this one. Sometimes I like to sprinkle sea salt on a wet page for interest and texture.
3. Fold each piece of paper individually then stack in groups of 3, 3, and 4.
4. Using the sharp edge of your seam ripper, place a hole every half inch of paper, one stack at a time. Note: the board will come in handy here!
5. Repeat with all stacks, then line up your pages with watercolor cover. Place the journal pages in the middle of the cover and use them as a template to create holes down the spine of the cover. My cover paper is a bit bigger than the pages, which I like. If your paper is the same size then use an X-ACTO knife to trim the edges in place.
6. Begin a running stitch from the middle hole to the top of your journal. You'll have to poke it through, so make sure your holes are all lined up. Once you hit the top, do the running stitch back down all the way down to the bottom, then return to the middle to knot off your stitch. Coming back through the holes will be much easier coming back through. Make sure you pull your thread as you go and keep it tight to the end!
7. Ink a design, if desired, then get to loving!
And now for some more fun: you can win a journal made by me! For those of you without an hour to spare, here's a way to get a journal in 30 seconds: all you need to do to enter is sign up for my monthly newsletter! Newsletters will feature behind-the-scenes, a peak at what's coming, and exclusive surprises for subscribers only. If you've signed up then you're already entered. For those of you on a computer or tablet, the form to sign up is on the right-hand tool bar. If you're on a phone, scroll on down! You must enter by Friday, July 3 to win. Cheers!
UPDATE: Contest closed! Congrats to Hannah!