Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Original Sketchbook/Journal Covers - A Quickie Tutorial

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I go through LOTS of journals, sketchbooks and art journals . . . 
(but I really don't like plain covers OR someone else's artwork on my book.)

Since I spent a part of today altering my next ones, I thought I'd share my process with you.
This is a quick way to cover any store-bought book you like!

First, here's the new journal on the left.
It's kind of an expensive Italian journal with thick deckled edge paper 
that I adore for writing.  It's perfect for my fountain pen! 

The book has a beautiful leather spine, but I always find the marble-ized covers 
drab and a bit serious for my taste.
(Sorry, can't remember the brand.  I'll research that!)

The smaller book on the right is an inexpensive plain black leather bound sketchbook 
you can find in any art supply or craft store.

Here's the backsides..... 

To get these "random" patterns, I simply cut down a larger "painting" 
I've done on thick paper.

Mostly, the paintings I use are my "warm up, practice or play" paintings,
but often I use old paintings I've grown tired of or just didn't like some "part" of.

The books I covered today were done using a very old painting -
one I've now covered about 6 books with.
See....nothing need go to waste!

Below, you'll find a "warm up" painting I did just today.
I'm sure it'll come in handy next time I'm ready to cover a book!

I like to paint on big pieces of Vellum, but I've used poster board.
I use acrylic paints s but for projects like this, I often use cheapie craft paints 
rather than my expensive Golden brand paints.

Paint with abandon - with no regard to outcome.
Just play and let yourself go!

Here's cropped parts of the painting -
examples of how I might cut it up to book size.....

To find how I'd like to cut up my big painting, 
I like to actually lay the big painting over my book, visualizing how parts 
of it would look as my cover.
There's always so many possibilities, it's sometimes hard to choose.
(I find I ALWAYS like parts of my paintings better than the whole.)

I then lay the book on the back side of the painting, 
trace around it with a pencil, then cut to size.

Next,I put a heavy layer of Mod Podge on the book itself, 
lay the painted paper on the book and 
"burnish" with a paper towel to remove any air bubbles. 
(I found using the matte Mod Podge keeps the cover from being sticky.)

Once dry, I add a layer of Mod Podge over the top.
After that's dry, I often embellish with dots (my fave) or doodles.

After letting that dry, I add a second layer of Mod Podge to protect it all.
BTW - I never worry about getting the Mod Podge on the leather - it dries clear and matte.
It never seems to alter the leather's appearance.

 Gluing scraps of your cut up paintings back to back make great matching book markers also!

(Disclaimer:  I'm NOT paid any commissions on the products I've recommended.
Just passing along the info on the products I use and love!)


Margie said...

Loving these jazzy journal covers!

Anonymous said...

thankyou so much, i love the idea that you are making your own books out of your own art, rather than buying kits and store bought paper.
i love the bright funky designs and the interesting little pockets and things. Very inspiring and can't wait to start one .