I have chosen to make an expandable journal, as I intend to try and journal a lot more next year. This journal will be a blank canvas to start me on my way, and because it is so tactile, I will be more inclined to work in it hopefully! The other good thing is that the pages are removable, so while I am getting them inky and painty, the cover will not get so messed up in the process. Here are the basic instructions and a list of materials that I used:
Smooth white cotton fabric
Strong wet glue
Iron on Adhesive
Ric rac, ribbon, metal embellishments, etc
Stamps: ELB07, ELB01
Stencils: PS002, PS005
Archival Ink: Jet Black and Plum
Paper Artsy Chalk Paints
Cut a piece of white material 13" x 19", and a piece of patterned material 11" x 17" and 2" x 10". Spritz the pieces of material with water as you paint them with your chosen colours, and ensure that the fabric is nice and moist while you are painting. Use a watered down strength of paint, blending the colours as you go along. Dry the fabric thoroughly and set to one side. Paint the ric rac to match your colour scheme and allow to dry.
Cut two pieces of chipboard 7" x 10", and four pieces of felt the same size, plus a piece of felt 2" x 10".
Prepare smaller sections of white fabric in the same way, using pale green, lemon and ivory , drying the fabric, before stamping the leaves, flowers and butterflies in archival ink. Attach iron on adhesive to the back of these pieces of fabric, and then back the sections with oddments of patterned fabric. Cut out the images, and then add more colour using transluscent paint for shading.
Add some stencilling to the main background, using Snowflake, and then dry this with a heat gun. Using one of your transluscent colour options, add a wash of colour over the top of the stencilling.
Add the spine to the centre of the outside, using iron on adhesive as before. Attach all of the leaves, flowers and butterflies, and then attach the ricrac.
Glue the felt to the chipboard pieces, and lay them down on the inside of the cover, with the felt side down, and the chipboard facing up towards you. Lay the smaller piece of felt in between them. Fold the edges of the fabric over and stick it down.Fold a small allowance of the patterned fabric over all around the edges and then stick the patterned fabric onto the inside of the cover, by adding glue onto the folded allowance.
Punch three holes in the spine 2", 5" and 8" from the top.
Create pages for the journal using any suitable paper and ephemera that you like. I used medium weight cartridge paper, as this takes a reasonable amount of water and is nice and thick. I have added tags, music paper, envelopes and bits of stash in between my pages to add interest in my journal. There is also room for another signature (set of pages) to be added at a later date. Using ribbon or string, thread through the holes, first from the outside holes, and back up through the middle, to then tie a bow on the outside.
I have added some metal keys to the centre of my fabric butterflies, and may add a bit of surface stamping to the background of the cover at a later date. I intend to add fabric detail to my inside pages as I go along, to tie in with the fabric cover.
I love using fabric in my projects, the feel of a completed book like this in my hands afterwards gives me such pleasure. Working on fabric is just as easy as paper, and the possibilites are so varied. You can shred the edges, go shabby and grungy, add some sewing, and lace, the choice is yours. I hope that you have enjoyed my project, Judith xx