I had to ship a good number of my gifts, so I wasn’t free to discuss them until I got word today that they’d been received. I made hand-bound journals for pretty much everyone on my list this year; they’re actually neither hard to make nor expensive, and I had a blast making them.
(This is bound with modrotisk fabric, which is a traditional way of stamping fabric with glue, and then using an indigo dye bath to get the traditional blue color. When you rinse it out, the glue has resisted the dye, and you are left with a white pattern on blue fabric. I love this stuff.)
The idea came about when I saw I saw this infographic/tutorial on Pinterest. I just had to try it, so I made a couple of River Song diaries from Doctor Who.
It’s really not hard to do, you just fold the paper (I tea dyed basic printer paper for the River Song diaries, but I used nice water color paper for the other gift journals), sew it together, glue it, and add a cover.
For the River Song diaries I bound the covers in white fabric that I had lying around, and cut out cardboard to be the raised bits on the cover.
Then I did a dark wash underneath, to emphasize the grooves.
After that I did a light wash of the top, lighter than I wanted the final product to be. This helps create more contrast, so those lines really show up.
Finally, I used the tardis blue paint to unify the cover. Now it’s the right color and everything!
After gluing the cover to the spine, I glued together printed out images from the internet which I had tea dyed to match the paper in the journal, and layered them on top of excerpts from the Wikipedia pages pertaining to River’s story. These pages became my end papers.
I sent one to my friend Martha with little messages from me on the end papers, and kept one for myself because I wanted to own one.
Then I kept making journals. I made the one bound in modrotisk for my friend Rachel, made this leaf pattern one for my aunt, and made one for my parents- they needed a new guest book or something.
Notice the stitch work in grey outlining some of the leaves. I embroidered that on the fabric before I glued the fabric to the cover boards.
I also free-hand embroidered an address into my parent’s journal, which was made with the prettiest fabric.
I still have some of that fabric left, and I can’t wait to use it on something else.
So that was Christmas this year! A lot of work, certainly. And a lot of silence on this blog as a result, but was it worth it? I think so.