Making Covers for My Journal

Making Three Different Sets of Journal Covers

In my previous post, I showed how I painted the paper I would be using to create my journal covers. In case you missed it, click here. Today, I will show you how I made three different sets of journal covers.  The first two (shown below) were made out of the single sheets of masa paper I had painted.

Two Sets of Journal Cover
© Annie Glacken

The third set of covers (shown below) were collaged together from strips of four different color sheets of the masa.

Finished Multi-Wave Covers
© Annie Glacken

First, I had to determine the proper size to cut my chip board.  Since my journal pages would be  8″ x 10″ in size, I cut the board to be 1/4″ larger on what would be the three open sides of the journal (not the spine). Therefore, my cover boards measured 8 1/4″ x 10 1/2″ in size.  After cutting, I sprayed them with an acrylic spray to seal them.  I let this dry.  The reason I sealed them is chip board will warp a little when the glue is added as it is not as thick as Davey book board.  Davey Board is a better choice, but all I had on hand was chip board.

For the first two journal covers, I used the single sheets of the masa paper I had painted:  the blue and green paper for one set of covers, and the pink, yellow, and blue for the other set of covers. Next, I marked with a pencil on the back of my painted masa paper where the board would fit adding 1″ all the way around to allow for wrapping the paper around the cover on the edges.  I trimmed the paper along the pencil lines.  I painted Matte Mod Podge onto the back of the chipboard and pressed it in place on the back of the masa paper.

Cover Board Glued to Back of Masa Paper
© Annie Glacken

I then trimmed the corners of the paper.

Trim Corners
© Annie Glacken

After painting the edges of the paper with the Mod Podge, I wrapped them around the edges of the board and pressed them down firmly.  Next, I painted the edges again with Mod Podge and let them dry.

Wrap and Glue Edges
© Annie Glacken

The next step was to paint the outside of the covers with the Matte Mod Podge.

Beginning to Mod Podge Cover
© Annie Glacken

As you can see from the photo, the Mod Podge goes on white.  But as it dries, it becomes clear.

M Cover with Wet Mod Podge
© Annie Glacken

After, the Mod Podge dried completely, I glued a piece of watercolor paper onto the inside of the front and back covers to give them a finished look.

Inside of Cover
© Annie Glacken

Here are two sets of completed covers ready to be sewn together with the paper.  To see the pigments I used, see my previous post.

Phthalo Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium, Winsor Green, Prussian Blue
© Annie Glacken

Finished Pink, Yellow, Blue Covers
© Annie Glacken

Making A “Wavy Puzzle Piece” Cover

This next cover style was made by collaging strips of painted paper onto my chipboard.

I began by cutting a “wave” template out of cardstock.

Template Cut from Cardstock
© Annie Glacken

Next, on a sheet of paper I drew a line horizontally in the middle of the paper. I placed the left edge of the template with the flat side touching the center of the paper and the curvy side pointing down. I drew a line along the curvy side. Then I flipped the template up so the curve was up and the flat side at the center line and drew another curvy line. This created a “mirrored image” of the curve. I moved the template position and drew another curve below the bottom curve and then created the mirror image of it by flipping the template up and placing above the top wave. I continued adding curves working from the center out until the entire page was filled with curves. Note, that by moving the template left, right, or center, I could change the curve pattern on the paper.

After the curves filled the page, I drew another curve in red outside of each set of black curves. Then I numbered them and wrote what color I wanted each wave to be. This became my guide for making my strips or “puzzle pieces.” The reason I had both red and black lines was because I wanted the blue and green pieces traced on the red lines because they would be a little larger than the yellow and orange pieces that would be traced with the black lines. That way when pieced together, the edges of the darker colored pieces would be glued over the edges of the lighter colored pieces.

Pattern Guide
© Annie Glacken

Next, I placed my pattern guide and a sheet of graphite paper on the back of my blue masa paper. I traced the red lines and the number on the strips that were marked to be cut with the blue. Also, you can’t see it in this photo, but I extended the lines from the template out an extra inch onto the masa paper for overlap to wrap around the edges of the cover.

Graphite beween Pattern Guide and Back of Masa Paper
© Annie Glacken

Transferring Pattern to Back of Masa
© Annie Glacken

Next, I placed the pattern guide on the back of the green masa and traced the strips to be green along with their numbers. Then I repeated on the backs of the orange and yellow pieces of masa paper.

After all of the lines were transferred, I cut out my strips.

Phthalo Blue Strips
© Annie Glacken

Quinacridone Gold and Winsor Green Strips
© Annie Glacken

New Gamboge and Organic Vermillion Strips
© Annie Glacken

New Gamboge Strips
© Annie Glacken

Next, I cut out two pieces of chipboard for the covers of my journal. I then transferred the pattern guide onto the top of one piece of chipboard cover using the graphite paper. I flipped the pattern guide over (I could see the lines through it) to transfer the pattern with a mirrored image onto the other piece of chipboard. This would make the edges match when sewing the book together.

Pattern Transferred to Cover Board
© Annie Glacken

I then placed my strips in order onto the chip board to make sure they would fit properly.”

Checking if Pieces Fit
© Annie Glacken

Next, I began using Matte Mod Podge to glue down the orange pieces, then the yellow. I let the edges hang over the sides to be wrapped around the back later. I then glued on the blue and green strips. Sorry, I forgot to photograph this step.

Next, I flipped over the cover to trim the edges of the strips to 1″ beyond the edge of the chipboard. Then I wrapped and glued down the edges with Mod Podge. Next, I painted some of the Mod Podge on the finished edges. After this dried, I flipped it back to the front and painted it with Mod Podge.

When the covers were dry, I used a glued a piece of Mi-Tientes pastel paper to the inside of each cover for a finished look.

Canson Mi-Tiente Paper on Inside Cover
© Annie Glacken

You can see how the pattern on these covers will line up together when sewn together later.

Collaged “Wavy” Cover
© Annie Glacken

My covers are now ready to be sewn to the signatures.

This is the second post in this series of making my own journal. If you missed the previous post, click to read part one: Painting Paper for Journal Covers.

My next post in this series on making a journal will show how I tore down watercolor paper to make my signatures with nice deckled edges.

These tutorials are for your personal use only.  Thank you so much!





7 Replies to “Making Covers for My Journal”

  1. Great ! and what a work ! specialy the second version with waves. So much work but so beautiful !

    • The wavy one was more work! I hope my explanation of how to do it made sense! Some things are better taught in person I think! Thanks for commenting Laurence! Comments are always appreciated because it lets me know I am sharing something that may be helpful to others! I appreciate it!

  2. Very interesting, Annie. Would love to try making my own journal, can’t wait to see the rest. Thank You

    • You should try it Betty! I bet you could do it following these instructions! Next week, I show how tear the paper into signatures! I have made three so far and have one more ready to sew–just trying to decide on the stitch! Thanks for the comment!

  3. This is a fantastic tutorial–so clear and detailed. Thanks for the tip about sealing the chip board. Your covers came out great!

    • Susan, I am glad the tutorial was clear–especially when describing how to draw the wavy line pattern. That was difficult to put into words. Thanks for the compliment and the comment!

  4. Pingback: Sewing My Journal with French Link and Kettle Stitches – Sketching and Painting the Moments