Make a journal!

My Journal bookbinding project by Rachel Hazell

Here’s a book for you to make, which has a page for each day of the week, and one for dates and details.

All the things you need to make a journal with Rachel Hazell

You will need:

  • A long strip of paper for the cover
  • Two pieces of paper the same height as the cover and half as wide (see above)
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread – i’ve used bookbinder’s linen thread, but you could use thick cotton or wool, as long as it will fit through your needle
  • Paints or coloured pencils

*Note: Make do with the materials you have to hand! I used an A2 sheet of cartridge paper, folded in half lengthways and cut. One strip is for the cover and the other was then folded in half widthways and then cut, to make the two pages. The paper is short grain which means it folds most easily parallel to the short side of the sheet.

Make a journal - step one - fold the pages in half
  1. Fold the two smaller pieces of paper in half widthways.
Make a journal - step two - decorate your cover

2. Design/decorate/embellish/paint/collage your cover strip. The front cover is on the right of the centre line – see above. Remember that the first and last quarter will be folded in at the end.

Make a journal - step three - thread your needle

3. Cut your thread. You’ll need three times the height of the book. Thread your needle now. No need to tie a knot.

Make a journal - step five - mark five holes

4. Fold your cover strip in half widthways. Nest the two smaller pages inside. Mark five holes as above. There’s a template in Bound, if you have a copy, on page 152.

Make a journal - ready to sew

5. Here we are, ready to sew!

Make a journal - step six - start from the outside, middle hole

6. Start from the middle hole from the outside. Go through the cover and the two folded pages.

Make a journal - step seven

7. Then go up one hole and back through to the outside.

Make a journal - step 8

8. Now come in via the top hole, down one, then back to the outside!

Make a journal - step nine

9. MISS OUT THE MIDDLE HOLE! Instead, skip from the second hole to the fourth hole down and back to the inside.

Make a journal - step ten

10. Then take your needle and thread out through the bottom hole.

Make a journal - step eleven - nearly there

11. Nearly there! Go up one hole and back to the inside.

Make a journal - step twelve - back through the middle hole

12. Finally head out of the middle hole, back to where you began.

Make a journal - step thirteen

13. Here you are, with your needle and thread on one side of the long stitch, and your tail on the other. (The long stitch goes from the second hole to the fourth hole.)

Make a journal - step fourteen - tie a reef knot

14. Tie a reef knot (aka a double knot) over the top of the long stitch, and trim the ends.

Make  ina journal - step fifteen - mark where to fold cover

15. Make a little mark with your nail, or a pencil, so that you know where to fold the cover flap. You can also fold the cover round the first page to get the measurement right, if you like.

Make a journal - step sixteen - fold the cover flap in

16. Here’s one cover flap folded in.

Make a journal - fold second cover flap

17. Now mark and fold the other one.

Make a journal with Rachel Hazell - finished project

17. Whoah! That’s your book bound – well done. It’s ready to be filled with your notes, drawings and lists. Keep a record of these strange times, to remember what it was like to stay at home.

Please post images tagged @paperhazell on Instagram or the Paperlove page on Facebook, so that we can see what you’ve made – thank you!

This project has been put together for the top class of Iona Primary School and for YOU. It was photographed in the byre next to Iona Hostel. (Yellow wellies are my uniform here.)

You can also find instructions for the five-hole pamphlet-stitch in Bound:15 Beautiful Bookbinding Projects by Rachel Hazell.

Happy Binding!

3 thoughts on “Make a journal!

  1. Hello Rachel: I am so in love with your book Bound, which I found at a small bookstore on the Oregon coast. It has given me endless hours of joy! I too am in love with making books and would love to take one of your workshops someday. How lucky you are to be living on an island; I grew up in Hawaii and to me, there is no place on earth as sacred as an island.
    Your website is beautiful, and I visit it often. Thank you for being you.

    1. Dear Sondra, Thanks for your kind message – delighted that you’re enjoying Bound, and that you’re an islomaniac too! Happy binding and thank you for writing, Rachel

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