It started with this box of watercolor paper, creased down the center to form a card. Who says it has to be a card?
I've used these papers before to construct journals, and they make one of a decent size, about 6x8".
But I wanted this one to be smaller, really pocket sized, so I just sliced the folded pages in half; I now have a book that is about 6x4".
The construction couldn't be easier; the folded pages are glued together, carefully lining them up at the spine. This results in double thick pages, sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of the journey. The two end papers, which are single thickness, are glued to the covers (I just used heavy cardboard for those).
I found a decorative napkin in my stash that had a travel theme, tore it up and used it to cover the cardboard, keeping the journal nice and simple. No bulky embellishments in this project! I used fluid matte medium, over and under the pieces of napkin. The shine you see comes from a bronze glaze I used over the whole thing to give it a little extra color and protection.
The same bronze glaze was used on the end papers, just to give the book a more finished look.
I used a very strong glue (Ailene's Super Thick Tacky Glue) to attach the pages to one another, and weighted the book down until it dried. The bond is really strong, but what I like best about this method (besides that I don't have to struggle with sewing signatures), is that the pages lay pretty flat when the book is opened, making it easy to work in.
Then I decided to make a removable cover with some sort of closure, like a journal sweater to keep it safe as it travels. Again, very easy to do. I started with a rectangle of felt (not craft felt, but a good quality wool felt), about 2 1/2 times the length of the book. I did not measure anything; the size was estimated. It's very much like those paper book covers we used to have to cover our text books with in school. At this point I did open my sewing machine, though the stitching is very basic.
Here is the front; I added a little decoration in the form of another piece of felt and some ultra suede.
I'll get to that ribbon on the side in a moment. Here is what the cover looks like opened flat. You can see that I just folded over a bit on each size before sewing all around, creating slots that the journal covers slide right into.
The closure is a long length of tattered silk ribbon. My friend Pat gave me a beautiful button that I attached to the end.
All you have to do is wrap the ribbon around the book a couple of times.
Then slide the end with the button under the wrapped ribbon, and voila!
I don't think this project will launch for a month or so; in the meantime I've been scouring Pinterest for images of field and travel journals. I created a board; if you'd like to see what I've found so far: