I made this journal for my brother to commemorate his graduation from college with a Masters in Humanities. Now that he has received his gift, I can share.
I made the faux leather using Close to my Heart Kraft paper, CTMH inks and my Cinch book binding machine. The journal pages are from http://www.printablepaper.net. He offers all kinds of free templates and pages to download. It is a great site. I printed the journal pages double sided and punched with the Cinch.
To make the faux leather, I wet two 12×12 pieces of Kraft paper with a spray bottle of water. I crumpled and un-crumpled the wet paper until I liked the texture. I then ironed the papers smooth. I took three colors of CTMH ink – Cocoa, Brown Bag and Desert Sand and wiped them over the textured paper. Brown Bag is no longer available, but Saddle would be an equivalent color. I started with the darkest (Cocoa), then medium (Brown Bag) then the lightest (Desert Sand) and layered them on until I liked the look. I then wet the papers again to let the ink spread a bit. I ironed the papers again, putting them between parchment paper to iron so ink didn’t get on the board or iron. Once it was dry, I coated the papers with Microglaze (a wax product you can purchase in craft stores online) to give it more of a leather feel and to seal the ink. I then punched the faux leather paper and glued it to chipboard covers. I put some Colonial White papers on the inside covers and used the Desert Sand ink to give it some highlights like old paper. I bound the journal pages and the covers together using a spiral binding. I glued wooden beads on the tips of spiral to keep them from slipping out of the end holes instead of just bending the ends. If you don’t have a Cinch or similar book binding tool, then you can punch holes and thread cords or rings through the covers and pages.
I really like the way this turned out and my brother loved it. Here are some additional photos:
I printed the journal pages double sided by putting the second side back through the printer ensuring the word Journal would be in the right place. For my printer, I placed print side up, top into the printer first and it worked great. Just try it on a sample until it is correct before printing the whole batch, then make a note of what worked.
I really like this. The journal is 8″ by 8″ so I had some scraps left from the 12 by 12 papers. My husband liked the look, so I made him a smaller 3″ by 5″ index card note book with some of the scrap for him to write down website addresses and info.
Kraft Cardstock Item# Z1375 $9.50 for 24 sheets
Cocoa Stamp Pad Item# Z2114 $5.25
Saddle Stamp Pad Item# Z2171 $5.25
Desert Sand Stamp Pad Item# Z2118 $5.25