Monday, February 28, 2011

Made with Love

If you've been following my blog for a while, you may remember the tote bag I made last year, and the altered journal I made to go with it. I truly enjoyed making them. So, when I learned of a birthday celebration for a young journalist friend, I decided that a journal would be a perfect gift for a journalist -- and a tote to carry it in would be a nice complement to it.

Because this young lady is also an awesome photographer, I decided I wanted to incorporate some of her photos into the project. Facebook provided all that I needed, and with a little conspiratory help from her sister about colours and quotations, I set about creating these:

I started with the bag (making it the same way I did my original tote), the back of which looks like this -- made from the vinyl of the seat of a chair that was beyond repair:

I thought it was a little plain, so I added a binder ring with some ribbons. I couldn't decide which side it looked better on, though. The fun part is, the ribbons can be put anywhere on the handles, or completely removed. I confess I thought the idea was a bit of a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself ;)

I did learn, though, that vinyl can't be ironed! Oops! See those melted bits????:

For the journal, I created a watermark with one of the young lady's photos and added lines for her to write on. Then I inserted more of her photos on a number of random pages. Is that not a great, quirky picture of her dog, Little Pete? ;) DH printed the pages for me, and I had them hole punched at a UPS Store.

 I also inserted a number of papers with different designs and textures, including card stock, vellum, and shimmery gold paper.

The hardest part was binding the covers. Because I had used the insides of an old binder and covered them with fabric, NO ONE was able to bind the whole thing for me. I really wanted it to be spiral bound with wire so that it could be folded back on itself. So, I was determined to find a way to do it myself. I started by drilling holes with DH's power drill using one of the pages as a guide for the holes. That worked, but the holes were too small -- I couldn't bind everything together. So I re-punched the holes using my Cropodile:

The challenge was then to keep all the holes lined up while I fed wire through them. I wound my length of wire around a broom handle so it was nicely coiled first -- and I used shishkabob skewers to keep my holes lined up. The wooden spoon handle helped to keep my wire rounded as I moved the skewers along and fed the wire through the holes: 

The results were not perfect, but I liked it better than any Cerlox binding, which seemed to be the only other option -- and that without my handmade covers, too:

So here is the front cover again:

And here is the back cover. You may or may not have noticed that the background fabric matches the lining fabric of the tote bag:

I don't especially like how messy the inside of the cover looks, but I was afraid to mess with trying to glue the plastic covers I'd got (just in case the hard covers didn't work out) to the inside of the covers:

 I guess I was on a creative roll because when I was cleaning up from the project, I found this piece of fabric with a jewel in it that I'd done to try out the GemMatic gizmo I'd recently received as a gift. I decided not to waste it -- and turned it into a matching book mark: 

A little package of mini gel pens thrown in -- and the gift was complete: )

I don't usually enjoy making more than one of anything -- but I'm tempted to make myself a bigger tote and maybe my own journal once my other one is full!

Are there any creative projects you've tried that you've enjoyed enough to make multiples?

I've linked this post to:


  1. Paula,

    That is really beautiful. You must have a huge reserve of patience to spiral bind that book by hand. You can see that it was all made with love.


  2. Thanks, Sara. It actually wasn't that hard once I figured out HOW to do it :)The frustrating part was figuring out how to do it. I'm not the most efficient problem solver.

  3. I love you journal, it turned out so nice.


Sincere responses . . .

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...