Here in the United States, families and friends gather together on the 4th Thursday of November to express our gratitude for our countless blessings. When I join my family this year, I will have a neat little journal to pass around the table to ga
ther those expressions of gratitude … I think it will be great to come back to this journal next year and see how life has changed … or will we still be grateful for the same things?
My Gratitude Journal is a simple project made with 5 x 7 kraft cardstock pre-made card blanks. The binding technique is a simplifed version of a technique called Japanese Stab Binding which I learned in a book making class a few years ago. I simplified the wrap just to make it a little easier for the novice book binder!
- Sweet Digi Scraps DOCUMENT THIS
- 5 X 7″ kraft cardstock card blanks (3 total used in this project) I picked these up in bulk at my local craft store. Here’s a source at Amazon
- digital printouts of pages – printed on HP Premium Presentaion Paper at your local office supply or Amazon
- cardstock to mat printout photos
- Palette brand ink – Burnt umber (for distressing and smudging) You can use any brown ink, I just prefer the Palette brand because of the results I get with it.
- Hemp twine for binding which I purchased in jewelry making section of local craft store – you will need about 40″ to bind the book together
- clips to help stabilize the pages
- Crop-a-dile (or other hole punch tool) to create the binding holes. available at your local craft store or at Amazon
- Scor-Pal (or other scoring tool)available at your local craft store or at Amazon
- Adhesive of choice – my choice Scor-tape, a book binding double sided very sticky tape, available wherever Scor-Pals are sold or at Amazon
Preparing the pages –
All of the pages were designed in PhotoShop Elements 10 using Sweet Digi Scraps lovely kit DOCUMENT THIS
I designed the pages at 5 x 7″ (just like mini scrapbook pages) but reduced them to 4 x 6″ for printout purposes. Once all the pages were designed and sized to 4 x 6, I created printout documents in MS Word, and printed them on HP Premium Presentation Paper. I love the vibrant colors that this paper gives while still retaining the matte finish. Photo paper just wouldn’t do for this project since I plan to write on the pages later. Each photo was matted on cardstock before adding it to the page.
Binding the card blanks together –
1. Use a Scor-Pal (or other scoring tool) to create scoring lines 1/2″ on each side of the score already in the card. Measurements: 4 1/2″ and 5 1/2″. Pre-fold these scores, and then lay flat (this will help the pages turn more easily when binding is complete). Stack up the cards individually – don’t put one inside the other because edge will not come out even. Clamp the cards together in preparation for the next step.
2. For this Japanse stab binding, you need an even number of holes, which proved to be a challenge on a canvas that was an odd number of inches – 7″. After a little experimenting, I decided that the first and last binding hole would be 3/4″ of an inch from the edge, and inbetween the binding holes were 1/2″ apart.
With cards clamped together, I marked my 12 hole pattern on the top card, and then used a Crop-a-dile to punch the smallest holes (1/8″) I love this tool, but if you don’t have one, you can cut these holes with an awl and hammer, or whatever method you choose, just make sure the holes line up on all 3 cards.
3. The binding stitch is fairly simple. A quick Google search for Japanese Stab Binding gave me lots of places to look for help and inspiration … and I saw some amazing binding art! Start in the hole closest to the bottom of the book. Push the hemp twine down through the hole (going away from you, I call “down”, stitching toward you I call “up”) Make sure you keep a tail of about 3″ – use one of the clamps to keep from pulling it all the way through! Bring the twine up through the next hole, wrap it around the edge of the book, and come up through the same hole again!
Repeat these steps until you reach hole #12. In #12, you will come up, wrap edge and come up in same hole, and then wrap the top edge and come up in the same hole again (a total of 3 times through that hole!) and then you are ready to continue back across the binding. Going back you will side-wrap the holes that didn’t have side wrap the first time until you reach the other edge of the book.
Tie off the two ends in a tight knot on the back side of your binding edge, and snip extra twine off, close to the knot. If you are concerned about your knot coming just a touch of glue that dries clear will fortify the knot!
Finishing the project –
Add your cover, menu, guest and extra pages to your journal with your adhesive of choice. Be sure to make yourself a journal, even it you don’t get it done in time for Thanksgiving 2012. You can start a “gratitude” journal any day of the year … just date your page and jot down your blessings. What a fun read it will be later!
Other Articles by poki04:
- "Family and Friends" mini pocket book - September 29th, 2014
- It's SPRING and almost Easter! - April 18th, 2014
- It's almost BIRTHDAY TIME in my family! - February 21st, 2014
- Fussy cutting project ... long time coming! - January 31st, 2014
- Christmas Card keeper - December 2013 - December 20th, 2013