For a stylish journal that will always look good on your coffee table, it’s worth splurging on quality wrapping paper for the cover. There’s an enormous selection available from gift stores and stationers. Look for thick paper that will stand up to years of use – wallpaper is also great, both in terms of quality and decor-friendly design
Gather your supplies
A3 110gsm cartridge paper (20 sheets)
A3 110gsm bond paper (60 sheets)
A3 90/05gsm tracing paper (10 sheets)
550 x 750mm 160gsm card (2 sheets)
A1 1.5mm mount board (1 sheet)
- Step 1: Halve orange and blot with paper towel. Thin paint with water then brush onto orange half. Stamp 10 sheets of cartridge paper with orange, brushing more paint onto orange as needed. Leave to dry.
- Step 2: Thin paint with water. Dip toothbrush in paint mixture, tapping off excess. Flick bristles with thumb to speckle dots over the remaining 10 sheets of cartridge paper. Leave to dry.
- Step 3: Make 10 piles of paper, in this order: 1 sheet stamped with orange, 3 sheets of bond, 1 sheet of tracing, 3 sheets of bond, 1 sheet speckled with paint. Use ruler and pencil to mark inside centre spine of each pile at 4.6cm, 9.9cm, 14.6cm, 19.6cm, and 24.6cm from top.
- Step 4: Using needle, make holes through all paper layers at each marking, for each pile. Thread needle, then stitch spine of each pile, using holes you just made. Fold each pile in half to form A4-sized sections.
- Step 5: With first section in closed position, mark a line 20.5cm from spine. Cut through all layers with a craft knife, using ruler as a straightedge. Repeat for remaining sections. Stack sections, aligning edges, and clamp with bulldog clips at short ends.
- Step 6: Cut an 8 x 32cm piece of muslin cloth. Paint spine and 3cm of front and back papers with PVA. Place muslin over glue, painting over it with more PVA. Sandwich notebook between several heavy magazines or books, with spine protruding, and leave to dry overnight to flatten.
- Step 7: Trim excess muslin. Coat back of notebook with spray adhesive – do not spray spine. Lay onto card. Spray front of notebook. Wrap card around spine to front and adhere. Trim overhanging card.
- Step 8: From mount board cut 2 pieces 21.5 x 30.7cm (front and back cover), and 1 piece 2.2 x 30.7cm (spine). Cut a 49 x 34cm piece of wrapping paper and lay face down. Use spray adhesive to glue spine piece in centre of paper, then glue front and back pieces to paper, leaving a 3mm gap so cover can close. Apply adhesive to surrounding edges of paper. Cut a triangle from each corner, then fold edges to front and stick down.
- Step 9: From remaining card, cut a piece 1cm shorter and narrower than hard cover. Spray back with adhesive and position on top of uncovered mount board.
- Step 10: Hot glue notebook spine to cover spine.
You’ll also need
Paintbrush; orange; black acrylic paint; old toothbrush; PVA; pencil; metal ruler; sharp embroidery needle; white thread; craft knife; self-healing mat; bulldog clips (2); muslin cloth; phone books; thick wrapping paper; hot glue gun and hot melt sticks; spray adhesive