After the rush of last December, I decided to be a bit more pro-active this year. Instead of crunching all of the homemade gift making into one week or even one month, I would space them out throughout the year. There is no time line or schedule. I am simply working on these homemade gifts when I have time and the creative juices flow.
One of the gifts I wanted to make was inspired by this idea. It seemed easy enough. I had all the supplies on hand, which means technically this project cost me nothing, but time and effort.
On heavy water color paper, I used water color paints to create interesting covers.
After the paint dried, I carefully folded each in half. For each journal/sketch book, I added five sheets of sketch/drawing paper. Each of these were folded in half and aligned with the cover. Though I liked how the inspiring journals were constructed with a seam, I wanted these books to easily open flat. For me, that meant stitching the papers straight down the crease.
Next, holding the papers together (with the creases matched), I carefully sewed them together.
This step made be apprehensive. OK, scared. I slowly sewed them together. Once each book was bound, I tied each of the loose ends and clipped the excess string.
It was then that I discovered that I didn't like how the stitching looked. Yep, after all that slow stitching. So, I decided to cover the outer sewn edge with tape.
One straight line of tape and I felt much better about the final look.
For a few days, I pondered whether to add the words 'Journal' or 'Sketch Book' to the front. Since I am not sure how my children or nieces will use these books, I opted to keep them plain.
To ensure the books stay in good condition until next Christmas, I loosely wrapped each book in wax paper and labeled them with the recipient's name. Awaiting Christmas time to give these may be the hardest aspect of this homemade gift. It really was that easy of a project.