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Friday, July 26, 2013

C'est la Vie! Part 2 (Hand-made Journal)

Hello Dear Bloggers!
I wanted to make an album or small book to put inside my altered cigar box.  I decided to make one from scratch. This little book was easy to make and turned out so cute!  The inside pages were dyed with coffee so not only does it look good but it has a faint scent of coffee, which is wonderful!

The paper I used to decorate the book is called C'est la Vie, from Bo Bunny.
The papers have a French feel, and a sewing theme, with dress forms, pattern pieces, etc.
The book fits perfectly inside the box we altered in the previous post!
This photo doesn't do it justice, it's just beautiful in person.

Here is a step-by-step pictorial of how I made this book.
 The binding was made with a surprising element...a paper towel roll!
The first thing I did was to save a paper towel roll.  Then I cut it in half as shown above.
Then cut the half-roll to the size your book will be.
(Remember, this is the spine to your little book.)
Cut two equal size pieces of chipboard the size you want your book.
I cut mine at 6 3/4 " x 5 3/4 ".
Next, cut a piece of white medium weight paper the same length as your  paper towel roll.
You also want it to extend past the roll on each side, about 2.5 inches or so.
This is what it looks like when you have adhered it to the roll.  I used wet glue and smeared it with my finger, then pressed the paper into the roll, holding it there until it was almost dry.
Use a heat tool to hasten the drying process.
Now make a fold where the spine half-circle ends on each side.
This will be adhered to your chipboard to create the "book".
*Note: Plug in your glue gun now and let it get hot.  You will need it soon!
Using wet glue or score-tape, adhere the chipboard sides to the white paper.
Butt the edges of the chipboard up against the sides of the paper towel roll as shown.
This is what it should look like.
Take a strand of cord, much like a shoe string or string that runs through a hoodie,
and cut 3 strands long enough to cover half of the paper towel roll.  (5 or 6 inches)
Using wet glue or hot glue, adhere the cording to the book in 3 or 4 places,
depending on how big your book is.  Since this book can be made any size you want,
it will be up to you as to how many lines you want in your spine!
This is what it should look like thus far...but now we have to cover the spine!
I selected this shiny mauve fabric to be the spine for my book.
It went well with the paper line
and was beautiful fabric that would look quite elegant~BUT
It was very thin...
I cut a piece of iron-on interfacing to give the fabric a bit more substance.
Here I am ironing it onto the fabric.
Now that it's a bit stiffer and stronger, I am ready to put it on the book.
Place your fabric evenly on top of the of the book.
Have your wet glue handy!  Hot glue will NOT work here!!!
Smear wet glue onto the spine and the cord, and work each section one at a time.
If you get a glob of glue, it will seep through the fabric and ruin it!
This takes time and should not be rushed!  Do each section separately.
One at a time, adhere the fabric to the sections of the spine and allow to dry.
Here is what it should look like when you have adhered your fabric to the spine.
Now you are ready to glue down the paper on the front and back of the book.
I forgot to take a photo of the glueing down of the paper,
but I'm sure you know how to glue paper to chipboard!! What you want to do next, is
fold the ends of the fabric in and glue the fabric to itself to create a finished edge.
Look carefully here and you can see the folded fabric.  Use wet glue for this also,
Smear the glue on as before, to keep it from seeping through the fabric
and ruining the appearance of the spine.  Allow the fabric dry thoroughly.
A bit of wet glue seeped through the fabric on my book, so I took this beautiful trim,
and glued it down to hide the mistake.  It was a "happy accident" as I love the way it looks
with the trim!  Sometimes accidents happen, but in this case it worked out fine.
*But that is why it is so important to apply the wet glue light enough that it won't seep through but heavy enough that it will adhere to the book.*
Another look.
I let the trim hang down a bit past the fabric, as I did not know how I was going to
make it work yet at this point.  
Here you can see that the fabric is glued to itself, but not yet to the book.
I would suggest waiting until the very end to adhere the fabric to the paper on the book.
You don't want to glue it down and then go to open the book and it pulls the fabric off...
For the inside of the book, lay down another piece of like fabric into the inside of the spine,
adhere it down inside the paper towel roll.  In this photo you can see darkened areas where the glue seeped through.  Since it was inside, I didn't mind, but if it happened on the outside, it would have marred the appearance of the book.  So be careful!!  LOL!
Here is another view.  This is the time to fold in the paper and using scor-tape
adhere the paper to the chipboard.  Another piece of paper will be adhered on top creating the inside covers of the book.
With this fabric, you will create the flaps that hold the pages in place.  
Take a piece of chipboard 1 inch wide and as long as the paper towel roll, minus one inch.
Butt it up against the inside spine of the book and glue it.  Then fold it over the other side of the long chipboard piece and glue that.  Then adhere the remaining fabric onto the inside front and inside back of the book.  Once this step is completed, you glue down the paper for the inside front and inside back of the book.  The photo below shows where you should be at this point.
See the flaps?  This is what you punch your holes into to hold the pages.
I also adhered more trim to the inside of the book. I will do a separate tutorial on these steps in a subsequent posting.  The flaps are what holds the paper in the book.  
Here is the finished back cover of the little book.
I added some roses and seam binding ribbon and it looks just beautiful!
The book fits so nicely inside of the altered box.

What a beautiful way to keep your beautiful memories, and keep them safe!
I hope you enjoyed this pictorial of the handmade-album/journal.  I will post another lesson soon, on how to put the pages in the book. and how to decorate the inside of the altered box!  See you soon!
Please let me know what you think...I always appreciate your comments!
Happy Creating!


RunawayStamper said...

This is fabulous Renae!!

pattyo said...

Looks beautiful and a lot of work!

Donna Wood said...

What a great idea and tutorial.
I loved seeing this book put together.
Thanks ReNae.

Tennessee's World said...

I was just wondering if you are a Crabtree; my husbands family hails from Il., and originally from North Carolina. I love your blog and your creations, I love anything shabby! Great projects you have there!

Crabtree-Creations said...

Hi Tina!
So happy you like the blog! To answer your question, YES I come from a big orchard of Crabtrees! My maiden name is Crabtree o in honor of my late father and grandmother I named the blog after them! You don't say it but are YOU also a Crabtree? You mentioned your husband's family but didn't mention if they were Crabs or not!
Please email me at see, to have a lot of interests in common from books to movies to shabby chic! I would love to hear from you
ReNae Crabtree Allen

Crabtree-Creations said...

Sorry for the typos, using a very tiny keypad!