It was a crafty kind of day at our house a few days ago. My son Corry, home from college, is loving the quiet of the house with just a few friends near by and the warmth pups! He was looking for something to make ... hummm.
I reminded him of all the hides of leather we recently acquired ... Ok, truth be told ... we went dumpster diving ... So worth it ... we scored 6 huge hides of leather ... and if you can belive it, we didn't take it all. There were several hides I left behind simply because I didn't care for the color. What was I thinking?
Anyways ... Corry loves to draw and paint and doodle, being the art major that he is and so he set out to learn how to make leather journals.
He was out in the man cave for hours ... reading and watching videos, trying to figure out what he wanted to make ... then, these happened!
After several hours, he mastered it! Of course I wanted a journal too and so for this tutorial, Corry made me a journal while I shot the photos and typed away ... Hope we didn't miss any steps!
Here's what you do:
- Cut papers down to 6 x 9 inches
- Using a straight edge, tear about 1/4 inch off the short ends. Place the cork side of the ruler on the paper ... this makes for a varied and scrappy edge.
- Fold paper in half
- Gather all the folded pieces of paper to make several signatures. The thickness of the paper of the paper will determine how many pieces of paper are in each signature ... (A signature is a section in a journal ... if a signature is made with the thin paper, I will have 10 pieces of paper, folded in half to give me a 20 pages in that signature.)
- For this journal we are mixing the papers within each signature so there will be a few thick pages made from watercolor paper and then a few pages made from marker paper.
- There will be 7 signatures in this journal.
- Open to the center of one signature and mark the points where the pages are going to be stitched into the leather. For this journal we marked 1/4 from the top edge and the bottom edge, then make four marks roughly every 1 3/4 inch. This will give you 3 sections in the center of the signature. For the technique we are using to stitch this journal, you have to have an odd number of sections to sew in the center of the signtures.
- Using a leather needle and a hammer, poke hole where the pencil marks are.
- Use this top piece of paper as a template to poke the holes in the remaining signatures. The paper clips help to keep all the paper lined up.
- Cut a piece of leather that measures 14 x 6 1/2 inches.
- Place one signature 4 1/2 inches from the left edge and using a white pencil make a small dot where the holes are on the signature, and then 6 more 1/8 inch apart.
- Using the leather needle and hammer punch holes at every white mark.
- Cut a length of leather cord that measures 2 times the height of the signature x the number of signatures you have, plus an extra 12 inches.
- Place one signature onto the leather and follow the above chart to stitch the journal together. Start by going into the paper side of G4 and then on through the leather, tying a simple knot that can be untied ... leave a 4 inch tail. Then come back up through the leather and the paper at G3. Then back down through G2 and up through G1, then back down through G2 and then up through G3 and then down through G4 paper only and then through the F4 leather ... Continue up through F3 (This is the start of a new signature) leather and paper and continue in this manner until all the signature have been stitched into the leather. Your last stitch you will be going into A4 paper and leather and then back up through G3, leather only and then out G2 leather only and then in at A1 leather only and then across the top of the signatures and through the paper only from the back to the inside fold of G1.
- The below photo shows you what this stitching looks like from the outside.
- This last stitch will bring you back to the first signature you started stitching. Untie the first knott and then tie the 2 end together. Trim the ends of the cord.
- The next step is to create some sort of closure ... here you can see that the inside flap is exactly the same width as the pages ... I may trim it by about 1/4 inch or so.
- And then the front flap doesn't goes all the way to the edge ... Not sure how I'm going to close this journal or embellish it. This is the fun part, according to Corry, so stay tuned for another post on how I finish it off.