instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Notes from a Western Life
Ranging Far and Wide on the High Plains and Beyond
Linda M. Hasselstrom's Blog

Making Your Own Journals

The handmade journal.
. . .
On a recent reading trip, I stayed a couple of nights with Deb and Tim Nolting in Bushnell, NE. Deb is a teacher, singer, poet. (See her website at www.LeadersAndLegends.com)

Recently, Deb has been making journals for her students using recycled materials. The journal covers are taken from discarded Reader’s Digest condensed books, surely a source that may be almost inexhaustible. Probably the only published material that exists in greater quantities is the supply of National Geographic magazines in the nation’s attics and basements.

Deb has sliced off the book covers and has hundreds, maybe thousands, stacked on shelves in her home office (and boxes and boxes more in storage, she says.) She also collects all kinds of paper: old notebook pages, notepads from advertisers, deckle-edged paper in delicate hues, everything.

When she offered to make me a journal, I leaped at the chance to see how she does it.

From her stacks I selected first the cover– a dark brown with an embossed horse. Then I looked over the shelves for the front matter and chose a page that said “Ex Libris.”

For the interior of the journal, I chose a notepad from a pharmaceutical company that had Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man at the top. She was able to slice off the advertising from the bottom, leaving me with lined pages decorated with a pen and ink sketch of the proper proportions of a naked man at the top of each one. Surely my notes in this journal will be particularly profound.

Once she’d trimmed everything to size, she moved to the table containing the single machine which allows her to put all these elements together. She bought the binder at www.mybinding.com; several moderately-priced models exist.

First she set the machine for the size of covers she was using, so that it punched 21 holes for the spiral binding in the cover. Then she punched the interior pages and finally the front cover.

Once the covers and pages were aligned, she slipped the book into another slot in the machine. She cut a length of spiral binding with 21 holes and used the machine to apply it instantly. Still using the machine, she crimped the binding to fit the book.

Voila! A personal, handmade journal. She says she enjoys making the journals so much she could do it all the time. I hope she will eventually make them available for sale, possibly in her daughters' book shop, The Sisters Grimm.

# # #

back to top
Be the first to comment