Faux Leather Mini Journal

Noah's Journal

Noah’s Journal

Today I’d like to share one of my new favorite things – handmade journals! I created this one using the Eileen Hull passport die, which produces a 3.5″x5″ book.  This one is a bit over an inch thick and made to look like pebbled leather. My son is really into photography and printing in the FujiFilm Instax mini format. This size book is perfect for keeping and displaying that sized photo. My son is one of those people who is impossible to buy gifts for. He is really not into ‘stuff’ so it’s always a challenge around birthdays and Christmas. I’m hoping to hit the mark with this project. Read on to see how I did it!

Supplies

Supplies

I started with Eileen Hull’s passport die, Grunge-board and Grunge-paper.

Grungeboard/paper cutouts

Grunge-board/paper cutouts

I cut two front/back boards and a spine out of Grunge-board using the die. Then I cut an over-sized piece out of Grunge-paper and trimmed one short edge with an on-the-edge die. The over-sized piece will wrap around the front to form a closure. I also cut a strip of Grunge-paper long enough to wrap from the back spine around to the front edge, and thin enough to fit through the antique key I will use as a closure.

Painted, sprayed, wiped color

Painted, sprayed, wiped color

I ran the front cover and the wrap-around piece through my Vagabond with the crocodile embossing folder.  Next I painted, sprayed and wiped acrylic paint until I was satisfied with the ‘leather’ finish. You’ll notice a fifth piece of Grunge-board. I decided I wanted to cover the spine too so I cut another piece slightly wider than the spine piece. Then I assembled the book. I didn’t photograph the signatures in process but there are 3, each with 3 double sheets (cut out with the die) making 12 pages per, 36 in the whole book. I added pockets and ephemera throughout as well as photo corners on many pages since that is the point of this album. So skipping the inside assembly, the below picture shows the waxed linen twine used to attach the signatures to the spine and now I’m using that extra piece I cut to cover the spine.

Spine Cover

Spine Cover

I used heavy stick double sided tape to attach the spine cover. Then I also punched 3 holes each, front and back (using my Crop-a-dile II for extended reach) and added rivets to add more strength.

Back, showing rivets and strap.

Back, showing rivets and strap.

Above you can see the strap that wraps around as a closure in front. You can see below the key is fastened to the strap with rivets and slides through a leather strap riveted in place on the front cover. (I put two slits in the Grunge-board cover and slid the leather through, then riveted in place.) On the inside of the book these are covered. I also added magnets, both on the inside behind the leather strap and under the flap that is held in place by the key strap.

Antique key closure

Antique key closure

Front of book, assembled.

Front of book, assembled.

Book opened to show camera charms attached to front cover.

Book opened to show camera charms attached to front cover.

Inside front cover

Inside front cover

Inside Detail

Inside Detail

Inside Detail

Inside Detail

Standing Up

Standing Up

So there you have it.  A very sturdy little album.  This was such a joy to create, both because it was for my son but also because the dies really take a lot of the guesswork out. I’ve made several more of these small sized albums which I’ll share soon.  I hope this inspires you to get into the studio and play!

I am entering this in the first ever challenge on the new Mini Album Makers Challenge blog. I am so thrilled that this great group of artists decided to do the blog.  Hop over there and check it out!

Thanks for stopping by!

Heather

 

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22 Responses to Faux Leather Mini Journal

  1. Heather, if I had not read your post I would have thought this was real leather, you did such an amazing job making it look so realistic and it has such a vintage look about it too! It was clever of you to use grungeboard and grungepaper to give it strength, I love the way the key strip closure works and also the way you covered up the binding edge. The rivets look amazing too! The inside is just the icing on the cake – it is fabulous!!

    Thank you SO much for sharing this beautiful album with us for our first challenge at Mini Album Makers! Anne xx

    • Heather Maxwell says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words Ann! I’m so pleased you all started the mini album challenge blog and also to be part of the very first challenge!

      Heather

  2. My goodness Heather, this is amazing. It really does look like leather and the rivets are a perfect touch. I love how you did the closure and the inside looks wonderful too. I bet your son was over the moon with this album. Stunning work!!!

  3. Oh my goodness look at that beautiful album. Love the faux leather. Going to try that one! The closure is a brilliant way to close a journal. Thanks for joining the challenge at Mini Album Makers Challenge blog.

  4. Autumn says:

    Hi Heather, first let me thank you for the sweet words on our new blog! <3 It's really encouraging to read this from you! Secondly, wow wow wow! I'm so amazed with your creativity and that you took the time to document the process so well. I'm pretty sure each and every mixed media artist/Tim Holtz lover on the planet will want to CASE this amazing little journal! How incredibly cool. The closure and the spine cover are genius and so so inspiring. I also love the cool marbled paper lining the cover and your pages so far. I'm sure your son love this amazing gift. I'm so thrilled that you shared with our first challenge at Mini Album Makers. Big hugs, Autumn

  5. maj. says:

    What a sensationally lovely artwork!!!

  6. Toni says:

    I am simply in love with your beautiful journal ! Your attention to detail is fantastic ! X

  7. Dang! this is so clever, I want to pick it up and flip through every page and run my hands over that “leather” cover (Rust is my first love, leather, my second!) My favorite bit about this is that closure. I admit, I only skimmed your post, but be assured I will read every word! Thank you for your amazing inspiration! Hugs! Sara Emily

  8. Oh wow, this looks amazing and like real leather for sure! What a wonderful album, I just love the cover, so many beautiful details!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us on the mini album makers challenge blog!

  9. This is amazing! It’s such a joy to have you share with us in our first challenge at Mini Album Makers

  10. Wow! I love this “leather” journal/mini! What a fun project. And you already have photos inside! That is the hardest part for me! 😉 Thanks for joining our FIRST challenge at Mini Album Makers!

    • Heather Maxwell says:

      Thanks Gloria! My son took the photos first, then I thought of making the journal to hold them. Otherwise I’m with you – can’t figure out which photos to use! :) ~Heather

  11. Nora Tabeira in Paolini says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful work!!! It is just amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I adore it!

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