Whatever kind of notebook you journal in, whether shop-bought or homemade, you can decorate its cover in all sorts of ways. Below are photographs of some of my artful journals plus a few notes on how I created each one. (Click on the images for a closer look.) At the very bottom, there is also video to watch, in which I decorate the cover of volume five. I hope this gives you some ideas for your journal covers.
Last year when I was mentally ill, I took a long break from journaling because I had started to find it unhelpful to write my thoughts down – I was just reinforcing anxious thinking habits – but as I recovered, I started journaling again and now it’s become a joy once more. This is the first journal I wrote in after my reboot. It’s just a cheap sketchbook from The Range. I decorated the front and back covers with a couple of pieces of watercolour paper that I’d previously painted and not done anything with. I stuck them on with glue and the rainbow washi tape you can see around the outside. After that, I wrote on the title and drew on a scribbly frame. Simple as that!
Volume two has a mixed media cover in the style of Ali Brown. I collaged this sketchbook cover with a vintage sewing pattern, applied a light layer of gesso to give it some tooth and then painted on the cat and number 2 with acrylic. The lace down the right hand side is made of self-adhesive paper. I added some washi tape and made marks with various pens and pencils. This was a lot of fun to do. I like to experiment with different people’s styles just to see if I can pull it off!
I created the cover for volume three is a similar way, but this time I used vintage book paper to collage the cover. I then drew on the face with watercolour pencils and blended the lines with a wet paintbrush. I also used some pen for the eyes and the writing. The black label, I made using a Motex Emoticon Embossing Label Maker
This volume has a Christmas theme as it lasted me from the 1st to the 14th of December. I clearly had a lot to write about! (I talk about that more in the video.) For this cover, I collaged a napkin onto the black card, applied some gesso, and, once that was dry, I scraped some acrylic paint across it using a pallet knife. I chose colours that went well with the napkin. The candles are made from strips of washi tape. The flames are 3D Pearl Effects. I then foiled on some stars at the top. I think this is my favourite cover as it is so Christmassy.
This last cover is very simple. I collaged some scraps of Christmas gift wrap onto the cover, leaving some gaps so that the black card would show through. After that, I covered the whole thing in a single sheet of thin white tissue to give it a frosted appearance and to marry all the different pieces of paper together. I then edged it in gold star washi tape and finally wrote ‘Vol. five’ on the front in gold foil. You can see how this came together in the video below.
So how about you? How do you decorate your journal covers?
Thanks for stopping by! See you soon. xxx
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