Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Minute DIY Gift Idea: Hand-Covered Journal by guest blogger Anne Sage

The blogosphere is filled with wonderfully talented women. One of my favorites is Anne Sage from The City Sage. Anne is a writer and wardrobe and interiors stylist who lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Not only is her blog a favorite read, but also I look forward to her comments on my posts, as she always has something interesting or thoughtful or insightful to say. This project is "perfect as a last minute stocking stuffer and a great project to do with the little ones when you're snowed in". Without further ado I give you Anne!


I love a good DIY, especially when it results in something perfect for sharing with others! This year I bought very few gifts and focused instead on homemade presents. Not only did I bake batch after batch of chocolate haystacks and cashew toffee, I also came up with a quick and easy hand-covered journal that’s perfect for the writers and listmakers in your life. I’m constantly amazed at how expensive nice journals can be; so instead I bought cheerful cotton prints in sets of three and created a trio of coordinating journals for less than $15 per set!


1. You’ll need scissors, spray adhesive, a blank hardcover journal, and enough cotton fabric to cover the book with a few inches on each side. I used a 100% recycled blank book that I bought for $3.99 at Office Depot, and quilters’ squares that I bought for $0.99 apiece at Joann Fabric.
2. Lay the book flat on the fabric and trim the material so that there are about 1 ½ inches of excess on each side of the book.
3. Coat the underside of the fabric with spray adhesive (go outside to use this stuff—it stinks!) and spray the book cover as well. Let the adhesive dry for about 30 seconds so that it becomes tacky.
4. Pull the fabric taut over the cover of the book and smooth it so there are no wrinkles. Be sure to smooth it into the crevice along the spine too.
5. Open the book back out and make a single cut in the fabric at the point where the cover folds to meet the pages. This is the point where you will fold the fabric up to adhere it to the inside cover. But don’t fold it yet! Just make the cut.
6. At the corner on the same side where you made the cut, fold in an edge to make a tight corner.
7. Now fold up the panel of fabric where you made the cut. The material should still be a bit tacky from where you sprayed glue on it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t stick 100%—you’ll take care of that later.
8. Complete steps 6 and 7 on the other end of the cover, and then fold the final panel in and smooth it down. If you’ve ever wrapped a present then these folding steps are familiar. Repeat steps 6-8 with the back cover of the book.
9. Flip the book vertically. You’ll have a little tail of material that will need trimming to about ½ inch long and may need another quick spritz of spray adhesive. Press the raw edge of material into the inner lining of the spine.
10. To seal off the loose edges, spray the inside cover and facing page, then close the book and let it dry. That facing page will now act as the inside cover. Voila!

Thanks so much to Lecia for asking me to guest post today, and I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!
xo Anne

8 comments:

citysage said...

Thanks so much Lecia for the chance to share this project---I had such fun putting it together! You'll have to let me know if you try it---and whether the instructions are clear or not.

Happy monday!
xo
Anne

pve design said...

Journal addict here - love these!

Stephanie said...

Great idea!

please sir said...

Oh what a great idea! Def. good for those Oh-my-gosh sorry I forgot you gifts!

Liz@Violet Posy said...

Great idea, I wish I'd done that for some journals and diaries for friends It's now bookmarked for next year :)

KPiep said...

Hmmm...I'm about a month away from needing a new journal, and this just might be what I need to do.

Joyce said...

Beautiful journals!I love journals to write thoughts and sketch a little. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

A Day That Is Dessert said...

I can't wait to try this with the boys! Anne, thank you again; readers, be sure to check out Anne's beautiful blog!