If you want to pick up a simple technique that can smarten up your junk journals and mini-albums ... then this step-by-step tutorial - on adding a book-style spine - might be just the thing!
For this particular journal [which I'm using to house photos and ephemera from my summer 2014]
I wanted this lovely, soft, faded old map cover to be my focal point:
- If you're inspired by the romance and nostalgia of an old map then check out my packs of old mixed map pages here.
- And, if it's the idea of using a pre-existing cover for your own book covers then, while it's not a map cover, there is a set of old Maths book covers inside this Junk Journal 'Bits' pack which have a very similar colour/feel.]
In the tutorial I'll provide you with a handful of measurements just to give you an idea of the scale of the elements involved in my photos - but you can easily alter the sizes to suit your own preferences.
So let's make a start ...
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
- Enough sturdy cardboard to make two book covers. This can be greyboard/chipboard, any re-purposed packaging or even simply the backs from two notepads!
- Corrugated card
- Strong double-sided tape [eg. ATG gun / red line tape] or glue
- A craft knife and ruler
- Some sort of hole-punch [preferably a long-reach one [eg. Crop-a-dile] or a hand held bookbinders' tool]
- 2 hinged bookrings [available here if you need some]
Mine were cut from some old packaging and measured 15x19cm:
I didn't photograph the step where you need to punch holes and so ...
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don't have a long-reach hole punch [like a Crop-a-dile] or book binding tools, you might want to make the holes for your book ring BEFORE fully assembling the book - while a regular depth punch might still fit! Just make two holes along the edge of each cover.
2. Next you'll need some corrugated card for the spine:
- Check the kids' crafting section of art/stationary shops; seemingly corrugated card is big in crafting for the under 5s! [NB: however ...it may well not be nice neutral kraft coloured card. Lurid primaries are also big with the pre-school brigade!]
- Try the parcel packing supply area of any stationary store. I found mine [which comes on a roll] at The Range, near the padded envelopes and parcel tape.
TOP TIP! Remember that corrugated card only curves around in one direction - make sure you cut it with the ridges facing in the right direction or you won't be able to bend the spine!
The corrugated card needs to measure:
- the height of your journal
- by a width which - once it's curved around, like a book spine, it will fit comfortably inside whatever book ring you plan to use.
Plus ... it also depends on how thick you want to make the book!
However ... if you really don't know how big to make the spine [for example, if you don't know how thick your finished book will turn out]
... you can always add the corrugated card spine AT THE END OF YOUR PROJECT rather than at the start like I have here.
The principles are just the same, just make your covers punch your book ring holes and fill your book as you normally would. When you're finished remove the covers and join them together with a corrugated spine making sure to cover over the punched holes in your covers. Voila!
Once you've decided on the width of the corrugated card spine ...
4. Bridge the gap between your covers with the spine:
I ran a line of ATG tape down the edges of mine as I feel it needs a good strong adhesive to prevent it popping off! [Those curves have a natural inclination to spring back in the opposite direction!].
You might want to try ATG tape or strong red line tape or even a wet glue [but this will be a bit messier!].
TOP TIP! Whichever adhesive you use make sure to put it right up to the very edge - where the corrugated card meets the covers. This way it will help keep it flush and avoid it getting snagged and lifting up.
5. Flip over the joined covers to reveal the new spine:
Bend the book into a closed position to double-check you've left enough space or that you haven't gone too far in! Think of the spine as there just to hug around the edge of your pages.
6. Add another section of corrugated card to the inside of the spine to strengthen it:
7. Add in the book rings and start to fill your newly-bound book-style-spine junk journal!
Here are a few more examples of my spine-bound albums so you can see how the method works both in a different scale .. and using a different material too.
[A] My '30 Postcards to Myself' journal:
|[you can read more about this project here]:|
This featured in my '10 Ways with Corrugated Card' feature which was published in Papercraft Inspirations magazine last year:
And finally ...[C] A fabric alternative to corrugated card:
You could use regular fabric too; heavier weights like denim and canvas would work well for sturdy spines while flimsy fabrics, though not strictly structural, could still add an attractive finishing touch.
I hope you've found something here today that might spur you to go and pick up your crafting tools!
And if you have any questions or suggestions please get in touch in the comments or on my 'With Julie Kirk' Facebook page.
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I truly appreciate any & all support for my free tutorials!
And don't forget you can rummage through lots more junk journal supplies and vintage papers in my shop.