Thursday, January 30, 2014

Secrets of Vintage Leather Journals

As you'd expect, it starts with an idea.
Lusting after those amazing leather journals from Italy, that cost too much, I thought, why not try to make one for cheap.
Leather material and new leather coats in the stores are expensive. But, Goodwill, yard sales, places like that have beat-up leather cheap and even better during half-off day. So it starts with scouring around for some scrumptious leather in funky places. This is actually the most fun part of the process. Look for coats that have great pockets and straps. 
The next step is to cut the coat apart. For those who aren't blessed with claws, just use scissors.
Measure the size piece you need against the journal you're using, adjusting for the pocket or most interesting part of the jacket to land on the cover or the back.
I've pick out just some different size and type of plain journals on sale at the craft stores for now. We've learned that the Ultimate Glue is a great one to use. It's the right thickness, dries quick and adheres to some heavy layers.
Once it's glued, you stretch the leather over the book.
Embellish and glue down leather straps, buckles, whatever cool things that you've dug up in your junk journeys. This one I've actually cut up an old purse. However, coats provide the most and easiest materials to work with.

Seriously, do I need management behind my back? No.

Once all the stuff is glued down and  things separated with the wax paper, press down on them and let them dry. A heavy press is a nice thing to have as well, but a big old dictionary can work in a pinch. A nice tip: see the wet rag to the right of me, it helps to wipe off glue from my claws as I work.

Drying time will take a few hours, so take a long catnap.

Then, look over all your work, glue down any openings along the corners, trim anything that doesn't look right to you. It's suppose to be kind of raggedy, so just use your artistic judgment of how you'd like it to look.

Then you can ship them off to whoever lusts for them.
The truly inspired artistic cool people will want them.

Any Questions? I thought not.

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