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To follow my previous post about bookbinding cover materials, this week I would like to share the beginnings of my process in creating a brand new journal. I’m very often inspired by the leather that is available here in Tuscany, Italy. When I come across a beautiful material, I naturally want to make it a part of my next sketchbook. For this journal, I have been inspired by a piece of double-sided leather…

It’s a medium weight black leather with a copper metallic layer on the other side. Beautiful! I decided to use the metallic color on the outside and black on the inside. First step is to decide on the size of my journal and how I will bind it, in order to cut the cover material to size. I most often use regular-sized paper folded in half,  A4 in my case and since the piece of leather is pretty small in size, I really can’t go larger. Then I have to decide how many pages of paper will be included, so I know how much cover material is needed for the spine. I decided to go with a wraparound cover using the longstitch binding to use as much of the leather as possible… so calculating the size and using a piece of paper as a guide, I went ahead and cut my leather to size.

When not using another material to line the inside of my cover, I often just fold over the raw edges of the leather to double the weight. I actually like keeping my journals soft and malleable. Also, the double-sided feature of this leather brings some of the color inside which is a nice effect.

Using just regular PVA glue, I secure the folded portion of the leather and let it dry under a heavy weight. It works great for me and never had any trouble of it peeling apart.

With a final check, I can see that my cover is all ready! Next week I will share my process of preparing the signatures of paper and sewing the journal together…

 Is there a cover material you’d like to try using? Please feel free to create your own sketchbook along with me and share your comments below! Enjoy!


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