By Jenn Mason
Using canvas boards for sturdy book covers is probably the easiest, conceptually different use to imagine. It’s not a far stretch from chip board and possibly sturdier too. The ability to paint directly on a prepared, gessoed surface is even more appealing for the mixed-media artist. I decided to create a pocket journal for keeping all of my unique bits and pieces, so each page is actually an envelope. I could easily substitute finished or unfinished journal pages, fabric or quilted pages, or a collection of all of the above. The following directions will walk you through the basics and you can choose your own “pages” to insert when the time comes.
- Canvas boards (I used 5″ x 7″ boards.)
- Painting and collage supplies
- Fabric book tape (width varies based on size of insert and desired look)
- Sturdy art paper (I used a piece of leftover printing paper, but watercolor paper would do as well.)
- Bone folder
- Metal-edge ruler
- Glue stick
- Binder clips or other clamps for holding the book together
- Decorative paper (cut to fit the backs of the canvas boards)
- Chosen pages
- Paint, embellish, and decorate the canvas boards, making sure to wrap the paint around to the back, covering all the exposed canvas.
- Use the ruler to tear your art paper. I used a piece that was 6 3/4″ x 22″. Using the ruler will give the paper a soft edge.
- Accordion-fold the paper to create the inside spine. The more folds, the more pages your book can hold.
- Insert the spine into the book and clamp the book together. Cut a piece of fabric book tape approximately 2″ longer than the book and adhere it to the outer spine side of the book. Use a bone folder to help get the tape to adhere well.
- Open the book up and remove the accordion spine. Fold in the top and bottom edge of the fabric tape. Cut a second piece of tape slightly shorter than the height of the book and adhere it over the inside of the spine.
- Glue in the accordion spine and cover the front and back canvas board insides with the decorative paper.
- Insert your desired pages.