Monday, December 14, 2009

Home Crafted Holidays Dream Journal

Hello everyone, and thanks for visiting Smeared and Smudged today! I'd like to welcome those of you who are joining me from the Domestic Witch's Home Crafted Holidays, and also welcome back all of my followers and old and new friends. I'm looking forward to sharing my project with you!

This time of year is all about giving, renewal, and enjoyment of life. In the dead of winter, it's hard to believe that Winter Solstice is the strongest time for nature during the year. Everything slumbers and prepares for the chance to grow stronger and more vibrant in the spring; it's a wonderful time!

I thought for my home-crafted gift idea I'd share with you a dream journal that the recipient can use to strengthen and prepare themselves. It can be stored bedside and used as a literal dream book to record dream details each morning, or it can be adapted and used to record dreams and aspirations for the coming year.

To start off, you will need an old hardcover book and a blank text block. If you know how to make text blocks, wonderful! If not, you can find them online from book making stores. I purchased mine from Hollander's.

Cut the old text block out of your cover as shown below. Then place your new text block inside the cover and trim the cover down to fit nicely over your new blank journal. Set your text block aside.

Pick a nice 12 x 12 decorative paper that you want to use to cover your journal. Place your open cover over the paper, and trim leaving 1/2 inch around each edge. Cover the whole back of your paper with glue, and set your cover on top of it face down. Fold the edges of the paper over onto the inside of the cover. Make sure you use strong glue, like bookbinders glue.

The inside of your cover will look like this.

The outside will look like this (with your decorative designed paper on the outside).

Now comes the fun part where you get to add in your own artistic embellishment. If you're not artistic, you can add pre-made stickers, a nice jewel, a flat flower, or anything you'd like on the cover using a strong glue like e600 and be done with the decorating. I LOVE to add my own artistic flair to my projects, so I'll take you step by step through what I did. The most important thing to remember is this is a dream book, so just go with the flow of your creativity! Don't plan too much.

First, I dry brushed some white paint onto the cover.

Then I used paint and gel pens to add some swirls and dots to one side of the front cover. Remember, don't think too much, just let it happen!

I chose the rubber stamp images that I wanted to use, and stamped them with versamark ink directly onto the cover, then poured black embossing powder over them. You could stamp them with just black ink, but you'll see why I embossed them in a minute.

After stamping all my images and covering with powder, I used my heat gun to melt and set the powder.

Then I stamped my word "dream" all over just using black stazon ink.

Now you'll see why I embossed my images. Using my white gel pen, I colored in my wings and the whites of the eyes. Since I embossed, the white did not cover the outline.

On the top of my journal, I used heat and stick embossing powder to add antique silver pearl ex, and clear mini micro beads. Then I punched holes directly into the cover and added jeweled brads.

I also took a flesh colored prismacolor and added a little bit of color to my faces.

I decided I wanted a little more depth, so I used a black prismacolor and blender to add shadows to my images. Here you can see the top two are shadowed and the bottom image is not.

After all my shading, this is the cover I ended up with.

I punched another small hole directly into the bottom corner of the cover and added a star charm with a brad. The brads are visible on the inside of the cover, but they won't be seen when we're done.

To finish off the outside, I wrapped blue and black ribbon and fiber around the spine part, tied it, and frayed the ends.

So now is when you flip your cover back to the inside. Cut two pieces of contrasting paper decorative paper to fit just inside the edged of the cover.

Using your strong bookbinders glue, cover them completely and then place inside.

Your inside cover will now look like this with your own paper. This is what will hide all those brads that we stuck through the cover.

Finally, add glue to your text block and glue it to the cover. If you get text blocks from Hollander's, they have an excellent instruction book that you can get telling you how to glue in a text block, and I highly recommend it! If not you can also find instructions online. You just want to make sure your cover and spine are flush with the block, which is why I lift my side up and then glue.

After gluing in both sides of the text block, you are done! Just place your book under a very heavy object overnight so the glue can set, and then you're ready for wrapping!

Like I said before, you can decorate your journal any way you like, and it makes an excellent gift that almost anyone can enjoy. It's also a great way to keep unwanted hardcover books out of landfills, and the covers can be trimmed to any size. If you're a mixed media artist, you can use the old pages for other projects, and if you're not you can recycle the old book's pages.

So, I hope you enjoyed my journal project and that you give it a try. It's a wonderful gift to give, a great way to express yourself, and just plain fun to make! I'd love to hear what you think about it, so feel free to leave a comment, and visit Smeared and Smudged again soon.
Happy Home Crafted Holidays!


  1. absolutely is gorgeous... I have always admired the one who rubber stamps, knowing I dont have the patience for it. A lovely gift and so much of yourself put into it.. thank you so much for sharing it with us...

  2. This book is so incredible! And your tutorial is so thorough! I esp live the mini beads and brads. What a beautiful and delicate touch. This is really beautiful and inspiring!

  3. This is breathtaking! Thank you so much!

  4. A lovely and fun diy to hold our dreams in. Thank you for sharing.

  5. LOVE this and you used some of my favorite papers! The ones I used up and wish I had more of, LOL!!

  6. Terra, this is absolytely fabulous! pic by pic I inspired more and more!!
    And at the end of tutorial, I think I saw your whole great skill as an artist. It opened for me like a flash, how creative you are. Truly artist!

    My bad english again, I hope I wrote right what I ment.

    I will try this tutorial for sure, thanks.

    And Merry Christmas to You!