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Making a Junk Journal Cover: My Preferred Method

Hello and welcome to my very first blog post for Crafted by Mummy.  One of the most frequent questions that you have been asking is if I would do a tutorial on my process for creating junk journals.  The thought of a tutorial, quite frankly, terrifies me!  So, for the time being, I’ve decided to show my process for making a junk journal cover through my inaugural blog post.

The fabric that I will be using

Now, I’m usually a wing-it kinda girl but, for this junk journal, I actually have a theme! Can you guess what it is from the fabric?

Step 1 – Fabric for junk journal covers

A lot of my fabric is sourced through eBay and I prefer a more hard wearing type of fabric.  I often look through for offcuts of upholstery fabric, usually in the auction section.  On a recent search, I was lucky enough to come across some amazing fabric that features houses and black cats (clue to the theme!).

I also have, in my stash, a supply of 100% cotton canvas or, as it is often referred to, duck fabric!  More often than not, this is my go to fabric for the inside cover of my junk journals.

Step 2 – Cover stabiliser

Now, following a course by the lovely Willa Wanders on Instagram, my favourite way to create the soft covers is with a heavy weight, 2 sided fusible interfacing.  My favourite is this one.  I have used various methods, but this is the one that I always come back to.  In future posts, I’ll discuss other methods with you so that you can choose your favourite too!

Step 3 – Junk journal spine

I like to use a different fabric for the spine.  I just feel that it adds something extra to the overall look as well as adding reinforcement.  I particularly like using strips of leather or 100% wool as I’ve found these to stand up well to the binding process.

Step 4 – Junk journal size

Most of my junk journals are a very similar size but journals can be any size that you choose.  Mine are roughly A5 size.  The measurements that I use are 350mm x 220mm.  The interfacing is cut to this size and then the fabrics are a fraction bigger.  This allows for the frayed edges that I particularly like.  Where possible, I tear the fabric rather than cutting as I like the rustic look that this adds.  That of a well loved journal

The piece of fabric that I use for the spine usually measures between 75mm to 100mm x 220mm.  This is usually governed by the number of signatures that I’m going to include.

Step 5 – Attaching the spine to the junk journal cover

I like to attach the spine before I put the cover together.  Once I’ve established the middle of the spine and the middle of the cover, I will pop the spine down in place.  I usually just hold it in place with sewing clips but, on this particular journal, I also tacked it in place with a fabric adhesive.  My favourite is this one.

Once the spine is in place, out comes the trusty sewing machine.  I sometimes attach the spine with a simple zigzag stitch but, if I’m feeling fancy, I might use a decorative stitch as in this case.  I love the look of this particular stitch and, by simply changing the size, I can create a whole different look.

Step 6 – Putting the cover together

Now it’s time to put it all together.  I tend not to use an ironing board as I don’t have room in my little crafting room.  I use a gorgeous wool ironing mat like this one.  Sandwich the interfacing between the 2 pieces of fabric.  Make sure that you are attaching the interfacing to the wrong sides of the fabrics (yep I’m guilty of getting it wrong, d’oh)

Set your iron to the appropriate temperature for your fabrics.  Hotter is better as you need to activate the adhesive and allow it to bond to the fabrics.  I tend to do the inside cover first.  Remember, this is 2 sided interfacing so you must have both pieces of fabric in place.  If not, you risk attaching the interfacing to your ironing surface.  I place the iron on the fabric, with slight pressure, and hold it in place for approx 10 seconds then move slightly and repeat.  You repeat this process until the inside cover is completely stuck to the interfacing.  Please remember to check the instructions for the particular type of interfacing that you are using.

Once done, carefully flip the cover over and repeat on the front.  As the fabric that I use for the spine isn’t suitable for a hot iron, I place a piece of fabric on it to protect it from direct contact with the iron.

Allow the fabric to cool to allow the adhesive to fully adhere before moving on to the next step.

Step 7 – Finishing details

Finishing off your cover is a very personal thing and, in my case, it really depends on how I’m feeling.  With this one, I’ve used the overcast stitch on my machine.  I’ve set it quite wide so that I still have lots of that beautiful fraying detail and it adds a lovely decorative edge.  Sometimes I’ll just use a zigzag stitch and I have also been known to do crazy stitching (more on that in another post)

Step 8 – Fastening

Sometimes I leave the fastening for the junk journal right to the very end.  However, in this case, you will see that I’ve actually added some eyelets.  I’m still not sure if I’ll be using string, ribbon or lace but the eyelets are there ready.

I’ve also put one at the top of the spine.  This is perfect for adding a charm dangle.

Conclusion

There are many different ways to create junk journals and no one way is better than another.  Experiment with different methods until you find the one that you prefer.  There are some great tutorials on youtube and some fantastic courses to purchase.  I’ve done courses by Willa Wanders and the fantastic Mrs Cogs Crafts.  I’ve taken bits from both and created my own method and style.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this run through of my method and that it has given you some useful ideas.  I’d love to see what you create, don’t forget to tag me on your photos.

Until next time,

Happy creating,

Lyn x

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