Hi crafty friends. It’s Kristine and I’m here today with one more journal project for you. Once again, I will be featuring the fabulous Sir Vagabond in Japan collection. However, today, I will show you how you can use the rice papers from the collection to make the base for a beautiful journal cover. For my project, I will be using the red texture rice paper for the covers and the lamps rice paper for the spine. Once finished, we will decorate the cover using images from the Sir Vagabond in Japan Collectables papers. Also, I will use some of the Sir Vagabond Wooden pieces to embellish the cover and spine.
Other supplies you will need for this project include an old book or chipboard. For my journal, I will be using an old book that I removed the pages from. An adhesive such as Mod Podge (or similar) will be needed for applying the rice papers. Also, I will use thin cording to create ridges in my spine and distress inks to give the cover a worn look. The journal will feature a ribbon closure using eyelets. Finally, on the cover and throughout the pages, I used the gears plate that comes with the Graphic 45 regular tag die set.
Preparing Your Journal Cover
The first step in preparing your journal cover is to remove the pages if you are using an old book like I am. Then, we will begin adding the cording to the spine. These pieces are best to be adhered using a fabric glue. First, cut sections of cording to the width of your spine. Then, measure where on your spine you want to place the pieces. As you can see in the second picture below, my cording pairs are spaced approximately 3/4” apart and 2” between each pair.
Once the cording is dry, we will begin adding the rice papers to the cover. First, measure the size of your front and back covers. These will be two separate pieces cut from the red texture rice paper. We will be wrapping the rice papers around the edges and securing to the inside of the covers. So, when trimming your papers, make sure there is enough to wrap around the edges. Then, use the Mod Podge, or similar, to apply the rice papers. Line up the edge of the rice paper with the spine piece and wrap around the three remaining edges.
Covering the Spine with Rice Papers
In order to cover the spine, cut a piece of the lanterns rice paper wide enough to wrap onto the front and back covers slightly. Start by adding glue to the entire spine section, making sure there is enough glue over top the cording. From the top, form the rice paper around the cording and smooth flat. Then, work down the rest of the spine piece until fully covered.
Next, add your adhesive to the side pieces and secure the rice papers to the front and back covers. On my journal, I only have a small overlap on my front cover, but a larger piece on the back. While the edge on my front cover is straight, the one on my back is uneven due to how the rice paper covers the cording. We will cover this seam later.
Decorating the Inside
To cover the inside, use the two sheets from the Collectables papers. These will need to be trimmed to fit inside your covers. For my covers, I added a ribbon below the paper on the outer edges to add some metallic fibers inside. Then, I added glue to the entire backside of the papers and adhered to the covers. Next, cut a piece from one of your rice papers for the inside spine. Using rice papers here will add a bit of strength to the spine piece. Be sure the piece is wide enough to extend onto the front and back covers slightly (~ 1/2” is enough).
Apply adhesive to the entire spine piece to form a solid bond and add the rice papers.. Then, add a layer of adhesive over the top of the rice papers, making sure the edges are well adhered. Allow the cover to dry completely (overnight if possible) before you begin to bend the covers.
Add Embellishments to the Rice Papers
Now it’s time to embellish the journal cover. If you want your cover to look worn or vintage, use distress inks now. Then, select any images from the Collectables papers that you want to feature. I chose one of the Sir Vagabond images with the samurai sword. Next, select one of the sentiments from the Collectables sheets. Using the Graphic 45 gears plate that comes with the regular tag die, cut gears from metallic paper. Then, snip apart the gears so you have a few pieces in small clusters. Select a few of the gears from the Wooden shapes and the Travel Journal piece. Begin arranging the embellishments on the cover.
To apply your embellishments to the rice papers, you can use Mod Podge or another strong adhesive. Start with one section at a time and add each layer to the front cover. For the wooden pieces, press them firmly to the rice papers until they adhere completely.
For the back cover, cut one strip of the Collectables paper with all of the circles. Attach it to the righthand side to cover the seam in the rice papers.
Optional: Spine Dangle
Once the cover is dry, you can add a spine dangle like mine if you choose. To do this, first poke two holes into your cover. I pierced my holes between the pair of cording at the top, approximately 1/2” apart. Then, cut a length of twine approximately 6” long. From the inside, insert the cording through the two holes and pull through to the outer spine.
Next, cut two more lengths of twine approximately 7-8” each. Lay the two piece of twine down the spine so they fall between the two ends poked through the spine. Then, tie a knot in the two end pieces to secure the other twine pieces to the spine. One at a time, add a knot in the two longer twine pieces over the knot securing them to the spine.
Finally, use the Sir Vagabond Wooden gears and tie one gear onto the end of each piece of twine. You will have to pierce a small hole into each piece first to be able to attach them.
Bonus: Two More Journal Inserts
As a little extra, I want to share two more inserts I made for my Sir Vagabond journal. One insert is a trifold wallet with pockets for tags to journal. The second is a pocket and tag that I made with my Graphic 45 regular tag die and square tag die. Throughout the journal, I also used the gears from the regular tag die as page embellishments.
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful. If you are new to using rice papers, I recommend trying them! They’re surprisingly easy to use and Stamperia offers several rice papers for each of their collections. Check out the FotoBella online store today to see all of the great options available to purchase.
Until next time, happy crafting!
~Kristine, FotoBella Design Team Member