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Author Topic: How to: Polymer Clay Hand-Stitched Journals  (Read 4918 times)
Canada Canada

Your False North

« on: March 31, 2009, 08:33:08 pm »

How To: Make Polymer Clay Hand-Stitched Journals
(more examples and pics here)

- Polymer Clay brand names: Sculpey or Fimo, either is fine. Can be bought at most craft stores like Michaels in small packs of one colour around 3$ Canadian each. You need about 1 pack's worth per journal, you might want to buy more if you plan on mixing colours. This stuff won't ever get hard untill you bake it. Make sure to roll it in your hands and squish it first to get it nice and soft
- Oven just a normal one, not a microwave, that can set to 275 degrees F, or 130 degrees C
- Paper the more flexible the paper is, the better. Printer paper is not recomended - try your local thrift store for old journals to take apart
- Thin String embroidery floss works great, and has lots of colours. Less than a dollar at Michaels or fabric stores, you don't need a lot
- Knife/Exacto/Something sharpish to carve with, Misc bits and baubles, Needle, Strong Glue (not white/gluestick), Scissors, Pie pan, Wax paper

Step 1: Make your front Cover
- First, flatten out a large piece of polymer clay, you can use a rolling pin if you don't plan on baking with it afterwords. Your hands will work just fine if it's a small journal. It needs to be about a 1/2 centimetre thick to be strong enough. Cut out your journal shape vaguely rectangular - it doesn't have to be perfect by any means. If you happen to have a pasta machine, see spoiler.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Step 2: Add Your Decorations (skip if you know what you're doing already  Cheesy)
- This is where you go nuts.
- Use things like watch gears to trace treads, chandelier earrings to make imprints, rubber stamps (push hard), chain links (also push hard), or anything else you can find that'll make a neat texture
- If you plan on putting on things like gears or metal circles, you need to secure it on better (or it will fal off after you bake it - clay doesn't stick well to etal). Either first make an imprint of where you want it to go, take it off and glue it on later, or you can put it on and then secure it by putting a bent piece of wire around it and pushing the wire ends into the journal base
- Use thin pieces of polymer clay to create designs and add depth
- Don't bother decorating the inside part of the cover - it gets covered up
- You don't need to add holes for pages

Step 3: Bake
- Set the oven to 275 degrees F, or 130 degrees C
- Once it's preheated, take a pie pan and put a piece of wax paper on it. Then lay your front cover decoration-side-up on the wax paper, and pop it in.
- Leave it in there for 15 minutes. Take it out and carefully pick it up by the sides. If it's still really rubbery, put it in for another five.
- After that, you can choose to put just the cover (not the pan) in the freezer to help it cool faster. Please be careful not to burn your hands  Grin

Step 4: Back Journal
- Make another flattened piece of clay
- Put your hardened journal gently on the flat clay and trace around it. Decorate back piece as desired. Make sure to be careful to note which side will actually be on the back or not  Lips sealed
- Bake as directed above
- Vwalla, you have two pieces of journal, a front and back

Step 5: Cutting out the Pages
- Pretty simple. You need pieces that are the same height as your journal, and double the width. Fold in half. Make as many as you want, in multiples of three.
- Take three pieces, and tuck one inside the other, so they make a small book, but from the outside you can only see one.
- These folded sets of three are called "signatures". Make as many as you have paper, and stack the signatures.
- Turn the pile of signatures so that the side with the folded edge is facing you. Draw four evenly-spaced vertical lines where you will sew the pages together.
- Now using your needle unthreaded, poke a hole through all four spots on each signature you marked with your pencil. Stack them up again.

Step 6: Sewing
- If you are using emroidery floss, seperate the fibres so you only have three together (this'll make it thinner).
- Thread your needle, tie a good big knot at the very end of your thread.
- Be careful not to poke your fingers or you'll bleed all over your paper  Angry

- Go in on the inside of one signature (this'll be Signature A) end hole to come out on the outside
- Now, go in the matching outside hole of your second signature (Signature B)
- On the inside of signature B, go out of the hole below
- From there, go into the second outside hole of signature A
- Inside signature A, go down and out the third hole down
- Go into the third hole of signature B
- Down one out of the fourth whole in signature B
- Into the fourth hole of signature A

- Now you have your first two signatures sewn together. There is a bit of a problem though, you just have to fudge it a bit. You need to be coming out of a bottom hole to add your next one, but as you can see that's a bit of a problem x)
- Fudge yourself a new little hole right beside the one you just came in through. You can now add your next signature the same way Smiley This doesn't seem to hurt anthing in the end.

Step 7: Finishing
- Line up your front cover, pages, and back cover the way you want them to appear when finished
- Use strong glue to attach the inside part of the front cover to the first page's front
- Use strong glue to attach the inside part of the back cover to the last page's back
- Do a little dance for not failing completely. Rah rah! Good job!

Please enjoy Smiley
I'll try to answer any Q's as best as possible x)
Source: (but I didn't understand their instructions so I made it up as I went along  Grin)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 09:20:06 pm by Silkstone » Logged

Canada Canada

Your False North

« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2009, 09:20:29 pm »

Lawl, ok, all done and spellchcked. Sheesh, I'm surprised it was readable before o_0
I'll try and help wth the polymer clay journal guide if you get stuck ^^''
Zeppelin Overlord
United Kingdom United Kingdom

The Green Dungeon Alchemist

« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2009, 09:51:12 pm »

Wow fantastic tutorial Grin Thanks alot! Carry on the good work Grin

Green Dungeon Alchemist Laboratories
Providing weird sound contraptions and time machines since 2064.
Canada Canada

Your False North

« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2009, 10:02:11 pm »

*thumbs up*
I really wanna see what else other people can cobble up. I'm already starting on my third x)
fireheart storm
Zeppelin Captain
United States United States

Monster hunter, researcher, & cyberjacques's rival

« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2009, 10:14:24 pm »

 Shocked  I shall I have to try this quickly

Jennette Haber
Zeppelin Captain
United States United States

Collector of Keys

« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2009, 06:58:48 am »

this is so cool

I was beginning to think wishing on stars was just for babies and crazy people...
lottie(princess and the frog)
The Master List of Steampunk webcomics [/cener
Renquist Von Reik
United States United States

Luck often favors one whose courage holds

« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2009, 01:21:48 am »

Outstanding!  Thanks for the great guide  Cheesy

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