The Lonely Steam Punk Journal

My neighbor recently moved away. He had mentioned in passing that he’d like a new journal to paint in. He described his fascination with “Steam Punk” aesthetic and showed me the limp leather journal he was using currently. I wanted to surprise him with a hard cover gift, but unfortunately he and his wife moved before it was finished! I never got a chance to say a final good bye, so the journal I made for him will have to lay in wait until I see them again.

Here’s the final product and the build up!

Finished cover
Finished cover
Finished cover and faux raised bands on the spine
Finished cover and faux raised bands on the spine

The cover is quite weighty. I purchased some buckles to use, but their hardware was very tall. I had to build up the cover boards to prevent the buckles from getting squished during pressing.

The book is 60 pages of heavy weight Canson water color paper. I was in a rush to get it to my neighbor, so the pages are folded cross grain.

The cover is brown linen cloth, a paper scored with wood grain, and a decorative metal frame. The straps and spine are pig skin.

Here’s the build of the cover:

preparing the cover pieces
preparing the cover pieces
Preparing the cover pieces
Preparing the cover pieces
Preparing the cover pieces
Preparing the cover pieces

I measured everything out and cut it all by hand.

Laying in the leather straps
Laying in the leather straps
Cover Decoration
Cover Decoration
Measuring out the hardware and decoration for the cover
Measuring out the hardware and decoration for the cover
Aligning the cover decoration
Aligning the cover decoration

Then I combined all the pieces and built up the back to match. My one regret is that I glued the back cover straps under the end page, rather than over the back cover. This is putting undue stress on the end page every time the book is buckled closed. Shows what happens when you’re in a rush.

Finished cover, close up of the fore edge
Finished cover, close up of the fore edge
Close up of the fore edge unbuckled
Close up of the fore edge unbuckled
Close up of the unfortunate position of the straps on the back cover
Close up of the unfortunate position of the straps on the back cover

I’m not sorry I embarked on this project, I’m planning on trying a strapped book again. Next time the buckles will be lower profile, and the straps will extend around the back cover.

 

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