Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book Surgery - Art Journal


Last week when I shared some of my Art Journal with you I mentioned that I was thinking about doing surgery on the journal. The Moleskin Sketchbook that I was using has a 1/2 inch spine. The leather on the outside was holding everything together to the naked eye. However, when you opened the book you could feel the signatures shift. When you looked down the spine you could see where things were falling apart.

Definitely surgery, or else with handling the book would fall apart. I gathered my supplies, sharp scissors, gel medium, mending tissue, tissue paper, and some soft leather. I took the book to my work table and cut down the spine covering. This left about 1/4 of an inch of leather on each side.

See how the book has popped open now that the spine covering has been cut. You can see that the tissue paper that was covering the signatures has torn and rolled up. The glue is visible and the signatures are all still sewn together. That is good.

I took the spine covering and put an edge of gel medium on it and bent it back and adhered it to the covers. This left the spine totally exposed. In the above picture you can see the top is adhered and the bottom is not.

In this picture both of the pieces have been glued and tucked in nicely. I have manipulated the spine so that it is now even and full.

I glued what was left of the original spinal covering back on. Then I broke out the mending tape. This is a very thin tissue like tape with an adhesive on one side. I covered the whole spine with it leaving where the fabric book mark is based clear. Again I manipulated the spine so that the pages were aligned more and the spine was straight.

I then applied gel medium to the top of the mending tape, laid a piece of tissue on that, then covered the tissue with a layer of gel medium. Let this dry thoroughly. At this point the spine now measures almost 2 inches. That is 1 1/2 inches larger than it was. Poor spine.

Next, I glued on the leather. I found a leather that was well tanned yet sturdy. A bit thicker than the original leather. You can usually get leather scraps at a craft store, some fabric stores, or even cut up an old purse or garment you might have. I decided to use the smooth finish side. I glued the front first using gel medium. Let this dry and then turned it over and wrapped it around to the back. It is firm but not tight. There is much more to do in this journal.

This is the back side. Still thick and interesting. This journal is twice the thickness it once was.

Here you can see that I did not glue the leather to the spine, just to the covers. This gives the journal the same feel as it originally had. The mending tape and tissue are the new spine.

The front all nicely finished and ready to be worked in.

31 comments:

Suz said...

good job,doctor

Mar said...

and it is BETTER than new!
with personality!

Mary said...

Wow! Looks great!

freebird said...

How does it look without the elastic band? I can't believe it could stretch that much with the signatures still sewn together. That is a lot of difference! It looks much stronger now. The way it was it surely would have fallen apart soon. This is amazing. Thanks for telling how you did it.

Jan said...

Great job! Looks fantastic

Lindart said...

What a great job of mending! Thanks for sharing this, I'm sure I will need to refer to this tutorial at some point!

Cami said...

Thanks for sharing this... It gives me all sorts of ideas. ANd you do such a nice finishing job.

Lost Wanderer said...

At first I was horrified that you were destroying a beautiful moleskine, but by the time I got to the final picture, WOW. It does look fabulous.

Terri Kahrs said...

You're a miracle worker! Wow! What a difference - if I didn't see these awesome pictures, I'd never believe that your little journal could expand like this! Brilliant work! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Robin said...

Your doctored journal turned out great! Thanks for sharing how you performed the operation!

Laura Kay said...

Good job! Thanks for the mini tutorial.

noye studios said...

what a great solution! thanks for the step-by-step. i like the looks of the leather binding over the moleskin. :)

Cheryl ~Zany-Mayd said...

How Clever!

Love the Journal & Your Blog..... Thanks for stopping by my blog, make sure you stop by the current give-away page & enter, some fun vintage items are in this #2 give-away....

cheryl

whymsicallotus said...

Wow! YOur journal looks soooo luscious! I wish I could just engulf myself in the pages.... sigh. lol!
It just looks so inviting! You did a wonderful job.
Take it easy
Lotus

alcoholinky said...

love this journal. it looks like a book you need to read.

artexplorer said...

Quite some work - but all worth it!
I use existing books (altered books) and tear out several pages - sometimes as much as half of them - to make room for the thickness of the artwork.

Jacqueline

amy said...

Wow this is a great idea. I have one that is really full and this would be a great way to leave some room for those pages to exist.

Shelley Malone said...

What a great idea! I always tore pages out, rather than expanding the book. I like this a lot better. Thanks for the detailed instructions, I think you've inspired a lot of people!

Maer said...

This is creativity at its best. Well done....certainly loved the presentation...teaches me a few things. I always wondered what that tape was for! Thanks for sharing. Maer :)

Renee Troy said...

Great tutorial...I'm about to mend an altered book that I created for my son so this was perfect timing.
"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous"...

Queen Of Toys said...

What a clever girl you are and now I am so much wiser and thanks to you.

Lisa Holtzman said...

A very successful surgery doctor. I wish I could see all your pages, they look very enticing!

fromthepines said...

OMG this is awesome!

Cheryl

mwquilt said...

Goodness..you can almost hear the book breath out with a sigh of relief when it is released from the original tight spine. Wonderful job and thanks for sharing. I am bound to need this teechnique.

Jennifer said...

LOve this idea! I've been toying around with moving to moleskin or picadilly for their size... your 'expansion' idea has given me some ideas! Great job! - Jenny M. from Blissfully Art Journaling

Purrplekatt said...

This is awesome! It looks huge now! I can't believe all those pages came from one Moleskine. :)

Bekah said...

This is so good! I'm always worried about my art journals outgrowing the spines. . . Thank you for this!!

Anonymous said...

I searched and searched and searched for 4 days trying to find this picture again, I have one I need to do this too! Thank you SOOO much for sharing this with us!!!


Jessica

Lynn said...

I love this idea! Great job! Can you tell me what you did to the pages of the moleskin? They look thicker and more sturdy. I would love to find out the technique that you used.

Jami said...

Need to do thus. Will any kind of tissue work? Is it strong enough?

Gillian Speelman said...

It really made a difference. Thank you for the great explanation.