Friday, September 21, 2012

How to make a journal spiral notebook…

Spiral Notebook
Spiral Notebook (Photo credit: Hey Paul)


  •          1 photo either from a website that allows royalty free photo or a picture taken by you.
  •          Photo friendly paper to print photos on, but can bend to the shape of chipboard.
  •          A printer that can print photos
  •          Chipboard (2)
  •          Mod Podge (matt or Gloss, Choice is yours)
  •          Binding machine (prefer a Bind it all, cinch, or a commercial type, but any can do)
  •          O-wires or spiral wires  
  •          Lined or blank sheets of paper (again the choice is yours)

All binding and photo copying can be done at an office supply store, with a copy center (all the major stores have this) but it comes at a price.  Depending on how many you are making, it can become costly, both in time and in price.  If you are doing this on a regular basis, invest the time and money in getting a good binding machine, printer, and laminating system.  Who knows, you make be able to make some money, and this three- machine system may pay for itself in the long run.

A word about using photos and photo imagine sites:

We all have photos we are not proud of.  Several factors go into why a perfectly good photo opportunity goes wonky.  They include:
  •     Fidgety subjects
  •     Not enough lighting
  •    Weather
  •   Bad camera
  •  No camera (using a smartphone or device as a camera)
In this case, you can turn your photos into a journal cover, but what if you are just not satisfied with the quality of your photos or you just do not take photos at all?  Yes, you can turn to a photo image site.  These sites are great for that last minute presentation you have to do, creating things such as journal covers, and scrapbook layouts that do not involve family members.  Be very careful, because on some sites, you do have to join in order to get the photo you want.  Most are free and you just have to pay for the photo itself.   There are others you have to pay a premium price, and if you just want 1 or 2 photos, it is not worth the price they charge per month.   You can always use the internet images but why risk it.  The chances are that image is protected by the copyright law.  Your best chance is an image that is free of this law.   Just google search the term “Royalty free” or “free images”.

Back to what I was saying…

You can create the photo cover one of two ways:
Using a software program, such as Photoshop or MS Publisher, and create a cover with the photo and type in text at the bottom like this:

  • Print it off, and cover the chipboard or
  • Print directly on the chipboard itself.  Your printer has to be able to except the chipboard or you can always take it to a copy center.

Next, cut the lined or blank paper to the size of the chipboard.
With the binding machine of choice, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to bind with your machine. Optional:  if you do not have a binding machine, you can go to the copy center and have them bind it for you.  Keep in mind that if the cover is that of a copyrighted picture, they may not do it for you or charge you extra for it.  They will also make you sign a waiver that the picture is indeed yours.  Even if the picture is taken at professional studio the copy center may not do it, so ask ahead of time before starting this project.
Once bonded, the notebook is basically ready for use.  You can always dress it up with other things or leave as is.

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