Nature Art Journal

Nature Art Journal

I tend to love all kinds of art and I love to experiment with different art mediums. I'm working on developing a consistent art practice for fun. Since I also love and am fascinated by all of God's creation, I thought I would start a nature journal. I wanted a place to randomly draw various plants and animals that I see on nature walks and around our home. I always come across various flowers and plants that I take pictures of and identify using the plant app on my phone. I have a hard time remembering the names of many of them because they seem to blossom for such a short time and I don't see them again until the next year, if then. I thought if I can draw them and put them all into one journal, I can satisfy both my love of learning and my love of creating art.

I made a journal to use for my nature journal by upcycling an old gardening book. Since it's a small book, I used the covers and created a new spine to give myself a little more room. I wanted to keep the journal small enough to fit into my purse to take it with me if I want to do some sketching on the go but big enough to give myself enough room to be creative.

I plan on using some watercolor, pencils and markers in this journal so I wanted the paper to be strong enough to hold the water yet thin enough to keep the journal lightweight and portable. I discovered some deckled edge mixed media paper on Amazon that is 100% cotton so I decided to try it out. The paper I purchased measures 7.5 x 11 inches which is the perfect size for this 6 x 8.5 inch journal when the paper is folded in half. 

Gardening book used to make nature journal.

This is the book I used to create my journal. It had some writing on the inside and a few torn pages. I like the size and color of the cover so I thought it would make a good cover for my journal.

Inside of book to be upcycled into an art journal.

I cut the inside pages out of the book using an x-acto knife.

Covers of altered book to be used for art journal.

I removed the spine using an x-acto knife. I will need a little bigger spine to create a little more space for my art journal.

 Packaging tape and book covers

 I'm using gummed packaging tape to assemble my cover.

Ruler, scissors and packaging tape to assemble handmade art journal.

 I measured and cut the gummed packaging tape in half lengthwise.Packaging tape and book covers for journal.

After cutting the tape in half lengthwise, I set it beside the book covers to see what it would look like. I like the natural look of the kraft tape along with the earthy green covers. I think it will make a nice nature art journal.

Assembling book covers for handmade art journal.

I put the tape around the sides of the covers for reinforcement and cut off the excess.

Deckled edge watercolor paper for art journal.

15 sheets of 100% cotton mixed media paper with deckled edges folded in half for my signatures.

Assembling the art journal with gummed tape and pvc glue.

I assembled the book covers with an extra cardboard piece I placed in the middle for a new spine (I forgot to take pictures). I used pva bookbinding glue because it is acid free and holds up well when making journals and handmade books.

Gluing pages together for art journal.

I used a couple of coats of the pva bookbinding glue to bind my signatures together. I clamped them together after gluing them and let the glue dry overnight.

 Pages inside handmade art journal.

This is what the pages look like after the glue dried.

Inside cover of art journal

This is what the inside cover and firs page of the journal look like once it is assembled.

 Inside pages of watercolor art journal

This is how the pages look on the inside. It lays flat enough for me to create my artwork in it. 

Handmade nature art journal made from and upcycled book.

This is the completed journal. For now I am going to leave it the way it is. Since I am using it as a nature journal, I like the color and the natural look of the kraft binding. I may change that later. I will probably add a title of some sort in the square on the cover. It seems to be the perfect spot for something special but I haven't made a decision about that yet. 

This was a fun project to make and I am looking forward to creating in this nature journal!



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