If you have always wanted to keep a journal, but are turned off by the bland white pages of a spiral notebook, an altered book journal is an idea to consider. Altered books take a regular, hard cover book and turn them into a one-of-a-kind work of art. Working directly on the pages of a hard back book, you can easily create your very own altered book journal. Here are some tips and ideas to help you get started.
Stock up on Supplies
It is important you are well prepared and have all of the supplies you need for working on your altered book. In addition to a large, hardback book, you will need printed scrapbook papers, scissors, a precision knife, glue, colored pens, ribbon and other scrapbook embellishments. Any kind of paper cutouts, whether from newspapers, magazines or books are also entirely appropriate for this project.
Create Your Cover
The cover of your altered book should reflect who you are. You may choose to cover the original cover with paper or build directly on top of the original design. Be creative, and do not be afraid to expand away from two dimensions. Three-dimensional embellishments are entirely appropriate for your cover, though you will want to make sure they are well secured to the book so they do not fall off or get damaged. Decorate the cover however you see fit.
Work With the Text
As you get started on your altered book, keep in mind exactly what you are doing; altering the book from its current state. Try to work directly onto the typed pages, incorporating the words on the pages where applicable. For example, if a particular passage or quote stands out to you, decorate the page around the quote, while leaving it clearly visible.
Cut Out Areas
Use your scissors and precision knifes to cut out the original pages. For example, you can cut out the center of one page and decorate it so that the page behind it shows through. You could also cut off half of the page and decorate the remaining half so that the page lays on top of the page behind it, exposing the other page below. Be creative.
Write on Top of the Old Pages
While covering some of the pages with printed paper or card stock is encouraged, try to see what you can do with the pages already there. Write directly on the original pages so that the words show through underneath your writing.
Altering a book is a creative process, and when using your altered book as a journal it can be very therapeutic. Commit yourself to completing at least on page per day. Write about your thoughts, hopes and dreams. If you find yourself short on ideas, let the pages of the book inspire you. Write a short story about one of the characters or a poem about the story line.