How To Weave a Beautiful Journal Cover


I am actually making journals!

Journals are not my thing. I have nothing at all against journals, I just never in a million years would have thought I would be making journals.

But I am now! And aren't they beautiful?  Can't wait to begin using them!

Four lovely members of my blogging family are totally responsible for my awakening to the world of journals! P1110459

It all started with Elizabeth when she shared "Art Journaling: Summer Plans" on her blog Things Bright.

Go over and take a look - really cool journal pages. I never thought journal pages could be like this! For some cockeyed reason I had it in my mind that journaling involved either page after page of written words (been there and doesn't work for me) or a collection of collages depicting thoughts, inspirations or feelings. (Also not me.)

When I saw Elizabeth's pages from her journal - well you know me and my lists!

And her doodles and drawings - love her doodles and drawings. I definitely need to doodle more!

Just a few days later, Erin shared this post: "Unblock Your Creativity: Using Your Morning Pages" on her blog Elysian Studios. As part of that post, she included a tutorial for making the simplest and prettiest little journals using her children's half used composition books.

Completely smitten, I rummaged through my fabric bin pulling out two of my most favorite fabrics, one for a Christmas Journal and one for a Fiber Arts Journal! And in a few minutes with scissors and glue in hand - two beautiful journals! Ready for lists, and doodles, and dreaming!


But that is not the end of the story! Only the happy beginning.

It just so happens that I purchased a little journal filler not long ago to use for recording clever thoughts and ideas that I come across.

And it also just so happens that I have been carrying on conversations with Meg at Mega Crafty and Jan at Jan Made It about weaving Saori on card board looms. See some of what we have been sharing with each other here and here.

Meg and I have been tossing around ideas for actually creating a weaving on both sides of the loom at the same time instead of simply carrying the yarns around the back every row.

So, I measured my little journal and prepared a large - 11 x 14 - loom. It is larger than the dimensions of the journal, but I knew I would want room to spare for shrinkage when the weaving is removed from the loom.


It works! Weaving both sides of the loom works!

Follow the tutorial here but instead of just carrying the yarn around the back side of the loom on each row, weave it through the warp yarns on the back side before bringing it back to the front to begin another row.


Once the weaving is completed, carefully cut the warp and weft yarns as close to the edges of the loom as possible.


Taking care to handle the weaving gently, remove both side of the weaving from the loom.


Cut through the center of the weft yarns between the back and front sections.


The angle of the shot makes these appear different sizes - they are actually the same size. Sorry.

Meg thinks sewing the two sides together would make a great bag! I happen to agree with her. But right now she is occupied with another weaving project. Maybe one day she will make a bag for us!


Once the weaving was complete and removed from the loom, I followed Erin's tutorial and applied the newly woven fabric to the outside of the little journal in the same way as I applied the cotton fabric to the composition books.

However, instead of using spray adhesive, I used Mod Podge as the bonding agent. It took longer to dry, but I really wanted the yarns permanently glued in place and felt the wet glue would be a better option.

Ok - so much for one piece of woven fabric. What about the other? Another journal - for Diane, of course!


I don't know what happened when I measured the journal I purchased for Diane. All I know for sure is that the book was too big for the fabric once I got it home! %$#*@! *

Ok. Deep breath. I can fix this. I cut the fabric in half and glued in place. Then once it was dry, I glued red felted wool over the spine.


Erin simply trims her fabric right next to the edges of the composition book cover.

Will Mod Podge hold the yarns at the edges of the journal cover in place?

To test - I cut my journal fabric even with the edge of the book cover. I cut Diane's journal fabric about 1/8" beyond the cover edge.

I like the look of both actually.

(NOTE: After using the journal for two years:  I am happy to report that the yarns at the edges stay in place beautifully. They will fluff up a bit but that just makes them more beautiful.)


(Shot this view of Diane's journal before I trimmed the yarns at the edges.)

Both journals turned out really beautiful and well worth the time spent making the woven fabric. And i can't begin to tell you how amazing they feel in your hands.  

Woven fabric journals would make beautiful Christmas gifts.

Thank you Elizabeth! Erin! Meg! Jan! I love my new journals!

If you want to make a matching woven "Zen" Bookmark, here is a little tutorial!

You could even weave a little heart to glue on the front!  Here is the tutorial for that!

These are fabulous! I'd been

These are fabulous! I'd been teetering on the edge of making journals, for reasons similar to yours ("How many jars of gesso do I need?! And encaustic medium???"). This seems like a much friendlier entry into the world of journaling. Thanks for posting this! I will go check out the links.

Your journals made me smile,

Your journals made me smile, Pam! I love the fabric you chose and the colors of your beautiful weaving! Diane will be so happy come Christmas!
Thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos with us and continuing to inspire with so many different types of crafts and projects! So much fun!
Big hugs,

These are so pretty, my

These are so pretty, my friend. I missed visiting you. I've been virtually nonexistent online. These are GREAT covers! I wish I knew what would help the edges! It seems to me that if they are adhered soundly to the edges of the journals, it would be perfectly fine for them to be frayed and free!

Gorgeous! Fray Check applied

Gorgeous! Fray Check applied close to but not at the edge is the only idea I have . . .

I love them! And you're so

I love them! And you're so generous to share the credit with me.
Mod Podge might work, and I've come across Fabri-fix a permanent adhesive that "bonds fabric, lace, leather, trims and more." It's washable and acid free. It dries clear, but it might glop if you get too much. Maybe apply with a brush?

Another idea which would give it a totally different look (i.e. no fringe) would be to glue trim around the edge. Some kind of gimp or braid. Or make your own braid out of the yarn you used and glue it to the edge sealing the fringe in the process. If you start at the top center and take a continuous piece around the edge back to the top center you could leave a tail to pull inside as a bookmark. The tail could be flat and shorter than the height of the book, or make it longer and knot it at the bottom and add a few beads or a charm.

I also like datebooks with elastic that holds them closed. I'm always stuffing things inside. That would be pretty easy to add for something different.

And I'm with Meg, I want a bag. I, however, with my tendency to cut corners would be tempted to leave the two sections together. Even off the loom it could probably be woven with a few ribbons or fabric strips. An embroidery hoop might work to hold it in place for this. You could add a few beads or other adornments if you wanted. When you're done, back that section with something fusible because the weaving will probably be looser than the rest of the fabric.

I would also the adjust the fold to show off this decorative stripe on the front or back of the bag.

This gives me a great idea for something I saw, but didn't buy, at the flea market this weekend. Remember those bamboo place mats that used to be all the rage...

Wow! These are beautiful,

Wow! These are beautiful, Pam! You've inspired me to try something like this. I appreciate the link to Things Bright too--very creative... :)


THANK YOU PAM ! This is perfect for my tween, a teenager in a couple of weeks. She will be bored in August and what's better to do then to create these beautiful notebooks that I will no longer have to purchase in Barnes and Noble and she can have ready for school. AWESOME :)

Welcome to the world of

Welcome to the world of journaling! I love that they're fabric. Looks like you're on a roll and won't stop anytime soon. Yay for your friends and family!

Your journals are gorgeous

Your journals are gorgeous Pam. I love journals and always have more than I could ever fill up. So I bought another one today. Lol
Let me know when you start bookbinding. That is fun also.

Whoo Hoo, Pam! I am so

Whoo Hoo, Pam! I am so excited you are going to start journaling! Just taking time to jot down whatever lists/writing/doodles come to mind has been such a freeing experience for me! I think you will love it once you get started (and the best ideas really seem to pop up when you just let go, make mistakes and approach it freely)

Anyway, to avoid frayed edges, I have also covered books with fabric and left the fabric to overhang the edges of the front and back covers, then wrapped it around and adhered it to the inside. I then cut another piece of fabric to glue onto the inside cover so that it would cover up the raw edges that were folded in from the outside. I still had to just trim the fabric at the edge for the spine. If you are still worried with raw edges, you could do a little zig zag stitch on the machine to decorate and secure the edges.

Hope I explained that clearly enough! Me? I just love fraying edges...I don't know why, but their texture is beautiful!

Happy Journaling!! Love, Erin

Your journals are beautiful.

Your journals are beautiful. I think you might need to do some experimenting on some scraps so you don't do anything to your journals that you don't like.

Maybe try some fray check or fabric glue. Lay a bead of fabric glue along the edge.

Modge Podge sounds like a good idea too.

Maybe next time you could sew along the edge to stop the fraying before you glue it on to the journal.

LOVE IT! I'm so happy the

LOVE IT! I'm so happy the double sided weaving worked (i just knew it would) : )
And I'm thrilled you tried it so soon. I am bogged down experimenting with what turns out to be the crafty version of the la brea tar pits. I might never get out/beyond my current glass, and stone projects. Thank goodness for fiber! The weaving and the felting... are the only things working at the moment!

Perhaps a coating of

Perhaps a coating of ModgePodge? Just on the edge?

I am no help to you in your

I am no help to you in your problem, but thank you for posting the links. They are fab.

Hi Pam As usual you have

Hi Pam
As usual you have produced some outstanding work, I like the frayed edges nothing wrong with a bit of wear and tear it just shows the love.