DIY Journal decorated with Coloring Pages

My best good buddy had a birthday last weekend so I sat down to make her something beautiful.  I found this spider coloring spread in one of my adult coloring books.  She likes blue so I made the spider look like sapphire. I used all sorts of pens and markers and glitter and even embossing!  The coloring alone took 2 days.


Once the coloring was done, I put a 50-pack of white cardstock in my homemade bookpress and glued the spine with 3 coats of PVA glue.

I used 4 pieces of Artagain paper as the end pages.

The only problem is the end pages should be one piece of folded paper in order to look it’s best.  But because this journal is quite large, I had to tape two sheets together to make one large end page.  I used decorated duct tape but it won’t end up showing so it makes no difference what you use here.

I trimmed the duct tape to size.  Now it looks like one somewhat continuous piece.  I need another for the back of the book so I repeat this one more time.

Now I fold the sheet in half with the duct tape on the outer side.  Take a narrow brush and add about a 1/4″ strip of pva glue on the first page near the spine.  Place the end page on top.  Repeat for the back of the book.  Put in book press for a few minutes to dry and set.

I cut some book board to match the size of the paper I’m using (8.5″ x 11″).  I also cut a spine (.25″ x 11″).

I used pva glue to attach another piece of the black Artagain paper to both pieces of large book board.  Then I used pva to attach the coloring pages on top.

For the spine, I wanted to use actual book tape which is made for this purpose but I have no idea where I put it so I made my own and I found a matching spider paper that coordinated nicely.  I used pva glue to attach it to a piece of muslin.  (This is an easy way to make your own booktape).

I cut it to size and used PVA glue to align the spine and the two covers properly.  Leave about 1/8″ between the spine and the covers to allow for easy movement.  Tuck the glued tabs in to secure and run a bone folder thru the seams to mold it to the crease.

Now place the prepared paper bundle with the end pages into the cover to ensure proper fit.  Adjust by trimming if needed.  Place a piece of scrap paper under the first page (the first half of the end page).  Use PVA glue to attach it carefully to the book board.  Use a bone folder to smooth out any wrinkles.

Repeat the procedure for the back end pages and back book board.

I sprayed a final fixative on the entire front and back cover and spine.  I plan to spray glossy mod podge on it to seal it at the end.  With all the different things I used to color this, I can’t be sure how it will react to the mod podge spray.  Sometimes it ruins the color and sometimes it makes the colors bleed a bit.  The final fixative prevents this from happening.  It was just a precaution on my end.

Now a healthy coat of mod podge sealer.  Don’t forget to use scrap paper like newspaper under the cover to protect the rest of the pages inside.

And the journal is finished.

Happy Belated Birthday friend!  Hope you like it and I can’t wait to see all the beautiful art you fill it with!

(Strangely enough I just realized I actually have a sapphire spider pendent very similar to this).