DIY Blank Canvas Board Book to Use as an Art Journal

I Made 11 x 14 Inch Blank Canvas Board Book Pages

Personalized cover is next.

Basic Instructions

I glued and taped only — no cutting (except cutting tape). Two sides board pages are covered wtih canvas paper, AKA acrylic paper. The board “pages” are ready for a cover. The cover will be made out of Kraft-tex fabric paper with something to stiffen the cover (some kind of paper board probably … whatever I find I have on hand). Time to make this portion of my canvas board book? About 30 minutes of hands-on time, give or take ten minutes, I didn’t time it. Making the cover will probably take more time, as I’ll decorate it.

Materials:

  • 10 of 11 x 14″ Soho Urban Artist Painting Panels
  • 10 sheets of Canson XL Acrylic Canvas Paper (NOT the Canson Montval paper!)
  • Reinforced Duct Tape (the wide roll size)
  • Scissors
  • About 6 or so Scotch Permanent Glue Sticks, the .28 oz size
  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue, or something comparative that’s thick but that doesn’t dry too fast
  • Baby powder and and old, clean cosmetic brush, the large kind
  • Large, strong needle with a head wide enough for your string
  • Very strong carpet thread or bookbinding thread
  • Fabric for Cover — I’ll probably use Kraft-tex paper fabric I’ll cut to size, decorate, etc.

Method

On a stable, smooth, and flat work surface, I laid two of the Soho canvas panels side by side in portrait sytle mode — the taller sides will be verticle on my book. That means the book will stand 14 inches call and will be, when open, 22″ wide. The boards will nearly touch each other when they lay open, so I can use two sides of the open book for one finshed picture, save the first and last sides.

For taping purposes, the boards are facing canvas texture side down, with their bare “SpHo” printed backs facing you.

Before taping two boards together, I created a gap large enough so that once the pages are folded, they’ll fold flat without too much slack. This means the finished book will shift around less, making it less likely to come undone. The gap is minutely wider than the thickness of the boards, thus allowing for movement of the pages later.

I taped the pages together with the gap in place, making sure the pages and gap stayed even. I then folded the pages with the canvas paper side of the boards facing each other and the bare sides on the outside. I repeated this process until I had a stack of taped-together SoHo canvas boards. I got my canvas Soho boards from jerrysartarama.com, on sale of course.

Next, I got the glue sticks and bottle of tacky glue out. I got these at Sams Club and Walmart a while back and they need to be used up before they’re not any good anymore. That’s what happens when you buy glue sticks in bulk, I guess. Anyway, I rapidly covered one bare side of one taped set of boards with the glue stick, taking care to cover up to about a 1/4″ from the 4 edges of the board. When using the glue sticks, it helps not to press down to hard or at an angle — you don’t want them to leave clumps of glue all over your board.

Next, I rapidly squeezed out a thread of glue right by each edge and on the duck tape, not on the very edge but right by it, taking care to lay down just enough and not too much. I have previous gluing experience and that helped here.

Without wasting time, I then took one of the Canson XL Acrylic Canvas Paper sheets (which is much better than the Canson Montval or even the SoHo panel canvas panel surface) and laid it onto the glue, with the sheet’s canvas texture side up, facing toward me. I quickly made sure it was positioned correctly.

Using the outer side of a closed fist, I started rubbing the canvas paper into place on the canvas board, rubbing from one side to the other and then around each edge of each side, carefully coming right up to the very edge but without getting glue all over my fingers or hand. Rubbing from one side to the other of the canvas board helps ensure there are no air bubbles and that all areas have made solid contact with the glue below.

Using a slightly damp wet wipe or bit of paper towel, I deftly wiped away the minute bits of glue that were squeezed out during that process. I wiped, folded the wipe over the glue i picked up that way, wiped the next side, and so on. This meant my hands and the canvas paper surfaces stayed free of glue.

I covered only one bare side of each taped set of boards at a time. made sure the boards couldn’t stick together, and then routinely covered only one bare side on each set of taped boards, leaving one bare side for later. I had to go drive my daughter to work while it was drying, so that worked out fine.

I returned to my stack and then closed each set of taped boards so the sticky portion of the tape was peaking toward the outside of each folded set.

It was time for the baby powder. I dusted the strips of sticky tape that were barely showing with the baby powder.

I then poked evenly spaced holes so that the pages are ready to connect them, by way of sewing with the thread, to the cover once that’s done…

As For Sewing the Book Binding…

I had watched several book binding videos like this one. It shows a sewn binding method.

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