Saturday, 26 April 2014

An Interesting Experiment - A Travel-themed Journal Sketchbook

I recently  made a set of concertina photo books, with covers of Liberty print lawn bookcloth.  They turned out really lovely.   
While fiddling around with the concertina-folding for the album pages, I thought about the "flutter books" and concertina book structures, created by bookbinders Hedi Kyle and Alissa Golden (both my heros!).  I thought it would be fun to experiment with a book that used the concertina structure as a kind of support, with sets of pages stitched into each valley fold - on both sides of the concertina.

It seemed to suit a tall, thin type of book, also a journal/sketch book; I had some of the lovely Cavallini paper with a collage design of vintage luggage labels... A Travel Themed Journal started to form in my mind.

I cut hard covers of book board and covered them with the Luggage Label paper.

I folded a concertina of stiff cartridge paper, then used the same type of paper and some lined text paper to create folios of pages, mixing the lined and sketch paper, so that each sketch page had a lined page next to it.  Then I stitched each of these sections into a fold of the concertina.

I fixed the covers at either end of the concertina, with ribbons to tie each side together - this would allow the book to be opened like a traditional notebook - from either side of the concertina - or for the whole thing to open out when both sets of ribbons were untied. 
Inside the "back" part of the accordian, the three centre pairs of sketch pages fold inside, so there is a large page that opens out to almost A4 size (letter size for my US friends!). 
The "front" cover opens to show two pairs of ticket pockets, embellished with the same luggage label paper as the covers. 

I used red linen thread for the stitching, to give a cheerful pop of colour.

The concertina structure allows the book to be used in a very flexible way, not just in the usual sequential "turn to the next page" way you would use a traditionally bound notebook. 
It's a nice size too - just right to pop into the front pocket of your backpack or in your hand luggage, to take with you on your special holiday.

A successful experiment I think - I may make some more!


  1. Very cool :) I love the luggage label paper!

  2. I love the look of it! I may come calling before my next overseas trip!

  3. I think this is a very practical and useful travel journal format. I use lots of pockets for mine.

    1. Hmmm, so maybe I could include a set of bellows-folded pockets in the next one? Always interesting to refine a design...

  4. Just stunning - what an interesting design and beautifully executed, Lizzie :).

  5. Gorgeous books as always Lizzie x

  6. Thanks all, for the lovely & helpful comments!

  7. Very pretty and fun to use I'm sure.


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