Arte Es Vida

Board Book Journals and Projects by arteesvida
November 26, 2006, 11:35 pm
Filed under: Book Reviews, Bookmaking, Mixed Media, Product Reviews

Board books can make wonderful journals! They are so thick and heavy duty they can withstand a beating that most paper journals cannot, so they are wonderful to take on trips or to create mixed media projects with. This is especially nice for me since I am forever breaking the spines in my art journals as I bend, fold, manipulate, and mutilate the pages! Do keep in mind that they have significantly few pages than a regular journal, however, so if you are wanting something for lots of space for a long term project, these aren’t the best resource!

There are two different board book options out there. It used to be, if you wanted to create a board book journal, you had to buy a regular child’s board book and sand and gesso all the pages to give yourself a new white surface. This isn’t so bad if you find your books cheaply and don’t mind putting in a little elbow grease, but there is a new product out that makes board book journaling much easier! You can now buy blank board books designed just for journaling projects! The pages are already white, and are non-glossy, which means they are ready to take pen, paint, and other embellishments. They are also the same price as your average children’s retail board book…which is a great deal!

I recently wrote a blog entry that I really loved and I wanted to preserve as a separate journal. It was just the right size for a board book! I seperated the different points and printed them off to be glued to each separate board book page. Since the book was so heavy, I was able to add a lot of embellishments to it that I can’t get away with in my regular art journal. I cut a window out of the front cover and glued a vintage key on the first page where it would show through the window.


I blended acrylic paint with pigment powders, used rubber stamps, and collage elements to create each page and blend with the journal entries themselves that I ripped out of each page to give them an interesting torn edge. On this page, I used a large black and white picture of a building, and cut out three of the windows. Behind the windows I placed small vintage photos so it looked like these figures were peeking out of them. It added depth and interest to the page and it looks greally great!

Your board book journals can be as simple or as intricate as you want! You may carry a board book journal because its so heavy duty and use it to jot down field notes, or you may want to go all the way and embellish your board book into a work of art until itself.

Create&Treasure, the makers of the new blank board books also have a wonderful book out called Altered Board Book Basics And Beyond By Jan Bode Smiley. Don’t let the small size of the book fool you…this is a densely packed resource! It goes beyond basic painting and collage, and gives directions on incorporating fabric, setting eyelets, and even how to press and dry plant material in your microwave so you can add pressed flowers and other nature finds! There is also a huge gallery of sample board books to get your creative juices flowing…the eye candy is well worth the cover price all on it’s own!

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