Journal Pages That Button Up

Lots of people in my journaling classes worry about keeping secrets in their journals. There are all sorts of replies–but the bottom line is that if you don’t feel safe in your own journal, you can’t feel safe anywhere. In my book, I have a whole chapter on how to journal your secrets–from hiding to codes. This afternoon I had another idea.

Starting with the idea “button your mouth,” I played around with the idea of buttoning up your journal pages. This is a journal made from an old book cover from which I removed the page block and sewed in signatures made of different kind of paper. I also went over the embossing with a gold pen and bound the edges with copper tape used by stained glass artists.

Button strip on right page.

First I prepped the two pages I wanted to close–the two pages that faced each other and the other side of the top page. I sewed three small mother-of-pearl buttons on a ribbon. Sewing them on a ribbon gives them a firmer hold than if I had sewn them on the page itself. The ribbon also gives them some flexibility. That keeps the buttoned on page more secure.

The brown piece in the middle is a short stub made from an original page of the book.

Next, I glued the ribbon onto the right hand page to allow the overleaf to have holes in it and button. I pressed a bone folder hard over the buttons, outlining the buttons on the page.

Overleaf with buttonholes cut and decorated.

Then I cut vertical ovals in the gold page–not just slits, like you would to make a buttonhole in cloth. The holes need to be a bit bigger than a cloth buttonhole.

Buttoned up and secure!

After you’ve sized and cut the holes, see if the button passes through. If it does, decorate the edges of the holes so they aren’t noticeable as holes once they are buttoned.

Then, write what you need to write and button up!

–Quinn McDonald is a raw-art journaler and creativity coach. She teaches what she knows.