Art Journal Page–Finishing the Look

When you are solving problems as you go along, you hit a point at which you don’t know if you need one more step, or if you need to step away because you are done.

I’m working on a holder for a postcard project I’m planning out. The outside is a book cover, and the inside folios are monsoon papers. In order for them to hold the cards, I folded up the bottom margin by about 1.5 inches.

Monsoon paper postcard holder

Once I stacked the folio pages on top of each other, the backs of the pages has no bottom fold. I thought briefly of sewing a strip to the back of each of the folded sheets, but I knew that they would not be even. And that was going to drive me crazy. Instead, I cut a triangle from the monsoon papers, and put them on the page opposite the fold-up.

Next step?

The triangles were exact, but the pages weren’t, so on some of them, you can see the triangles have a margin showing. The choices I’ve thought of are:

  • Ignore the margin, the page is busy. (Ohhhhh, noooooo)
  • Use rivets at the 3 corner points to show attachments. (May create  marks on the cards when the book is shut.)
  • Hand-stitch an overhand stitch on the outside edge of the triangle. (Will that look messy?)
  • I can’t use the sewing machine to stitch the edge, because of the fold on the other side. It won’t be straight/even equally on both front and back.
  • Draw tiny stitches with a gel pen, most likely yellow or blue, along the triangles. (Will that just call attention to the margin?)

What’s my next step?   What would you suggest?

Note: Some great suggestions already–Thanks! I’ll be trying out a few of them this weekend, but I’m open to more.

Quinn McDonald is a writer and monsoon paper maker who is open to suggestions.

20 thoughts on “Art Journal Page–Finishing the Look

  1. Depends on how many of these pages you have to do… If there are only a few, I would use a hand blanket stitch in some fuzzy yarn/thread and go around the two short legs with stitches pretty close together to hide the wonkiness.

  2. I would consider folding a piece of fabric, burlap or painted muslin, to sufficiently cover the edges. Then, cut the open edge with a decorative wavy blade or just cut it wonky. Leaving the fabric edges raw, wrap it around the edge of the page so it covers both sides, and sew it with a zig zag or wavy decorative stitch. That way, there’s no need for it to look perfect on both sides if the fabric and stitch are both wonky. The raw edges will add interest especially if you fray them out even more. That’s just another thought to go with the many good ones above.

    • OK, now we are getting right to my problems–the wavy edge hides the unevenness without adding more tsurris to my plate. YAY! I do love this idea–it uses those wavy pieces I love to make. Thanks so much!

  3. What if the triangle didn’t line up with an edge? Place it so the right angle points to the bottom of the page. Will your postcards still fit into the book then?

    If they didn’t, you could also fold the two legs of the ninety degree angle on the triangle under (gives you something to glue onto the page then, as well) that would make it appear the uneven-ness is intentional.


    You could take the whole book into Staples or some copy center that has a large paper cutter and have them cut the pages so they’re square. Then your triangle would fit square. 🙂

  4. Rethink the plan. Do the bottom fold, allowing enough paper to fold it down again, over the foot of the sheet, and make a pocket on the other side. Forget the triangles. But maybe I don’t understand the origami of the problem. What closes the left and right sides of the pocket? Can you break out Madden’s magic NFL chalkboard?

    • You are super X-and-O wise. If I were really precise, I’d miter the corners and make real pockets. The left and right sides aren’t closed. The postcards really won’t fly out, they will be held in place largely by pocket friction.

  5. I’d move the triangles up and over just a bit- another 1/8″ or so, exposing more of the page below and to the side of them- that way it won’t look like you’re trying to hide anything. It will just look like you designed it that way.

  6. I would go for easy. Trim the “perfect” triangles so each one matches the page it is on. Then I’d do any of your attachment ideas — pen marks, rivets, washi tape — they’d all look great. Or do all of them, something different on each page.

    No one would pull their triangle out of their pocket to see if the corner is square — well, maybe someone would. Then you’d have a teaching moment. Doesn’t have to be “perfect.” And another reminder that it’s raw art.

  7. Quinn, If this is a brainstorm… I hope you won’t mind me coming at this from a completely different angle (pun intended). You’d mentioned in your options that something might look messy. So my question is… so what? The page is already gloriously batik! Maybe you could consider hand stitching with colorful embroidery floss with larger stitches to make the edge less obvious. I’m curious to see how it all turns out!


  8. I was thinking almost the same as Caroline, but instead of paper I was thinking washi tape or another type of tape that fits with the rest of the book. Or how about some ribbon or lace? Just anything to cover up the edges.

  9. I would be tempted glue a strip of something down the outer edge side, and perhaps even the bottom of the paper to conceal the edge of the uneven triangle. Wouldn’t matter what it is as long as it fits in with the theme of your book. If its paper, you can also write down it once you use the page so it looks as if its meant to be.
    Just my 2 cents worth.

    • Would you run the piece the whole length of the page? And on the other side of the triangle is another flap–over or under it? And on the bottom—would it show on the flap on the other side? It could work.

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