Version: Starving Student
5 ½” by 7 ¾” (half inch larger than prop)
Scrap leather from Tandy’s Leather
Scrap sheet of printing paper
A rough template is provided. Note: In the show, the front is the same as the back. I changed it so it’s a bit easier to tell the front from the back. You can do either :)
Pencil and eraser/rubber
A Stanley or X-acto knife
Gorilla Super Glue or E-6000 (both work fantastic on leather/paper/faux leather and are under $5)
A couple of clamps, and/or a desk clamp(vice) - You can manage with a stack of hefty books.
Sophisticated Finishes Metallic Paint in Blackened Bronze
$1 Tubes of acrylic pain in TARDIS blue (ex: Opaque Blue from Ceramcoat), darker blue (Blue Velvet), and cream (Antique White) .
Craft paint sponge brushes.
You can get leather for quite low prices by searching online, like eBay or www.tandyleatherfactory.com. You can also ask owners of local leather working shops to give or sell you their scrap. My boyfriend is a leather craftier, so we had a bunch just lying around the house from Tandy’s. XD
If you do buy your own leather (scrap or hide) make sure you buy veg (vegetable) tan leather, which is pale is color.
If you are fancy pants you can use leather dye instead of paint. Depending on where you live, you can either get Alcohol-based dye, or water-based dye. If you live in California (as I do), Alcohol-based dye is illegal for environmental reasons, so I used Eco-Flo in Evening Blue. A 4 oz bottle will last you along time and is less then $10.
Making the Journal / The Process
1. Buy a unlined, hard bound art journal. I got a Scrathmore sketch journal at Barns & Noble for $7
2. Print out this official “River Song Dust Jacket” and open in photoshop and size to your journal measurements. http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/d11s01/d11s02e04-dust-jacket.pdf
3. Copy/trace the dust jacket design on to your leather or board (you can also measure it out and use a ruler like I did). Make sure to press lightly with your pencil. Any indent will be permanent.
4. Cut out the pattern pieces using your knife. Make sure to use a ruler as a guide to prevent slipping and ensure a straight line. You can also cut out the decorative “spine” bits here too.
5. Congrats! You’ve just finished the hardest part! Take all of the cut out pattern pieces and (unglued) check the lining by laying them in place on the cover of your journal.
6. If everything lined up the way you like, flip them over (rough/marked side up) and swipe glue over one piece at a time. Flip them over and carefully press them into place, using a straight edge to check that it’s squared up.
7. Repeat with each piece. I went from the outside – in, ending with the decorative spice bits.
8. Let it dry for at least an 40 minutes. So go watch Silence in the Library or your other River-centric episode :)
9. Check back and make sure everything is settled down nice and tight before you move onto the next step.
10. Now using the sponge brushes, paint a layer of TARDIS blue paint over the whole front. Use a hair dryer to speed up drying. Repeat with the back cover, then the spine – checking that all the creased are filled in. Then, using the darker paint (I mixed it with the TARDIS blue paint for a less dramatic and more natural effect) and an old rough sponge, dry brush into the creases and (if you want an antique look) onto the covers.
11. If you are going for the aged look, you can take a scrap of sand paper (or nail file) and lightly rough up the paint and edges. Also, you can (using black coffee or tea and a spray bottle) spray the journal pages to age it even more.
12. Go watch Flesh and Stone while the cover completely dries.
13. Now open the cover and using one of the metallic glazes, paint the inside of the book’s front and back cover. Be careful not to let it bleed onto any of the pages or on to the out side of the cover. I lined the edges with a .3 cm border with painters tape (also snatched from the supply room…).
14. Let it dry, and go watch more River Song episodes! Finish off with a red ribbon and you’re ready for adventures with the Doctor! ;)
P.S If you have any questions, I’m a message away! x
P.P.S Reply with your own TARIDS Diary!
P.P.P.S If anyone likes, I can also make a custom one for you, saving you the work ;)