Friday, March 22, 2013

Journal for time travelling Doctor

When I was wearing my lady Doctor costume at Desucon last month, I got few questions regarding my Tardis journal and its construction. I realized that I had only posted one photo from the journal at its finished state but non from the crafting phase. This goes especially for that sweet girl who demanded me to teach her how the journal is made.

I found quite many tutorials of how to make the journal from binding the book to covering a readymade product. Of course I searched them up after I had almost finished my journal. The basics were the same, but I could have chosen a better material for the covers. I went with basic sheet cotton and it only came to my mind that it would probably not stretch enough to set neatly on all the small gaps and slots on the design when I had glued half of it on. So my journal represents the rugged type with water damages.

If I had read the internet tutorials before hand, I might have used a different material. For example tissue paper with decoupage technique. Just genius!

The base for my journal project was notebook I found from a local bookstore for few euros. With reference pictures of River Song’s journal I cut craft foam according the design and glued the pieces on the book. First I thought of using cardboard, but went with craft foam because it’s lot easier to cut. I added the “bindings” on the back and secured them with fabric before covering the whole thing.

I spread glue-water mixture on the cover and quickly worked the cotton on it. I used the end of my paintbrush to press the fabric on the slots. At this point I realized that I had chosen the wrong material, but decided to keep going as I could try to figure out how to fix the issue later.

After I had brushed glue also on the top of the fabric and the cover had dried, I took an exacto knife and sliced the slots that seemed too shallow. These slits I could easily fade away at the painting phase.

Then I glued the back and the back cover of the book. Before the glue set I made sure I can actually open the journal.

The seam allowances I glued on the inside of the covers. To hide the raw edges I glued the first paper page over the allowances and checking that the book can still be opened afterwards.

For painting the book I used blue, white and grey acrylics. I think I mixed four to five different shades to give the book three dimensional look, because of the shallow parts on the design. I used generous amounts of paint to seal the surface and to give the journal leathery look.


  1. Loved seeing this. I have a River Song diary too, so great to see another one out there :-)

  2. This is amazing! mine doesn't look as awesome, you have some skills man! :)