Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dos-à-Dos Travel Journal

By Iliana

Every time I travel I check out the latest Lonely Planet Guidebook and while this a great source, sometimes you just don't really want or need to be lugging the whole guidebook. Plus, no guidebook and you won't look like a complete tourist.

So why not make your own travel journal. This way, you can put in all the details of your journey, add some maps, highlight the attractions you want to see, make a note of the restaurants, etc. Not only will it be the perfect guidebook for you, but you'll also have a little journal as a keepsake from your trip.

The Dos-à-Dos structure is easy and perfect as a small travel journal. On one side you can have all the important facts and the other side can be used for journaling.

Materials for a 4 x 7 in. journal

8-10 Sheets of paper, cut to size 8 x 7 in. Use any kind of paper you like.
Cover paper, cut to size 12 x 7 in. (I like Strathmore 80 lbs. textured sheets).
4 Feet of thread. I like embroidery floss as it comes in many colors but you can use waxed linen thread, upholsterer's thread, etc.
Bone folder, Needle, Scissors, Awl, PVA or Craft glue for embellishments.
Embellishments: Maps, stamps, envelope, eyelets, rubber stamps, anything that will make this book yours.


1. Separate your text pages into two stacks. Fold each stack of pages in half. Use your bone folder to make a firm crease. You now have two signatures.

2. Lay a signature on top of the cover sheet at the left end. With your bone folder score along the right edge of the signature. Move the signature so it lines up along the line scored and score another line at the right edge of the signature. Fold cover on first score line, turn cover sheet
over and fold it on the next score line. It will look like the letter “Z” from
the side.

3. Place one signature in the first fold. With an awl poke a hole in the center of the crease. Then poke another hole half way between the bottom of the crease and the first hole. Poke a third hole half way between the top of the crease and the middle hole.

4. Starting on the inside, push the needle through the middle hole and pull through until you have a 3 inch thread tail. Bring the needle from the outside back through the top hole and cross over the middle hole to poke into the bottom hole. Pull the thread firmly. Bring the needle back through the middle hole. Tie the tail to the end of the thread across the long stitch. Make a square knot.

5. Repeat for other signature.

Now you have a book and it's time to decorate it. I used some maps to decorate the covers. I also glued an envelope in one of the covers to keep track of ticket stubs, stamps or any other
ephemera I want to hang on to. And, I added an eyelet in the front cover to wrap some ribbon through it to keep my journal close.


April Boland said...

Hey Iliana, I recognized your Beats exhibition flyer right away since I have one at home myself :) Was wondering where you lived until I saw on your blog that you have visited.

stu said...

What an interesting idea. I'll have to try it. It possibly defeats one aim of the guidebook, though, that of telling you about a place before you've been there.

Iliana said...

Hey April - I was in Austin a couple of times recently and picked that up at the museum :) I just wish I could have gone to the exhibit! But, I'm actually going to be an Austinite again soon so I'm super excited!
Stu - True. I will never give up guidebooks because of course you get all the history and ins and outs of a place. This is just a way for me to have a quick reference guide to the places I'm interested in seeing... like jotting down all the local bookstores to check out! ha,ha...

Stephanie said...

Awesome tutorial Iliana!

Carl V. said...

Such a fantastic how-to. I've never seen a two sided journal like this, that is really cool. Love the idea.

Nancy said...

Excellant. I can't have another craft I like to do. But this would be so much fun to do w. the kids.

Great job explaining the how-to's.