A Tiny Wee Art Journal


Bookbinding and mixed media are two techniques that are inseparable for me. While I love bookbinding (quite a new love for me since last year) and I loved the results from my first workshop, the books I created with readily available paper (as beautiful and expensive it may have been) were quite unimpressive compared to the ones where I used some of my own printed paper. The paper was printed using handmade gelatin printing plates, they work like the commercial available gelli plates or gel press plates. 

I wrote a tutorial a while ago for Art Elements about how to create your own little book pendant and showed ideas for book covers (have a look here). I stayed with the same size for the book covers I made there (it will be a small book) but went a little bit further in the embellishment of the covers itself. This is not a tutorial but rather an inspirational blog post (it is also a finished project and not another one of my UFOs). 

The front cover was printed with gelatine monoprint, then stamped and painted over (and over again and again) with a final layer of resin on top. The book is stitched with waxed linen. It was a little bit thick but the only one with a fitting colour I had at hand.

When I say I went a little bit further with the embellishments, I mean this in a way I added some raised or 3 dimensional areas. Both, front and back, are covered with a layer of resin. I love the glass like look the resin creates and how much more depth the colours gain.

The back cover is white polymer clay (Fimo professional) with an imprinted texture, painted with acrylic paints after baking, sanded down (to get the white clay to show again) and covered also with resin).

While the front cover is directly painted on the cardboard I used for the covers, the back cover has an additional layer of textured polymer clay on top. If you know my jewelery work, you may already be familiar with this look from me. 

Painted, covered with tiny marks, embellished with stencils, stamped, painted and “splashed” over.

I know, such a tiny wee book and I write a whole blog post about it. But for me this represents a step further into the kind of bookbinding or rather bookmaking I want to go to. This book in itself represents a lot of experimental techniques in one. I think a lot of us have these mix-all-together-experimental pieces, no? 

This was done like the other inner front page just with different colour combinations. I really love both sides!

The tactile properties of an object is highly relevant for me, not only shape and colours (or the look of the texture) but rather how it feels. This is true (again) for my jewelery and beads but also the other “stuff” (or what do you say to a mixed range of things… just things…? 😉 ) I create. This books just invites one to play with it. 

The pages are made from thick paper intended for mixed media (Claire Fontaine) and painted with a chalk craft paint (I didn’t use my normal acrylic paint since I was afraid that the pages would stick together, happened to me with a different art journal).

I drilled some holes into the covers (one basic tool: my beloved Dremel!) and bound it together with the pages using coptic stitching (you can find a lot of online tutorials for this, but believe me, if you sew, it will be good to understand, if you do anything remotely connected to macrame, it will be easy). It is a little bit rough since the paper was really thick and I covered them already with acrylic paint. In hindsight maybe not the best idea, but how should I know without trying first?  I also left space in between because I want to add to the pages later on. I want to use it as my miniature art journal.

Just some impressions how I made the polymer clay cover: 1) Added liquid polymer clay on the card board for a better adhesion of the white polymer clay 2) pressed the cover on the rolled white polymer clay (take care to check to any airbubble) 3) use the magic baby powder, a must have for any work with polymer clay (for me at least) to prevent the texture plate from sticking to the clay 4) impress the texture (this is a texture sheet I made with polymer clay, different wooden stamps and a knitting needle, the last one is another essential tool for nearly everything for me!) 5) cut everything to size after baking 6) add acrylic paint (and if you want, sand down the surface to reveal the original clay colour again).

And hey, I even tried to capture the book on video! It may be a little bit awkward but this is due to the fact that my other hand had to hold my camera. But you will get a better impression of the size as well as the colours (and I really like to play with it, too).


Thank you for joining me. I hope you like my little book as much as I do! Also I am always curious for any other tips, tricks and inspirations. Until next time 🙂


Claire Fabian

Claire Fabian loves to experiment with materials and ideas. She needs to create to “keep her sane” and the process of creation itself is the most important in her work. She is drawn to weird things, to organic and natural textures and loves a tribal and ancient vibe. She makes beads as well as jewellery, but also loves mixed media pieces and little sculptures. Amongst her favourite materials is polymer clay, ceramic clay, all kind of metals, glass beads as well as everything found in nature. She is also working in research which may explain her desire to experiment.
  1. Reply

    It’s so tiny I never realised until the video and it was in your hand. I love the colours is so cute. … I have recently started taking an interest in art journals using mixed media…. I think I might give it a go myself
    Love to see what yoi do inside it too xx

  2. Reply

    Very cool!

  3. Reply

    It looks beautiful, love it!

  4. Reply

    LOVE this wee little book! You have inspired me to learn coptic stitch. I have made some books but did basic stitching when I sewed the pages in. Tiny little books like this are so fun:-)

Leave a Comment