Creative Art’n’Soul Journaling kicked off this week and one of things we’re going to be exploring is making stitched mixed media journals.
When making these types of journals I like to use a heavyweight stabilizer such as double-sided fusible Peltex. This type of stabilizer makes it easy to construct using both hand and machine sewing, however it’s not always available in stores, and because it’s quite stiff and rigid, it becomes expensive to order and ship through online outlets.
Back in the days before there was any such thing as heavyweight stabilizer, textile artists were making their own using simple supplies that were readily available from their own supply stash. Here’s how to do it.
Gather your supplies
- a cereal box or pizza box
- ordinary felt, fusible felt, or cotton batting
- spray glue or craft glue
Cut one piece of cardboard and two pieces of felt, about an inch larger than you what you need. When using a cereal box or even a pizza box, it may not be large enough to cut in one piece, so you may need to cut several pieces. You can use any color felt; I like to use white when using light colored fabric, and black when using dark colored fabric.
Spray one side of the cardboard with a spray glue. Use this type of glue outside or in a well ventilated area – you don’t want to be breathing this stuff in. Alternatively you can apply a light coat of craft glue to cover the complete surface of one side of the cardboard. Or if using fusible felt, follow the directions and iron it to the cardboard.
Press the glued side of the cardboard onto the felt and press the pieces together by hand, or use a brayer.
Do the same with the other side so that you have a sandwich – felt/cardboard/felt.
That’s it! Allow the glue to dry, cut to size and it’s ready to use, just like you would use stabilizer or chipboard for constructing your journal cover.
The cardboard is thin enough to sew using either a sewing machine or by hand, and the felt provides a softly textured surface which makes it ideal for sewing and embellishing.
To make a thicker, more rigid piece, simply add more layers of cardboard and felt. Keep in mind that if it gets too thick, you may have trouble machine sewing it unless your machine has a walking foot or an even feed foot. To make the DIY stabilizer fusible, simply iron some fusible webbing such as Pellon Wonder Under to both sides.