Begin with Making the Art Journal


Journals web

In the video below I share how I choose color palettes for my journals.  

The password for the video is: marble

Here is a photo of what you need to make  a journal out of watercolor paper:

Supplies for making journal

Here is the list of what you need to make a journal out of watercolor paper: 

  • 1 full Sheet of Watercolor Paper 22″ x 30″: Fabriano 140 lb, either hot
    press or soft press (each sheet makes one 8”x10” journal)
  • Metal Ruler preferably with a cork back
  • Bone Folder (the side of a pair of scissors will work, but the bone folder is
    much better)
  • Push pin or awl for making holes in journal
  • Button or carpet thread, or bookbinding thread
  • Needle with a big enough eye for heavy thread to go through
  • Pencil
  • 2 Clips for holding pages in place while sewing (optional)

Here is a good tip for your journal making process:

The password for the video is: marble

In the video below, I show how to make journal pages from a single sheet of 22″ x 30″ piece of watercolor paper. I first learned this from Teesha Moore’s Amazing 16-Page Journal Part 1 and  Teesha Moore’s Amazing 16-page Journal Part 2 YouTube videos.

The password for the video is: journal

Here is a PDF that shows the process. Click on the link:


Here is a video that shows how to sew your journal together after you have marbled some of the pages:

The password for the video is: journal










  1. Barbara

    very good, I enjoyed all the slow detail


    LOVE this class! I am assuming that if I use the comb I made with toothpicks closer together, the result will be tighter swirls – is that correct? I wanted to do some mini (pocket sized for church and prophetic worship) journals so I wanted really tight marbling….


    • So glad you are enjoying the class Ellen. Yes, you are correct about putting the toothpicks closer together will make tighter swirls.

  3. Dorothy

    Hi Valerie,
    I just started all 3 classes lately. Thank-you so much for all the work (and I am sure,some aggravation) that is going into putting these online classes together. They are truly helpful and inspiring. Here is my question: I think you said that you sew the journal together after marbling? Or do you actually wait until later, after you do the main drawing?

    • Thank you Dorothy. Generally I sew the journal after marbling and before I do the rest of the backgrounds and other drawing. I like to have the feeling of a book when I do the rest of the journaling. The order can vary, so if you’ve done it differently I wouldn’t worry about it. I suggest you do what seems the best to you.

  4. Pamela

    Red-Orange what is the color of the golden paint. I’m on DIck Blick and I can’t find one by that name…did you mix it yourself?

    • Pamela, the red-orange color I use in this journal is Napthol Red Light. If you want to use a red that comes in one of the sets, Pyrrole Red would work. It is a bit more true red than the Napthol Red Light and just slightly less transparent. The orange I use is Transparent Pyrrole Orange.

  5. Carolyn

    Hello Valerie, First of all I have to say I love your art and art journals. You are such a beautiful inspiration!
    I live in small city in Canada and I am having a hard time finding 22″x30″ watercolor paper. So far I found 1 option online but have to pay almost an extra $30.00 just for the shipping of the paper, it isn’t the brand you suggested but it is 140lb. I have also found some that is 9″ x 12″ in size that is 140lb, which is much more reasonably priced without a shipping charge. Is there anyway I could somehow work with this 9″ x 12″ size for the class or is it better to go with the 22″x30″… Thank you!

    • Hi Carolyn, You can use any size paper for the surface techniques shown. I have used spiral watercolor pads before which don’t need any measuring or binding. The only thing you won’t be able to do is the making of the journal with the different size pages and folds. If you end up using a spiral watercolor or mixed media pad, you might want to take the spiral binding off carefully and put it back in when you are finished. Blessings in your creative process. – Valerie

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