Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Let's make a cover for a journal

Hey, Kecia  Deveney here! First off, Happy New Year! I went on a tropical holiday for Christmas and came home with bronchitis. The weather where I was at was humid, hot, rainy, cold, and HUMID! Add my allergies into the mix = problematic! Anyway, when I got home, I knew I had my quarterly blog post coming up, but didn't feel great. So I decided to work on something in bed while I rested. 

My sister (also on holiday with me), gifted me a new journal (and smartly got one for herself too), so I thought I'd create something for the cover, out of fabric. I do like to give all my journal covers some sort of art because I find It additionally inspiring. 

Even before I began, I knew what StencilGirl stencil I would use. Pam Carriker's "Create Face", #S646. It has an edgy, raw look to It. The face has a kind of forlorn expression, which I like. I prefer working on fabric over paper and of course love to hand stitch on top as well. This is the new journal. It measures 8.5" x 5.5".

I grabbed some acrylic paints in colors that I like, the stencil, and some fabric. Since I was using fluid acrylics (and really you can use whatever you have on hand), I added a little bit of textile medium only to prevent the paint from running under the stencil and seeping into the fabric (the goal is to have the paint lay on top of the fabric). I poured a tiny bit of paint on my palette along with a tiny amount of textile medium (probably not needed if you go with heavy-bodied paint).

Then I layed the stencil on my fabric and began dabbing the paint on the stencil. Always remember if you are adding paint to fabric, a little goes a long way. It's easier to add more paint than trying to get rid of too much. I used a vintage scrap of fabric, but you can use muslin.

You can see from this picture, that the paint is very controlled. Do not add any water during this process. The textile medium also acts as "water" to help move the paint around as needed. 

The big reveal! Of course, I have done this many times, so It turned out exactly as I wanted. You might need to experiment a few times to get It to your liking.

After the paint was dry, I ironed It and began stitching. You always want to add something behind your fabric (like felt or batting) before stitching. This prevents the top fabric from getting bunched up when the stitching begins to pull tight. And honestly, I really should have started on the face first as the outside stitches will start to pucker the face.  (I also added a stamp down the left side for more texture). I choose embroidery floss that would compliment the color palette. The stitch I'm doing is a "straight" stitch. Just up the back, down the front, and repeat. I do It very haphazardly without much thought or worry about the outcome. If you look at the close-up picture, you can see that the stitches run in every direction too. I'm just filling in the space. I did, however, use a variety of colors inside the face (white, beige, brown, off-white) to create the illusion of depth. As you are stitching, don't feel obligated to try and follow the pattern lines of the stencil - just work intutively.

Here is the finished cover. I added some more scraps and a piece of old lace to create even more interest and depth. 


Thank you for reading along. I hope you enjoyed my project. Leave me a comment with any questions you have and I'll check back. You can find me on Instagram @keciadeveney and my website can be found at


  1. Wow this is wonderful. All those added stitches bring so much interest, texture and dimension to the journal cover. Yass!!

  2. This is beautifully done. Beautifully.

  3. I love everything about this—the face, the stitching, the way you’ve combined fabrics and threads. Congrats on creating a wonderful cover.


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