Confidence, please!

I've been shy about revealing what I made for the Habitat ReCreate sale which is happening this week. I've never done anything like this before and feel very vulnerable. What if nobody likes them, and worse, nobody bids on them?

So it is with some trepidation that I'll post pictures of the journals I created for the sale. The guidelines were to use materials from the Habitat ReStore and/or any recycled materials for their "Extreme Green" theme.

I made 2 similar books, using 2 sizes of cabinet door inserts. I painted the boards using watered down Golden Fluid Acrylic paints. I painted an area, then wiped the paint off to give it more of a milk paint/stain effect. The scrap leather from my bin and the cabinet pull from the ReStore (or doorknocker for Borrowers!) were added for embellishment. (Thanks D for help in countersinking the screw!) I neglected to take measurements before sending the books off, but the larger is about 10" x 7" and the smaller is about 8 1/2" x 6".

I used the three hole coptic binding, which was new to me but worked well, and I quite like it. Since these covers are so heavy, this stitch holds them more firmly in place. To me it also looks a little more refined to have the stitches disappear into the core of the cover rather than wrap around. On the beveled edges at the top and bottom, I wasn't comfortable drilling the diagonal holes into the pressed board (I thought it might crumble), so I wrapped the threads around instead. 

I considered using some heavy cotton cord for the binding, but I couldn't find a needle that would work well with thick cord, and I didn't want to drill really large holes. So I used 4 ply waxed linen thread, but sewed with a double thickness. It worked well, and will give added strength. Of course, if I would have planned this well in advance, I could have ordered 7 ply or 12 ply, but my order would have taken 2-3 weeks to arrive. Next time I order thread, I might order some in anticipation of future projects!

The paper used was all reclaimed, and includes various coloured papers of varying weights, brown paper bags, and used brown envelopes. If I made several more of these books, and opened them up like this, it would look like a pumpkin patch!

There are 52 entries in the sale, and you can see photos of all them on Habitat Winnipeg's flickr page here. If you see something you like, you can call in a bid March 17th & March 18th from 11am - 7pm, or March 19th from 11am-4pm. The number to call is 233-5160, Ext 213, and ask for a "ReCreate" Rep. Or you could go into Habitat's ReStore located at 60 Archibald Street on March 17th & March 18th from 11am- 7pm or March 19th from 11am - 4pm to bid in person. All Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity Winnipeg.

UPDATE March 29: I just received confirmation that both books sold, to two different bidders. I'm so happy about that! Overall, the sale raised  $4000 for Habitat. Thank you Winnipeg, for being so generous!


  1. Spectacular! Really quite lovely and so unique.


  2. they are truly beautiful, you shouldn't be feeling insecure at all! people love creative and functional items - total winners!!!!!

  3. Oh My! They are terrific. My dad is an architect and he would love these journals made out of cabinets. So would half the contractors that he works with!

    Awesome job!

  4. This project turned out so well! I was really curious to see what you'd come up with, and this surpasses all expectations. Congratulations on a job well done.

  5. I love the curves! I almost never make books without angles. I'm certain that someone will snatch up those journals.

  6. Thanks everyone, for all your kind words. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that they will sell!

  7. That is so amazing, Laura! Thanks for screwing up the courage to share them. :) You always inspire!

  8. i just love these. so original and the colors!!! so well done!

  9. Thanks Cindy and Julie! I'm very happy to confirm today that they did indeed sell! Yay! (she breathes a little sigh of relief....)


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