The Search For The “Perfect” Grimoire Journal


I have a ton of journals–art journals, junk journals, hand-bound journals, now bujo planners…you name it.

I have a stack of journals that I also call my Grimoire series–all of these are more art oriented. Some Souls do not speak in words. Sometimes images are how some of us best express ourselves.

I worked a bit more deliberately in some of these journals than I did others. Some of these journals contain artwork from various classes–most of the classes I never did quite finish. Some of them I worked on for specific reasons, especially right after the last miscarriage. Not many of them were actually finished to the last page.

One journal that I bought that I actually love is the Ranger Dina Wakley Media Journal. It has four types of pages: watercolor, unprepped canvas, burlap and brown kraft paper. The unopened ones I have here say it has fifty-four pages. Measuring the cover here, while holding a cat on my lap, the outside of the book is about 7 1/2 inches by 10 and nearly a half inches.

If you buy this journal, and I do recommend it, even if only to push you outside of your normal comfort zone, remember: the burlap pages will come unraveled and the strings will pull out if you don’t do something to seal along the edges. Hanging strings is a nice thing for me to have in my journals, but losing pages is never a good thing. The canvas pages have nothing on them. They are plain cloth. Once you add paint or gesso or whatever to them, they will start to shrink–because that is what canvas does when anything is applied to it…it’s not a bad thing–it’s just something that happens.

For a Grimoire, I love this size of journal. I love how thick the pages are. I love how thick the book is. I love the strings from the burlap and the threads from the canvas…and the random bits of threads and whatnot that I glued/put into my one journal so stuff would hang out and add visual texture to the entire book…much less what texture it added to the page inside the covers…I like the way the pages are basically randomly assembled throughout the book, as in all of one type of page is not grouped only with others of that type. it is more like watercolor paper, then canvas, then watercolor, then burlap, then watercolor, then kraft paper…so there is a logic and a rhythm to the pages themselves, but not here’s the one section of canvas pages and then here is the one section of kraft paper, and so on and so forth.

But, this journal, no matter how lovely, is just the first step in realizing what I want and need in a Grimoire, a full Grimoire. In my stash I have a ton of hand-dyed computer paper, cardstock, kraft paper, scrapbooking paper…and that doesn’t even get into the mixed media paper, sketch paper, watercolor paper, piles of canvas and other fabrics, and burlap pieces that I have.

Is this the way I want to go though?

I will not be able to plan out I want to write X many pages before I use this to paint this or sketch that…will that matter to me? I am not sure.

Also, I know this covered secure spine is not something I want to have because I know I will be taping and gluing and adding layers of paints and who knows what else inside the book…as well as tipping cards in, adding extra pages here and there, pretty much the same thing that I do with all my planners/journals now anyway. So I need some flexibility in the spine so the book can grow and bloom without me having to do any surgery on things before it’s finished. For me, that means I will be using a Coptic binding–an open spine…just a front and a back cover. With the added benefit that any time I need to, I can flip things around and my journal will lay flat while open on the table while I am working on/in it.

I also know that as I fill this first Grimoire up, I can make another one and just keep going…fill one, make one…so I do not have to focus on I have to have a thousand pages in this journal…I also do not have to fuzz about only one month per journal … a journal can start and can end on any day … and I will simply move into the next journal without a problem.

The other thing is…do I need to have hard covers? I still have the stacks of Little Golden Books here…I very much appreciate the B5 size lately. Of course, I still have this piece of plywood here I am waiting for my husband to cut to size for me so I can have a go at playing with wood bound journals.

The LGBs are going to be a bit too small for this project. I am either going to have to create my own hardback front and back cover…or just go with a painted canvas cover…I am liking the idea of the hardback. Hmmm. Time to see what I can come up with here.

Under usual circumstances, a cereal box would be fine to use…or maybe the backs off of two 8×10 inch sketch books. That’s not what I want for this one. I do have an old ledger book…maybe I rip the pages out of that and resuse the cover for this. I sort of like that idea, even though the pages would be larger than 8in x 10 in. Larger is not an issue. I just don’t want to go smaller right now.

In the next post of my Grimoire series, I’ll show you what I actually end up doing.

Do you have any suggestions? Any comments? Any questions? Please leave them below.