Welcome notebookism readers!
I haven’t had much of a chance to write abot my sign vinyl journals, but here I go now, this is a quick post, so feel free to ask more questions and I’ll answer as they come up!
I start with large signs I scavenge from a local store. I asked permission for them and a lady holds them for me. It helps I also work there. However I suspect if you talked to the local manager of a mcdonalds or something you could say your willing to recycle their old signs and they’ll let you have them. Advertising posters are usually good for one season. And they need to get rid of them somewhere and most places have to get rid of the signs and have to pay for removal.
Vinyl takes 100s of years to decompose and when it does break down it becomes some nasty stuff. I won’t go into my recycling philosophy here, but here in the states we need to keep as much out of the landfill as possible.
So I clean the vinyl, they can get nasty. I use spray cleaner and a rag. Wipe it down and scrub anything really nasty off. I then trim off all the folds and rings and cut them down to manageable sizes. Depending on what kind of sign you get, they can be tent sized!
So I then take a template and cut cover sized chunks out of the signs. This dulls the heck out of my rotary cutters. So I switched over to using a box cutter, it works much better.
The inside pockets are also signs, these coated in vinyl. Here again I ask for them, and I get them. I also wipe these down with some spray cleaner and then cut them into smaller manageable pieces. I then cut and fold them to the pocket size and shape and use a sewing machine to stitch them into place.
I use another template to decide the placement of the holes and I then stitch the journals up. I fill them with either Wausau or Xerox paper that onto which I’ve laser printed lines. For stitching I then use hemp or Irish linen.
Sign vinyl is a great material to work with. Sure it’s rough on the tools , but it responds well to a lot of uses, and makes on hell of a tough notebook. The great thing about it is that if you spill coffee on it you can wipe it clean with a damp cloth, just like the car seats of the late 80’s. I have one request, if you (the reader) decide to go ahead and make these please don’t use my exact design especially if your going to make them for sale. Book and journal sales amount to a portion of my income that I’ve come to need, so snagging my design would be bad for me.