Stone Scale Notebook

Materials: Blank notebook, coffee filters, melamine cleaning sponges, cotton cloth, glue, acrylic paint, black marker

I started this right after finishing the Dragon Skin Notebook. I thought it would be interesting to make one that looked like stone scales with lava running between them.

As before, after taping a Ziploc bag around the paper to protect it, I put a layer of coffee filters on the inside and outside of the covers. I used cloth for the spine scales. This time, instead of laying down rectangular pieces of cloth, I folded it into squares, so the overlapping pattern would make a triangle shape.

For the scales on the cover, I wanted to do something different this time, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I did some experiments by making cloth scales in a new way, and using a thermoplastic called Thibra. This went on for a while without finding anything I liked.

I sometimes use “Magic Eraser” cleaning sponges that are made out of melamine. They have a very fine foam structure and hold a lot of liquid. I cut these into scale shapes and dipped some in clear liquid epoxy, and others in Elmer’s glue. When the glues cured and dried, they made the scales strong and ridged, but didn’t change their shape at all.

Even though it took a long time to dry, Elmer’s glue seemed the most practical to use, so I went with that. I cut a bunch of scales using a utility knife, dipped them in glue, and positioned them.

After everything dried I painted the scales stony grey, with orange and red between them, and more orange and red on the inside of the covers. I sealed it with two coats of spray sealer.

I wanted to do something with the edges of the paper, but gilding them didn’t seem right for this book, so I colored them black with a marker. If I were to make this again, I’d use India ink for the page edges, but I didn’t have that idea until my next notebook.