Add “Gilding” to Your Notebook Cover

All of the posts related to notebooks on this blog have been about modifications to the pages – indexing, marking, and adding envelopes and foldouts.

Recently I watched a series of videos on making a modern copy of an old manuscript in a library in Qatar. In the video on “Decoration of the Leather Cover,” the bookbinder used a pen to draw the gold lines and then used tooling for additional effects.

As I watched this, I remember that I had previously purchased a Sharpie metallic oil-based pen. I quickly retrieved it and drew a few lines on an old notebook. The gold really looked good!

Adding text and decoration to a cover provides a decorative element to the notebook but is also useful to identify the purpose of the notebook (in my case “Notes For Learning”).

I almost purchase a hot foil stamping device from Amazon that would press metal leafing onto the cover. Instead of a $150 solution, I found a $5 solution that works for me. Plus, the stamping machine is only designed for text.

Sharpie Oil-based Markers

The size of pen I had previously purchased was the “medium” tip. Last week I purchased the “fine” and “extra fine” tips.

Sharpie manufactures a full line of these oil-based metallic pens in a variety of sizes and colors. I may purchase the silver at some point, but my primary purpose for these pens is light cover decoration.

For every use you have to shake the pen to mix the pigment and oil base. For the first use, I had to press the tip onto paper several times to get the ink to flow. Some Amazon reviews complained that the pens “were dry,” but I wonder if they simply missed this key step. Another nice feature of these pens is that they don’t have any odor while using.

My Process to Decorate the Cover

I first sketched out a design on an index card. Once satisfied, I added washi tape to the edges of the cover. I initially sketched my astronomical scene and then carefully drew the lines around the edges. The ink dries fairly quickly, and I pulled off the tape after a few minutes.

I’m happy with this new discovery and will be adding some decorative elements to my notebook covers in the future.

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