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Here is a great gift for the Doctor Who fan in your life, a Doctor Who Tardis Diary. If you've seen the Doctor Who episodes you are probably familiar with River Song's diary.  It as given to her by the Doctor to keep track of their meetings and adventures together (spoilers!) and resembles the Tardis.  This is an easy to make imitation using cardboard cereal boxes and blue paint.

Step 1: What You Will Need:

Materials
  • A journal/diary or notebook
  • Cardboard cereal (or other food) boxes also known as paperboard
  • Blue paint (Tardis blue)
  • Black paint
  • Gloss finish (or use gloss paint)
  • Strip of cloth
  • Tissue paper
  • My template
Tools:
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Paint brushes/sponge

Step 2: Remove the Cover

The first thing we need to do is remove to old cover from book that you are going to use.  Open to the inside cover and cut along the edge where the pages meet the cover.  Do the is along the front and back inside cover and you should be able to remove the pages easily. 

Step 3: Cut the Cardboard Cover

Place the original cover on a piece of cardboard, trace it and cut it out.  Try to flatten out the spine while doing this to ensure the new cover is big enough.  Fold the new cardboard cover around the journal pages, check that the cover has some overhang. 

Step 4: Cut Panel

This next step requires quite a bit of cutting.  It is a chore and leaves you wishing for a laser cutter.  You can use my template below, but you may need to resize it to fit the size of your journal.  We will need to cut three different shapes.  Two of the large outer frame, four of the inner frame and sixteen panels. I cut all of these from cereal boxes, if there boxes are different shades of grey or brown don't worry the paint will cover it up.  We also need to cut four other pieces, these fit along the outside of the spine.  You can see how they are placed in the last picture of step 6 (if forgot to add these until after I did the tissue paper, oops).

Step 5: Glue the Panel

After all that cutting we are now ready to glue.  Place the two outer frames on the cover leaving a gap between them for the spine.  Next glue the four inner frames, make sure there is space between them and the outer frame.  Next glue the panels again making sure there is space between them and the frame.  At this point you should also glue the spine pieces (refer to image 5 of Step 6).  Allow to dry. I placed some heavy books on top to hold everything down while the glue dried

Step 6: Create Leather Texture

To create a leather-like look I applied some crinkled tissue paper.  Grab a sheet or two of tissue paper scrunch it up into a ball, unfolded it (be careful it is easy to tear).  Prepare a 50-50 mixture of white glue and water.  With a paint brush paint the glue mixture over the book cover.  Lay the tissue paper over top and apply more of the glue mixture so that everything is covered. Allow to dry.

Step 7: Paint Cover

Now we are ready to paint.  Grab your blue paint and paint brush and paint the cover of your book.  One coat will probably be enough.  Also paint about one inch around the edge of the backside (inside cover). Once it has dried, dilute some of the black paint with water and apply over the blue paint with a sponge.  You will want the black paint to get into the crevices formed by the cardboard underneath bringing out the frame and panels of the Tardis doors as well as giving the book an aged/worn look.  Once that had dried I added a gloss finish since the paint that I used was matte, it looked dull and felt rough on the hands. Allow to dry.

Step 8: Attach Pages to Cover

Now it is time to put the book back together.  I don't have a lot of experience with book binding, but fortunately there are quite a few instructables here on the topic (https://www.instructables.com/id/Bind-Your-Own-Journal/, https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-bind-your-own-Hardback-Book/).   I cut a piece of cloth that was as long as the book pages and about 2 inches wide.  I glued the spine of the book pages to the centre of the fabric.  Once the glue had dried I glued the fabric to the inside of the book cover (don't glue the spine just the fabric wings).  Once that had fully dried I glued a large sheet of paper on the front and back inside cover.
Really good! Plus if you're cutting the panels a cutting knife is what you're looking for.<br>So much easier than fiddling around with scissors.
Nice. At first glance I though it was made out of leather.
<p>great work im a big fan of Doctor Who im totaly going to make this.</p><p>sorry about my spelling</p>
<p>HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p><p>AT LAST!!!!!!! AN EASY RIVER SONG DIARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY FRIEND HAS ONE SHE BOUGHT, AND I HAVE BEEN SOOOO ENVIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUT NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p>
<p>FINALLY AN EASY TUTORIAL FOR RIVER SONG'S DIARY!!!!</p>
<p>Thanks!</p>
Thanks so much! I made mine a little differently but I still love it!
This is awesome
<p>AWESOMENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p>
<p>Ah! River Song's Notebook! Love this</p>
<p>WOW! Amazing job!</p>
Thanks. Did my own binding. Liked the end result. Going to give as a Christmas present to my gf during the special.
Cool, that looks great!
Fantastic!!!!!! It is just what I was looking for
Nice idea with the wrapping paper- it looks so much like leather!
Great concept, and it looks great!
Thats pretty awesome
Thanks!
np
Spoilers! I love this! I've been contemplating making one for a long time...looks like I know what to make myself for Christmas! :) thanks!
OMG!!! soooooooooo cool!!!
Thats pretty awesome
There is a hi-res scan of the original prop on the BBC doctor who site as a pdf book cover it here: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/tv/isite-downloads/doctorwho/masks_and_makes/makes/rivers_diary_cover.pdf which must be of use to someone
How fun! Thank you for sharing.
Oh, this is gorgeous! <br> <br>(And you don't want to laser-cut it, because you'll lose the battered, hand-made look of the original.)
Thanks!

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Bio: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and ... More »
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