I've been into art journaling of late and have been searching for art journal alternatives other than the ones I make for myself out of watercolour papers and the ones that are available in the marketplace.
I got this book from the used bookstore. I love that it is big and has a hardcover with visibly sewn signatures and non-glossy pages. [Glossy-pages are hard to work with.]
Start by removing about a third or a quarter of the pages from the book. Now you need to remove some pages so that your book can close properly after you've worked on the pages. The torn pages can be used for other projects.
Go to each signature and tear a page from roughly the middle of the signature. Be careful when you tear so that the thread that keeps the book together remains intact. If you like a particular page, skip that page and tear the next page out instead. Keep the spacing fairly even throughout the book.
Next is to prep your pages for the mediums. Adhere masking tape to the center of each page spread. This will secure the pages and provide a barrier so that the colorants you use won't seep through to other pages. Then apply gesso over the pages. I used a brayer. You can use a credit card or a paintbrush.
If you wish to cover up the patterns on the book, you can apply more layers of gesso. Just allow the gesso to dry naturally between coats.
Once the gesso is dry, you can start working in your art journal. I used The Crafter's Workshop stencil with ColourArte Radiant Rain shimmering mists [I mist in a box to minimize cleanup.]
I like to create backgrounds for my pages so that I don't start on a blank page when I work on my art journal pages.
Hope you will try making an art journal out of an old book..it's fun! :)
P/s: If you were inspired to make an art journal out of an old book, leave me a link in the comments so that I can come take a look! :)