i started out with two nice thick squares of chipboard, painted the edges, glued on squares of patterned paper and sealed it with papier glass finish (similar to diamond glaze) for extra strengh and a little bit of shine. i've made books with sewn or spiral bindings, but for daily journals i like to hold ‘em together with book rings (you can get a variety pack at staples for about $3) so that i can add, subtract or move around the pages. i punched the holes with my crop-o-dile, but a fairly sharp hand drill (like for woodworking) is also an easy way to get nice neat holes.
i tend to stock my little books in advance with about half as many pages as i think they're going to need. i use scraps of cardstock and heavy paper in the requisite sizes, and add more pages in as needed. most days i decorate one page, write my “three beautiful things” and i’m done. but some days i have more time, or ideas to try out, or i just feel like playing, so i will occasionally decorate “extra” pages which can be used when time or creativity is at a premium. i have also found these little books to be of great value as a sort of “design lab” to try out ideas seen in magazines or online…to experiment with new techniques…and to use up my scraps and break in the cool new supplies i cannot wait to use.
i’ve also found it’s a really good way to “warm up” before starting to work on a larger project or idea. this is has totally surprised me, even though art journalers have been saying so for YEARS, but somehow--perhaps stubbornly--i didn't really believe it would hold true for ME! “why,” i would ask myself, “would i waste time, energy and materials on something that no one else is ever going to see?!” but it turns out the nameless and numerous “they” we are always hearing about were TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY RIGHT on this point: this process doesn't sap your creative energy, it actually DOES revive and envigorate it! who knew?! (ok, clearly everyone except ME, but thank you very much for not rubbing my nose in that!) :)