make a simple meditations book by hand

6E9B26C5-32D9-422A-A82C-FD1979D63294.JPG

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the power of words to influence my thoughts and feelings, and the overall energy I bring into my life. I didn't grow up with religion, but I always found solace in the ritualized way that different religions would say their blessings before a meal, before bed, upon waking up. It made simple moments sacred. It marked the thresholds of the day with purpose - like walking under golden gates, and just taking a moment to look up and say thank you. 

I've been rereading my favorite poems on gratitude, such as i thank you God by e e cummings, and Accidents of Birth by Williams Meredith. Poetry to me, was an invocation. Poetry was a meditation. So I wanted to write my own meditations the way I'd write poetry, or a letter to a dear friend -- to treat it as a way of setting my intentions for my life. 

I'm very picky about notebooks. So this morning, I abandoned my to-do list and spent the morning making my own meditations book, using only what I had lying around. Something small, simple, and beautiful that I could ponder and love. 

Materials I used

  1. Assorted papers

  2. Sewing needle & thread

  3. Scissors

  4. Ruler

  5. Glue

  6. Collage paper

It's very simple. You just take a stack of nice paper and sew it together. But I will show you how I did it, in detail. I'm more interested in how these pages are filled. 


Step 1: Decide on the size & page length of the book. Collect & fold paper accordingly. 

I used 4 half sheets of card stock paper folded into quarter sheet size - to get a 16 page book. Next time, I want to try experimenting with different papers and textures. 

Step 2: Stitch along the spine (I used a simple backstitch). 

AD726342-BD0A-4BC8-A426-6622D20070FD.JPG

Step 3: Add different cover paper and stitch the cover to the paper. (Optional) 

459819D5-E831-4D25-B663-BB943AE81E87.JPG
ED958D5B-0869-4AAA-A055-A3FEB351524D.JPG

I didn't have enough white thread so I used pink. Then I was afraid of not having enough pink thread so I used longer stitches. You can do whatever you want! 

Step 4: Design the cover. 

0259FEEB-A88F-4E2D-9691-2ACD53AB8ADF.JPG
A61B86E0-3D01-4810-BF91-D38584ACCC7F.JPG

I used old gouache collage (from a failed painting!) that I had lying around. 

Step 5: Write a table of contents and the meditations (if you want). 

61D4D04C-93F4-41BB-A586-13A8FC8BDFE6.JPG
BD926CB4-8BE0-44B4-8E5B-BAF52D416096.JPG

Well, it doesn't even have to be meditations, it could be recipes, journal entries, notes to self, sketches. But I started with a morning meditation (prayer?) I wrote a year ago. I would wake up at six am, sit on my yoga mat, and read this aloud three times before starting my day. It felt amazing, like an invocation of my soul, my muse, and the universe, all at once. Tell me how yours goes. 

WellbeingKening Zhu