Katazome-shi Journals Made with Stencil-dyed paper

Colorful handmade journals made by Ruth Bleakley from Japanese Katazome Paper

After my visit to Suzuki Shofudo, the 120 year old Japanese paper store in Kyoto, you can imagine my excitement to get home and make some beautiful new journals with my new paper! But how could I showcase the wonderful colors and patterns? I decided to try a new type of cover design that would show off two of the stencil-dyed Katazome papers at once – a diagonal journal! One of the neat things about this design is that I can create two journals at once, but one of them is the inverse of the other. Twin Journals!

You can also see my Katazome Journals for Sale in my etsy shop, too  – international shipping available, and you can check out as “guest”. These journals contain 160 blank pages of 100% recycled paper, perfect for writing or sketching because they lay flat when open. One of my customers noted that they are also “Fountain pen friendly”!

Ruth visits Suzuki Shofudo in Kyoto Japan for Katazome Washi Paper

Here I am filled with delight to be surrounded by this super-rare Japanese handmade Katazome paper in my trip to Kyoto in September 2016 – here in the US I have to mail-order it specially! You can find some on Amazon: Katazome-shi paper but the patterns are somewhat limited.

Katazome shi Colorful Japanese Paper Twin Journals by Ruth Bleakley

Some people think that mixing patterns should never be done, but I think if you do it the right way the result is very exciting! My advice is to look for two papers that contain the same colors – for example in the set of books above, the vertical blue bars are the exact same ink color as the blue diamonds in the checkerboard patterned paper. Also, the small white motif in the checkerboard paper mimicked the small white motifs in the paper with the color bars. If you really want to get serious about sharpening your pattern recognition skills, I highly recommend playing SET: The family card game of visual perception – You’ll find that you can actually improve your ability to observe and match patterns if you train your eye.

Handmade journals by Ruth Bleakley from Japanese Stencil Dyed Katazome Paper

Hidden Cities Katazome Journal handmade by Ruth Bleakley

Hidden Cities Katazome Journal handmade by Ruth Bleakley

If your eyes aren’t completely burned out by the overload of color and pattern in these stencil-dyed papers, here are some other close ups to enjoy:

Handmade Chiyogami and Katazome Paper from Japan - 97Katazome Diagonal Journal handbound book by Ruth Bleakley

Handmade Yellow Daisies Katazome Paper from Japan - 76

Katazome Blue and Yellow Flours Journal handbound by bookbinder Ruth Bleakley - 3

Katazome Blue and Yellow Flours Journal handbound by bookbinder Ruth Bleakley


On this one I even matched up the paper patterns on the blue and yellow daisy paper for some next-level crafting points!

Ruth Bleakley making Katazome Paper in Japan for TV


Click here to see can see my Katazome Journals for Sale in my etsy shop!


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1 Comment


I’m going back to Kyoto next november. Is it possible to visit the WAZOME KOGEI papermill ?


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