1. Start by crumpling the paper, opening it, and re-crumpling it a few times. Add two parts water to one part brown liquid watercolor in a cup. With a large, soft brush, cover a portion of the paper with the watercolor wash and blot immediately with paper towels. Once the cover is dry, use sandpaper to further distress.
2. Tape the stencil in place and turn the paper and stencil over to emboss from the back side using a wooden tool or ball stylus.
3. To prepare the journal pages, cut paper to match the full cover size and fold in half. Using a ruler and a pencil on the outside sheet, measure 1/4" from the fold and create a line down the vertical length of the page. Create marks on the fold to the line at 1/2" intervals. Cut in from the fold to the line on each mark to make tabs in each page.
4. Fold the cover inside out and repeat the same cuts made for the pages. Insert the pages into the cover. Create tabs by pushing and folding inward at every other cut line. Weave a wooden strip in between the tabs to bind the journal. For extra security, apply a small amount of glue between the wood strip and the cover at the top and bottom tabs.