Sunday, February 08, 2009

Journal Tutorial

This journal is an easy, inexpensive, pretty craft that also makes a great gift. My girl and I made this one for a birthday party a few weeks ago.

Here's what you'll need:

A blank composition book (10 cents at back to school sales)
scrapbook paper in one or more colors (50% off at Hobby Lobby)
Scrap fabric (stash)
opaque trim, such as ribbon or ricrac (stash/cheap at Big Lots)
ribbon for ties (same as above)
6 large buttons (stash)
Glue--preferable some kind of paper glue, a glue stick, and hot glue...Although I'd encourage you to use what you have to make it work. It's not about perfection!

But wow, that is a lot of supplies. Maybe I didn't choose the best craft for a simple craft. It's not hard if you can make it through my instructions. Hang with me!

First we are going to trace and cut a strip for the contrasting paper on the front. You can skip this step if you are going to use just one paper to cover the whole front. You don't have to use 2 papers, you know. I trace on the back of the paper because it looks neater and shows up better for cutting.

You are just making a strip. It doesn't have to be the whole width of the book. Your goal is to make sure it's the proper length.

Cut the strip however wide you like. Mine was about 3 inches, I think.

Make sure it's the right size.


Glue it on.

Trace around the edge of your notebook to get the right size and shape for your contrasting color.

Again, it shouldn't be big enough to cover the whole book. You want to leave enough room for the brown paper to show, right? Unless of course you decide to do the easy thing and just use one color instead of two.

Cut it out and glue it on!

Cut a piece for the back. We used the same brown as the brown strip from the front. It tied it all together nicely.

Glue it on.

Cut a strip of fabric to cover the ugly black binding. Fabric has more give than paper and will hold up longer. The strip should be 1 3/4 inches by 9 3/4 inches.

Carefully glue it on. I used Elmer's glue. Fabric glue would probably work fine too.

Here's a wonky picture of the lettering I printed for the front. "Journal" and then a quote:

"Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted." Jules Renard

I find that's a really good quote for chatty little girls!

Cut out your words--I used pinking shears but you don't have to. Affix them to the book wherever you'd like.

I hot glued buttons to each corner of the "Journal" piece because I thought it looked cute.

So as not to burn my fingers, I pushed them down with a plastic knife.

Then cut a piece of opaque ribbon or trim. This is velvet ribbon, but ricrac is my favorite. The idea is to cover up the raw edge of the fabric that you used to cover the binding. Yeah, we covered something ugly and now we have to cover that. It's crazy, but it works.

I hot glued it on. Fabric glue would probably be a better choice, or even Elmer's glue might work.

I did just a bit at a time and used the plastic knife again. No burnt fingers!

Cover the seam on both front and back of the journal, and trim the ends so they don't hang over.

Now I need to do what Pioneer Woman does since she is so cool. See this blank space?

Imagine there is a picture of me hot gluing the ribbon ties and buttons on. This is the one thing I really needed pictures of that I didn't get. Basically if the ribbon is kinda wide, I pleat/fold/bunch it up so that the button covers the entire end. Since the ribbon I used is sheer, I glue the ribbon and button on at the same time. We are using the button to cover up the raw end of the ribbon. Brilliant, hmmm? Does that even make sense?!!!!!!!

Knife again! Push those buttons down!

Now it's beautiful. And I just accidentally deleted my final picture.

So I could go back and re-do the whole tutorial, or I can be content with it as it is, since I hope it inspires you. The possibilities for this little project are endless.

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