The other day we talked about Letterboxing. Today, we are sharing a project on how to make a journal that is perfect to take on your letterboxing outings. Of course, you can use the journal for anything, but we thought the natural feel, plus the use of recycled items, made it a perfect companion for our time spent on the trail! We used our Snail Applique but you can decorate the journal any way you’d like.
This is a great, eco-friendly project. You can use recycled materials for the covers, inside pages and elastic band. We used a cereal box, printer paper that had minimal printing on one side and a rubber band that came on our broccoli stems. The stick was found in our backyard. The only new materials we used were a few sheets of decorative scrapbooking paper, but you could use any left over scrap paper. Another thing we love about this journal is how it is bound. You can undo the binding and change out the center sheets of paper if you would like… reusing your cover pages again and again.
Take a sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper and cut it in half lengthwise creating a 4.25″ x 11″ piece of paper. You can reuse paper that has been printed on one side. Fold in half to 4.25″ x 5.5″ (printed side on the inside). Stack several sheets together. This will make the pages of your book. They will be double thick to help stop the stamp ink from bleeding through.
Punch holes in the open side 1/2” from the edges. If you have a lot of pages it will be difficult to punch through… so as long as you are careful lining up the edges you can just do a couple pages at a time.
To do the front and back cover, cut two piece of thin cardboard from either a cereal box, album cover, or an old folder to 5″ x 6″.
Decorate the cardboard with paper. To do this, cut a sheet of paper to 6″ x 6.5″. Glue the cardboard down in the center of the paper, wrong sides together, with one short side lined up, the three other sides with a 1/2” overlap. Fold the two corners of the paper in at a 45 degree angle over the cardboard. Glue the corners down.
Fold the three edges of the paper over all the way around and glue down.
You can now cut a 4.5″ x 5.75″ piece of plain paper to cover the inside of the covers and hide the folded down pieces, again line up the one short side exactly. Make a back cover to match.
Punch holes in the covers by using the pages as a guide.
Line up the gutter edge, and vertically center the pages. Crease the front cover one inch in from the edge with the holes so it bends freely to open. Decorate the front as you wish.
I reduced the Caterpillar Applique to 5″ x 5″ to fit on the cover (83%). I lined up everything with the outside edge (away from the holes) and glued it to the cover as if it were appliqued. Add any extra details you would like with a fine point permanent marker.
Now place your stick on the front side of the journal over the holes. You may need to break your stick to size. From the back, thread one end of the rubber band up through the top hole, going through the back cover, the paper inserts, and the front cover. This can be difficult. A crochet hook can be very helpful. Slip the rubber band over the top end of the stick. From the back, stretch the rubber band, and do the same for the bottom holes.
Your journal is now ready to hit the trails with you! When you fill your journal, simply remove the stick, and add more pages. Replace the stick. Next week we will have a post on how to make your own rubber stamps that can be used for letterboxing.
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