DIY Art Journal

I can’t get enough journals. I’m a collector of tidbits: movie stubs, pieces of glitter ribbon, heart stickers, pretty business cards, lists of ideas, vintage paper, photos, tags, receipts, doilies and magazine pages that I just can’t throw away. {And, that’s just the small list.} Because I collect all these scraps and bits, I’m always looking for ways to use them.

My latest idea has been to make my own art journals and fill them with these sweet snippets and lovely morsels. Just the other day, I discovered a movie stub from Julie and Julia. Talk about a fun movie! Anyways, I didn’t want to throw it away, so I stuck it in my new handmade journal.

They’re super easy and fun to make. I’ll walk you through it.

First, you need to choose your cover. Heavy scrapbook paper and photos or designs printed onto card stock work well. If you don’t have any lovely scrapbook paper or photos you want to use, you can print out this simple chevron design that I made.

Second, trim the cover with a craft knife if needed. I printed the photo above on heavy card stock and deliberately made it smaller than the page, because I wanted the journal to be smaller.

Third, fold the cover in half. {This is a very difficult step, I know. You definitely needed a picture, right? I know you don’t, but I had it and wanted to use it.}

Fourth, pick out the pages you want to use as your art journal pages. I used vintage book pages, pretty magazine pages, envelopes, vintage graph paper, and scrapbook paper. Basically, whatever you have on hand will work.

Fifth, cut the pages to fit inside your cover. I cut my pages so they would be different sizes. I love the effect you get when you can see multiple art journal pages at once.

Sixth, sew down the middle of all the pages and cover together. You don’t need to have much experience sewing, because it’s just a straight line. Trim the thread and you’re almost done.

Seventh, add a strip of washi tape down the spine, and you’re done.

I like to make a bunch at one time. That way, I’ll have enough to last me a few months.

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17 Responses to DIY Art Journal

  1. Kelsey Elisabeth Benedict December 14, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Cool! That’s sweet!

    • April December 14, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Thanks! :)

  2. Kathleen Lange Klik December 14, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Thanks for the inspiring idea! I too am a journal collector but have yet to have created my own. Looks like a fun yet simple enough project to tackle in an afternoon.

    • April December 14, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      It can definitely be done in an afternoon. It took me about an hour and a half to create six of them. :)

  3. linda December 14, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    These are definitely cute little books to keep tid bits in – very pretty! I really like the idea of junk journals, meaning using all kinds of papers and such, because it beats the fear of the white page and you can just collage things in, from ephemera to little notes and drawings.

    • April December 14, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Thank you! That’s why I love them, too. I like starting with something other than a white page.

  4. Lindsey December 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    What a cute idea! I go through journals like none other. I like the idea of making my own rather than buying generic ones. I have stacks and stacks of scrapbook paper that I never used. This will be perfect! Thanks for the inspiration. :-)

    • April December 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      YAY! I’d love to see pictures! :)

  5. Coral December 15, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    You know I smiled like a Cheshire cat when I saw this, don’t you? Love this idea. If you read my post this week, you will know about the tantrum at the sewing machine (and the rescue by my husband). Despite this, I am adding your journal project to my list of things to try on my Christmas holidays. Such a great combination of an art journal and a smash book. And a great way to use up all those bits and pieces. Love this so much, April

  6. Sage December 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Beautiful! These art journals would make great gifts too. I’m a huge scrapboooker, and I love crafty projects like this. I make my own journals too, and I write about the things I want in my life as if they’ve already happened. They’re “Aspiration Journals” and it’s fun to look back on them after the things I’d been hoping for actually happened.

    PS, I really like the new direction you’re taking on Blacksburg Belle. :)
    Sage recently posted..Add Some Play to Your Day!

  7. Anita December 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    These are so adorable. I have been wanting to make something like this for a while, and you inspired me.

  8. Aikya Designs February 23, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Great idea

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