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DIY: Mini Repurposed Journals


Love me some journals!

In anticipation of the heART on Center Artwalk in Chula Vista, CA,  I decided to try my hand at some handmade journals. I used old hardcover books that have been collecting dust on my shelves along with some thrifted hardcover books. I am a lover of books and since it pained me to dismantle them I have vowed to re-purpose the pages of the books in my art at some later date. Rest assured all ye book lovers, I did not destroy any classics!!

I will admit I got a little excited, so the first couple steps did not make it to the photos. I’m still rather new at the whole “blogging-each-step” process. Next time, I’ll be better. Pinky swear.


Step One: Preparing Cover

Cut the pages from a hard-cover book leaving only the book cover intact. Save those pages for another project at a later date.

Step Two: Cutting Cover

Open up the bookcover and lay it flat on a hard cutting surface. Using a straight edge ruler, draw a line directly through the center lenghtwise. Use an Exacto Knife or Box cutters to cut along the line. It will look something like this cover at left.






Step Three: Personalizing It

This is the fun part. I used pages from the book to decoupage the entire surface of the book cover inside and out. (You can use Mod Podge or school glue diluted with water). When that layer dries have fun decorating with paint, stencils, paper, fabric, etc. Finish off with a Satin varnish and let dry.












Step Four: Paper

Measure and cut paper to fit the size of your mini journal. I used regular copy paper, but you can get creative with this step as well. Think of repurposed packing paper, old unused notebook paper, etc. I make a small stack of paper that was approximately the same width as the spine of the book.









Step Five: Binding

I studied a few different ways to bind a journal. There are a LOT of different options for beautifully handcrafted journals. I opted for the I’m-kind of-impatient and not-that-picky route. Everything that I do has a sort of “imperfect” and messy look, so I was ok with it. I hot glued the neat little stack of paper into the spine of the cover. Then I drilled (yes with a hand drill) evenly spaced holes through both sides of the spine. I used an embroidery needle and colorful embroidery thread to sew it all together nice and tight. They stiches were not all perfect and even, but I thought that lent beautifully to the overall perfectly-imperfect look.


Now you have a great little doodle book or handmade gift to make someone happy!