Posted by: thewhimsicalbee | February 11, 2012

Crafty time: Homemade Journal

Homemade Journal aka SmashBook

Hubby had some quality time with The Girl today, so Momma got her craft on. Happy times!

First, I dug out some food-themed scrapbook paper to decorate a clipboard to use for my weekly meal plan worksheets. I sanded it first to rough up the surface so the glue I used (Zip-Dry paper glue) would stick. I just used my scrapbook little sandpaper disks and ran it all over the front of the clipboard.  **Money saving alert!*** I bought my clipboard at the Dollar Tree. That is correct–$1. I spent around $2 at Wal-Mart for one that has a little sticky feel to it. Added the paper and some adhesive ribbon and I was done. Ten minutes tops. Fun! I will have to take a picture and post it.

Next, I made the book pictured above. My sister and I had a thought to make these for a while, especially after seeing these Smash Journals, but we live on budgets and thought we could use stuff we already have to make our own. And it would be fun! My crafty sister posted a tutorial on her blog: Journal Making With Old Book Covers. I will not go into all the details since you can read her tutorial. I bought three Reader’s’ Digest books at Salvation Army for $1.99 each, and my momma gave me two.

My list for supplies (differs only a bit from my sissy’s):

  • Crop-A-Dile (I wisely use my Hobby Lobby 40% off coupons!)
  • 1″ Binder rings ($1.99 at Meijer for 25)
  • Zip-Dry paper glue
  • Junk mail
  • Found and purchased ephemera
  • X-Acto knife
  • Scrapbook paper

Like the tutorial shows, I cut right at the crease. Some of my books were so old, I did not have to press very hard with the knife to cut them. They sliced in one cut! I did measure my covers for where I wanted to punch my holes. I found the center, then measured in 1 1/2″ from each end. Looked good. Used that as my template to punch holes in all my covers (I did all five book covers from the first one.) and my papers and other goodies.

Here are a few of my pages. Some are not as funky looking (YET!) so I did not photograph all of them. It still needs more stickers, more ephemra, and more whimsy. I did not make all my pages the length of the covers, and I included a card envelope that is bigger than the book covers. I like the look of it not being perfect. Who needs perfect anyway. I always say, “It’s not perfect because it is homemade, and made with love.” I figure that covers any so-called imperfections!

I used some junk mail that I have been saving for some sort of crafty project.

Junk mail truly has a purpose: crafts!

See that brown paper bag on the right? It is from a Discover card credit offer. I thought it would come in handy someday. I will decorate it and use it to hold little things that I do not want to glue down in my book.

More junk mail goodies

The yellow paper is from Office Max mail. I strategically placed the gray paper and flower piece (tag from a $1 bag at Target) to cover up unwanted text. I like that I was able to leave the word “Family.” I think I will have to place a picture of my two favorite people on this page.

birthday card

Here is a birthday card from my Grandma that I found today. Made me a little misty-eyed, as she passed away last year. I wrote a little message to her inside the card. On the left is an Earth Angels card I picked up at last year’s Country Living Fair. It gave strength to the scrapbook paper. I thought extra stability was a good idea.

Pick your plum fun

I saved some tags from my Pick Your Plum orders. And the scrapbook paper they are mounted to: from PYP! Fun.

Country Living Fair 2011 goodies on left, Amy Butler paper on right

All the items on the left are glued onto the back of the previous scrapbook paper page. And they are all from last year’s Country Living Fair!

What my momma refers to as "instant relatives"

I stuck this picture (from a goody bag purchase from CLF 2011) in a little plastic bag that some $4.99 scrapbook item came in. I reinforced the back so it would not slide around too much in the book, using a scrap from the Earth Angels card.

more junk mail and found ephemera

On the left I started a “My Favorite Things” page (another piece of the Office Max mail) and the right has a K&Company bird on BoBunny paper.

sweet personal touch

When I found this today, I just had to add it! A sweet note from my birthday buddy nephew. I made a copy of the original and sprayed it with Krylon’s Paper Finishes Make It Acid Free. I ran out of spray part way through my project. I figure I can easily take out the pages I need to in order to make this book more archival safe.

Journaling blocks

I randomly added blocks of solid paper for journaling, allowing me to use printed background paper.

My momma & daddy

I added a few photos here and there for another personal touch. I plan to add more when I feel I am truly done with this book.

*Whew!* Too much fun for one day. I already broke out my Sharpie pens and started doodling and writing in it. I think I will make another for a Gratitude Journal, a place to list all the things I am grateful for in my life!

I do need to add some paint chips…that was a good idea of my sissy’s. I have some laying around in the office/craft room that I let The Girl play with and she may have hidden them somewhere.


  1. Aw… that note from the little man. Too sweet.
    I too put the Pick Your Plum tags in my journal! Ha!
    Love how you repurposed the junk mail. Gonna start looking at mine with “new” eyes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: