Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mini Journals from Cereal Boxes

Yesterday, my daughter Amanda and I had a "mom and me" art afternoon. Amanda is a writer, and needs journals for her story ideas and "morning pages." She had told me a while back about making journals out of cardboard cereal boxes, so I had been saving them. I googled a few blog posts and got the general idea about how to make them.

We started with a basic cereal box, and cut the largest panel. That was folded in half, and made the cover. Amanda's journal (on the left) has vintage images from some "imperfect" old magazines that Susan Morgan Hoth gifted me with. She created a collage of vintage images on the inside and outside, and added washi tape at the edges and across the middle for a decorative effect.

Mine has vintage Graphics Fairy images that I combined in a Photoshop collage. I also added washi tape at the edges. Unlike Amanda's collage, mine was one sheet of 8.5x11 paper that I covered the box with.

We folded paper and cut it to size, poked holes with an awl, and hand stitched it to the spine of the book with waxed linen thread. I used cardstock since I plan to use mine as an art journal; Amanda used white computer printer paper for hers since she will be writing in it, and wanted more pages and less weight per page.

The journal, when finished, is about 8.5" high x 5.5" wide, but the size depends on the size of the box. The bigger the box, the bigger the journal. It is a little flimsy--the cardboard is not very thick or strong, so if you want a firmer book you can double the cardboard.

If you are adventurous, instead of folding the cardboard in half to make the book, you can score two lines in the cardboard  near the middle (cut a little with an exacto knife but don't go completely through) so that a spine is created. That will allow more pages to be inserted, giving you a fatter book.

Amanda did not add a closure, but I puttered with a couple ideas. I tried--unsuccessfully--a button closure and a wrapped silk cord--and finally settled on punching two holes, adding grommets, and looping elastic through it so the journal could be quickly and easily opened and closed. I wished I had some colorful elastic--the white is a little harsh, so I may try painting or dying the elastic to match.

These journals were quick and easy to make, so guess what I will be making more of  today?

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