From DIY home decor to handmade gifts, here are the best arts and crafts to spark your creativity

A Journal Made From a Book and Junk Mail Paper

Last fall my daughter and I spent a month making crafts together! She loves to journal and showed me the techniques she uses when she makes them. I have seen them in the stores costing well over fifty dollars! I made this one for her as a Christmas gift, using junk mail, yarn, homemade paper, beads, and a book. Follow through and I will show you how to make a custom journal!

Supplies and Tools

Calendar page or homemade paper for book cover.
Homemade paper tutorial here:
Ribbon or leather cording
Roofer's metal flashing or heavy cardboard
Beads or buttons
All purpose glue with Mod Podge is optional
Fine grade sandpaper if using Mod Podge (not shown)
Scotch Magic tape or 2 sided tape may be helpful to hold the book while covering.
Popsicle stick not shown


Utility cutter
Pen, pencil or marker
Good paint brush if using Mods Podge

Make the Paper

It does not take long to make the paper, but it does take a day or so to dry. It is helpful to know in advance what size books you will be using because it is the imperfections of the paper edges, that adds that over the top look to the journal. I had to trim my pages, loosing some of the beauty of the paper, because I was not sure what size of paper to make.

Paper link:

Mark and Cut the Book Cover

I wanted to use 2 different designs for one of my journals so I glued 2 calendar pages together to achieve the look.
Then I measured 1 and 1/4" larger than the book and marked the cutting lines.
Cut it out.

Mod Podge Cover

Please notice the pictures. When I covered the book I put two coats of Mod Podge clear coat on the book. The first coat worked out OK but the second coat caused the page to buckle as you can see from the picture. The book dried with just a few buckles so I tried to clear coat the book cover before attaching it to the book and it worked great! So if you are going to use Mod Podge do it now to the book cover page. You may need to wet sand between coats using fine sandpaper. Follow the directions on the bottle of Mod Podge. I used a gloss finish and it does show imperfections, so if you have not used this product before; I would recommend the flat coat which has a slight shine.

Glue the Cover Center to the Book Center

Center the book over the page you will use for the cover.
Mark the center as shown.
Cut the lines to make the center tab.
Turn under the center tab.
Lightly glue the tabs and the center of the book (and not the page itself to the book.) This will help hold the paper to the book while you mark and cut the paper.
Mark the page corners.
Cut all 4 lines as shown.
Glue both sides of the book as shown.
Next mark an angle as shown to form a miter corner.
Cut the angles.
Glue edges along the top and bottom of the book and press the book cover to the book.

Make the Book Marker

I made these beads from the paper I made.

Estimate the length you need for the book marker.
String the beads or button to the yarn or cord.
Tie a knot in the bottom of the cord to secure the beads.
Glue the center of the book page as shown.
Press the cord or yarn in the crack of the book and press the cord or yarn down using a Popsicle stick.

Remove the Pages

The idea is . . . . if you want thick pages for an art journal you glue several pages together and then glue art paper to the top of the pages to cover the printing. As you do this, the journal gets thicker than the books hard cover so there is a need to remove some of the printed book pages. You can remove all the printed book pages saving tabs to glue your paper pages to.That is what I love about this method; you don't need to go to the trouble of book binding. It makes it much easier. The pictures explain how to remove the pages. It is difficult to tell you how many pages to add and how many pages to remove because books vary in size. I removed a few and added a few at a time.
See next page for more pictures and explanations about removing the pages.

Add the Pages

To add pages; measure and cut the chosen paper the size you need for the book.
Glue the pages to the printed book page.
Remove all the printed pages leaving a tab to glue your pages to as shown.

Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

I have made journals before but this one, was by far the most unique one that I have ever made. The extra work to make the paper was well worth the effort! The Mod Podge has a nice texture and you can clean the journal using a damp cloth. This journal has a lacy appearance ( for my lovely daughter), but guys can make them look masculine by using old maps, newspaper,comics, or brown paper bags. I hope this inspires you to make one!

I would like to thank Instructables, our sponsors, and loyal readers for making this community a great place to share ideas!
Thanks for stopping by and please have a grand day!



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *