Wednesday, September 14, 2011

{ Decoupaged Journals }

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I don't know about you, but I like to write in something pretty. It makes me unexplainably happy and excited to journal. Go figure. In any case, I'm cheap - or some might say thrifty. But no matter which word you use, all of the journals I really like cost more than I'm willing to spend and the journals I'm willing to pay for leave a little something to be desired in the looks department. So when I journal in one of these, I try to remind myself that it's just a place to write and that when my grandchildren read them after I'm departed they won't judge me by the appearance of my journals. Did I say that out loud? Come on, you know you half think about someone else reading your journal some time in the future. But back to my point. Life is short, so why not have a journal you love and not break the bank at the same time? In comes decoupage (Mod Podge for you name branders out there) and scrapbook paper to make this thrifty lady happy.

Here's all you'll need to make a journal or notebook that is uniquely yours:

decoupage (Mod Podge)
paint brush

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composition notebook(s) - I stocked up at back to school time when you can find them for under a dollar.
cutting tools - I used a cutting pad, exacto knife, and a circle cutter for circles
ruler - to make strait lines
scrap paper - to keep the decoupage from drying your notebook pages together and

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scrapbook paper (It will take two 12x12 sheets to completely cover the front and back covers of a composition notebook plus any embellishing papers you want to add.)


Now that you're all stocked up throwing together these journals is pretty simple; however, I managed to spend a whole evening putting together four journals. As with many sewing tasks, I've found that simple does not always equal quick. To help streamline your process, I'll give you the order of how to throw several of these together at once.

First of all, maybe because they are cheap, not all composition notebooks are cut exactly the same even if they're from the same box at the store; so use each one as the pattern for cutting its own paper. Now, using your first composition book as a pattern, cut its paper for both the front and back. To do this simply lay the notebook on your paper, on a cutting surface, and trace it with an exacto knife. You'll also want to cut any embellishments at this time too as you'll glue them all at the same time.

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Here are the front and back to my first journal:

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Next, decoupage all of the pieces to either the front OR the back with your paint brush. At this point, it's a good idea to place a piece of printer paper inside the cover to keep the glue from running onto the pages.

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When you're done with this step, set the notebook and remaining paper pieces to the side while the wet cover dries.

While one side of your first journal is drying, cut the paper for your second (or whatever number you're on). Once you have the pieces cut for that journal, decoupage one side and then set the notebook aside to dry. Return to your first journal now and decoupage the remaining side. Always remembering to put a piece of paper inside the cover of whatever notebook you are gluing.

Keep on going in this manner until you've finished all of the journals you're decorating. (You'll most likely have to take a break and come back to finish decoupaging your last notebook.)

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After the journals have all dried, open up the covers and use your exacto knife to trim away any overhanging paper and to clean up the edges in general.

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Voila! You now have some new and gorgeous notebooks. Here are some up close looks at the fronts and backs of my journals that I decorated:

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And when you're ready to personalize a journal or title it, just use a Sharpie.

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Or if you want to shamelessly promote your blog, write that with a Sharpie too.

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I love these things! It's silly I know, but I love a pretty journal and now I have four ready to get me through the next year. Three already have a purpose and are officially in use.

These fun and unique notebooks would be great for the students in your life too or maybe to give to a girlfriend as a little gift. Who doesn't like to receive something pretty and semi-handmade? Pair it with a cute pen and you've got a little gift set.

I hope that I've inspired you to make something uniquely your own today. It feels good when you do.

Have a great Wednesday and thanks for reading.

I love to hear your comments, opinions, ideas, advice, thoughts, whatever! So drop a line in the comment section below.

PS - I just caught this great tutorial on how to make a fabric composition book cover. If this sounds like a fun route to you check out this great tutorial by clicking on the link above.

Check out where I share!

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Hmmmm I like Pretty Journals too...What a great idea for a gift...Like Birthday:)

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