Sunday, 13 April 2008

Making a journal

It’s a long one today. You have been warned.

I wanted to make a 6x6 scrapbook using the Home Again Simply Scrappin’® kit that I may have mentioned that I love so much. But I couldn’t find any chipboard of the correct size, so I thought I’d have a practice run on a different sized journal first.

Here’s the finished journal – I wonder if a certain reader can guess who this is for? It’s someone who appreciates a handmade gift… someone who enjoys journaling… someone who already has some of my creations which co-ordinate very well with this… oh and the monogram is a bit of a clue, too! She will know who she is and I hope she likes it – but she will have to wait for it as I want to add it to my samples box for a while first.

I am now going to attempt to upload several pictures in one go. For me this is the blogging equivalent of juggling with a chainsaw, a flaming torch and a raw egg; and I can’t even juggle. Wish me luck…

For this project you will need:
• two pieces of 12x12 background paper of the same design
• two pieces of chipboard of the same size
• some co-ordinating cardstock
• some ribbon
• something to decorate the front of the scrapbook (if desired)
• some really strong tape, such as Sticky Strip

Yes, my instructions are vague because I prefer to work with what I have rather than scrabble around for something hard to find. I had two pieces of A5 chipboard so used those.

I will try to anticipate any questions:

Where do I find chipboard? Well you can buy it in art shops but personally I don’t see the point as you can use the backs of notepads. Or, as you’re covering it, it doesn’t have to be plain,  so you could use cereal boxes – tape two pieces together to strengthen it.

What’s Sticky Strip? It’s the tape that you’ll find at the back of the UK Stampin’ Up!® catalogue. It’s double-sided tape but soooooo much stronger. I wouldn’t use it for ordinary cardmaking but it’s perfect for boxes and for this project as you know it won’t let you down. It seems pricey at £5.50 but I have shopped around and it works out the same per centimetre as other tapes of its type; it’s just on a bigger roll.

What do you use to make the pages? Anything you like – I’ve used cardstock but you could equally use nice paper (plain or ruled) for journaling. You could even decorate all the pages to make a mini scrapbook. These are great for scrapbooking a special occasion when you have lots of pictures you want to use. Perfect, too, for brag books for grandparents.

Ok, here goes with the journal:

1. Cut your patterned paper about 2cm (or an inch if you prefer) larger than your chipboard, as shown. Tape your two pieces of chipboard on to the centre of the two pieces of paper and cut the corners as shown. These are the front and back of your journal.

2. Tape the edges of the chipboard and then fold the flaps in to seal. I like to make sure that flaps are in the same position on both covers. On this one it’s the top and bottom flaps (the long ones) that are at the top. I don’t think I’m making any sense, so let’s move swiftly on to step 3.

3. Now work out what size you want your pages to be. My journal is 21cm wide by 15cm tall, so I made my pages 19.5cm wide by 13.5cm tall. To bind the book so that it opens easily, you’ll need two of these nifty little thingies – mine are Bashful Blue. These are also 13.5cm tall (ie, the same height as your pages) and each has a 3cm flap punched with holes.

4. The right hand flap of one of the nifty little thingies is now attached to the cover of your journal – this is the back cover – and covered with a piece of co-ordinating cardstock; let’s call this the inside covering piece. This red piece measures 20cm wide by 14cm tall, ie 1cm smaller than the finished journal.

5. Now for the front cover. You can decorate your journal however you like but make sure anything which will leave unsightly edges is done before you attach the inside covering piece. Here I’ve cut a piece of Rose Red cardstock, decorated it with a strip of designer paper and scored it to go around the front cover.

6. Tape it all down and attach the second nifty little thingy so that the 3cm flap with the punched holes sticks out. Now attach the second inside covering piece to cover all the behind-the-scenes stuff.

7. Take your pages, which should be punched in the same positions as the 3cm flaps so that they all fit together (roughly, in my case). Thread a length of the ribbon down from the top, through one hole and back up through the other one. Tie a knot to complete. If you’re not confident about tying a neat knot –many people aren’t – you could have your knot at the back, where it won’t be seen so frequently.

8. Finally, add any finishing touches to the front cover and you’re done!

Stamps: Headline Alphabet (p66)
Cardstock: Rose Red, So Saffron, Bashful Blue
Paper: Cutie Pie (p73)
Ink: Rose Red
Accessories: Round Tab Punch, ¼” Grosgrain Ribbon - Whisper White, chipboard

All products by Stampin' Up! Please email me to order a catalogue, or click the picture of the catalogue on the right to view it online.


  1. what a great journal - and a great tutorial. Thanks for all the info.

  2. Great instructions, for a great journal! Whoever "she" is "she" is a lucky person!

  3. What a great tutorial ! Going into my favourites for sure !

  4. easy to follow instructions, thank you...this may give me the bood in my booty to make a book, finally

  5. What a great journal! Thanks for all the details!

  6. Sadly, I do not think this fab project is for me :( I love it anyway, though! Terrific instructions (I laughed frequently!) and pictures -- you are a genius, my friend!

    I'm so thrilled you've taken up blogging - I love to pop over here and see the fantastic things you post!

  7. Pretty journal and a great tutorial!

  8. This is adorable!! Thanks for the awesome tutorial, I will definately be trying this out!!!

  9. Outstanding tutorial! Your photos are great - and your explanations perfect. I totally understand about the "flaps". Great book. K. will love it. CC

  10. Fantastic tutorial! It turned out really beautiful!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

The small print

This is my personal blog and my sole responsibility as an Independent Stampin' Up!® demonstrator. All images are © Stampin' Up!® All content including photographs, projects and text are © Helen Read, unless otherwise stated. Please feel free to copy my ideas for your personal use and inspiration - if you are a SU demonstrator you may use these ideas for your events but please give credit where it is due. Please do not use my ideas for monetary gain, competitions or publication. The images on this blog - including blog buttons - should not be copied and used elsewhere on the internet or on CDs.