Monday, July 25, 2011

DIY Journal

I made this little journal for my friend who is going on a road trip this week. I thought I would throw together a quick DIY tutorial for anyone who wants to make this quick and easy little book.

What you will need:

* thick paper or cardboard to make into the cover
* paper for the inside pages
* a needle and thread
* scissors
* a pencil
* an exacto
* ribbon or some paper for the outer spine
* decoupage glue to collage the cover

Step 1:
Gather the paper for your inside pages and give them a crease. (I used lined paper, drawing paper, and construction paper to give the inside of the book some variety for drawing and writing.)

Step 2:
Cut the inside paper to the same size as the cover so that none of your pages stick out the sides after the book is finished.

Step 3:
Open your folded papers and sew a running stitch along the crease-- this will become the spine of the book. It is up to you whether you want to sew the cover along with the pages or if you will glue it later. You can machine sew or stitch by hand. (if machine sewing be very careful about not breaking a needle.) Make sure your knots are on the outside of the spine so that you can cover them up with your ribbon or when you glue on the cover.

Step 4:
If you chose to stitch the pages separately from the cover you will now glue the cover to the outer two pages.

If you sewed the cover to your pages you will now glue your ribbon the the spine to make it pretty and cover up your stitches. You can also use a strip of paper for this step. I happened to have some scrapbooking ribbon with an adhesive back that worked like a charm!

Step 5:
Decorate your journal!! I love collaging anything I can :) so that is what I did with this little book. Here is were you will need the mod podge decoupage glue (I prefer the matte finish but the also make a gloss which gives a nice effect) and the exacto.

Lightly sketch the shapes you will need and cut them out with the exacto or scissors. I chose a station wagon and the word "travel" for the journal I made. Arrange the collage pieces on the front cover and use a small brush to secure them with mod podge, then add a coat on top of the pieces with the mod podge to seal them. Sewing on embellishments can be a fun detail too. I used some buttons for the wheels of my station wagon.

That's it-- you're done and you have a beautiful, unique journal for yourself or to give as a gift!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Craft Caddy From Scratch

This is my first summer after graduating and it has been awesome having all this free time to work on projects. Also I was recently offered a job teaching art at an elementary school near my home so I'm done with my long and stressful job quest!

I'm really into fabrics and hand stitching, and I recently got myself a cheapo sewing machine and have been teaching myself how to use it.

Colin and I share a small one bedroom apartment and workspace is limited. He has been very tolerant of my the mess that comes with my crafty hobbies, but with the addition of the sewing machine I have been taking up not only my usual craft desk but our kitchen counter as well.

I took it upon myself to build some storage for my machine and other sewing stuff. Here is a pic of my original sketch-- measurements changed a bit between the drawing and the final product. The most important elements were a space that could fit my machine and some spaces that could fit shoe boxes which are great for storing odds and ends.

To be honest, the part I am most excited about is the thread spool storage. I used dowel rods to create little pegs to fit the thread spools.

Here is a pic of the final product:

I used pine boards and primed and painted it a pale yellow afterwards. I lined a few of my shelves with this adorable fabric with a fruit print.

I've been working at a fine arts day camp at the local art center over the summer and one of projects we did with the kids was origami. I learned the paper peace crane and have been making them kind of nonstop. It's strangely addictive :) I'm thinking of making a paper crane garland to hang above my newly claimed craft space in the kitchen so I made some in coordinating colors to go with the fabric.

Needless to say I have been having a fun and productive summer thus far! Please share your latest projects and thanks for reading :)

Check me out on etsy  :)