Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mod Podge Journal

, I've seen a few tutorials on how to make fancy covered notebooks, but once again, have no one to give specific credit for it. If by chance you've never seen it, here are my steps on how to make a pretty, personalized, easy, and CHEAP journal.

You will need:

a composition notebook
2 pieces of lightweight scrapbook paper (a third piece in a coordinating color or print, if you want to do a binding)
sponge paintbrush
Mod Podge

1. Measure the front cover of your notebook from top to bottom, than from the edge of the binding to the outer edge of the cover. Add two centimetres to the height, and one to the width. The books i got were, i think, the standard size and my paper rectangles were 18 1/2 centimetres by 27 1/2. If you want to do a binding, cut out another strip 6 cm wide and 27 1/2 cm tall.

2. Paint a thin layer of mod podge (as thin as possible, or the paper will wrinkle) on the front cover of the notebook.

3. Carefully put the paper on the glue, pushing it right up against the binding. Make sure there is 1 cm extra on all three edges. Flip over and glue the edges down on the inside cover, starting with the top and bottom. Before you glue down the side part, fold the corners in a bit, gluing each fold in place.

4. Paint the top of the flaps with mod podge to give them a sturdy finish.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 on the back cover.

6. If you're also covering the binding, this is where you would do it. I didn't do it this notebook because i wanted a black binding anyway. Center it on the back spine  and glue in place. It takes a little care to fold down the top and bottom - cut a small slit down the middle of the flap so it will fit around the paper.

7. Close the book and paint the entire front with mod podge. If you left the black binding on your book like i did, make sure you still paint over onto the binding a little. This will give your book a nice smooth finish and protect your paper from getting ripped, faded, and from coming off easily. Don't worry about the white smears - mod podge dries clear!

8. With the leftover strips of paper, i made some bookmarks while i waited for the book to dry. They didn't turn out as nice as i'd hoped, but they're still usable. :)

You're done! Enjoy your new book! I love them, because they have a nice leathery feel like the ones you buy from the store, but i got it just the way i wanted it for only $5 (And i was shopping in town! If you have a Wal-Mart around, or buy your notebooks during a back to school sale, i'm sure you could do it cheaper!), though i already had the Mod Podge, so that helped.

If you're more intersted in a fabric cover, Char over at Crap I've Made has an awesome and easy tutorial for that. Also, she shares her great tip of using wax paper to cover her work surface and the pages inside the notebook - Mod Podge doesn't stick to wax paper! Wish i'd known that before!

You can fancy them up further with stickers, or cut out some letters to spell out your name, whatever you like. Just make sure you put it all on beore you paint on the finish. Me, well, I tend to be a minimalist most of the time.

The red and green book is going to be our Christmas Journal to keep track of gifts we want to buy or make, gifts we've bought, party supplies and decor we need to buy or have bought, and gifts we have received from people outside our household. I used loose-leaf pages this year, but i really like the idea of using the same books for as many years as it will hold. It would be a fun memory of past Christmasses.

The pink journal is to keep track of my personal goals. Since i journal online, i don't need an actual journal, but i still like to have notebooks around to write other things in. I have a slight obsession with notebooks. I may make a few more of these just for fun!

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