‘I can’t make a journal because it will never be as good as other peoples’ and ‘I can’t make a journal because I don’t have the materials or tools’
This is something I hear a lot! If this is you, I am here to tell you that you can do it and how you can do it, as I did at the beginning, with very little. Please stop using these reasons (excuses) and give it a try. I guarantee, it will be fun, frustrating and oh so rewarding when you do.
Lets talk about the first point. You really need to stop worrying about other people. You are not them and maybe your journal will not be as good at the beginning but it will be yours and you will have accomplished something! It is sad, using other people as a reason for not doing something. We could use that ‘reason’ for so many aspects of our lives. We don’t say ‘I don’t want children because they will not be as clever as…’ or ‘I don’t want to learn to drive because my car will not be as big as…’ Please do not use other people as a reason for not trying something you may very well love.
Just remember, we all made our first journal once. We have all made a journal that we don’t want to show people. Once you have made your first, you will never have to do it again!
So, you don’t have the designer paper and an embossing machine? You don’t need them! You might want them, but as we all know they are two very different things. When I first started I picked up a £1 small square paper pad from The Works but to be honest, I would not have purchased that if I knew then what I know now. Here are the essentials:
Paper… any type of paper. Printer paper, a note pad, newspaper, and the best papers are old magazines or book pages. I much prefer book pages to designer papers if I am honest. You can pick books up from so many places for next to nothing and better still, check out books you have that you don’t mind upcycling into a piece of artwork. You can use book pages and magazines to make tags, ephemera, envelopes, Pockets and to decorate your cover.
Scissors … you may need to fold and cut the paper rather than use a trimmer, but lets face it, mine is pants and does not cut a straight edge anyhoo.
A needle and thread … Thicker thread such as embroidery floss is better but hey, wool (yarn) would be great too if it is all you have. You would just need a needle that it will go through. If you have a big enough needle, you can also use this to poke your holes. If you don’t you can use a compass, a skewer or anything with a sharp point.
Glue … this is not a must, but its helpful if you want to add embellishments, tuck spots, pockets etc. This can be a simple glue stick; it will work just fine.
There are a few things you may also have that you could also use:
- Old clothes for the trim, to cut into strips to glue to the edges of pages or even make a simple tassel with.
- Card; any card to make a cover or tags with. If you use cereal boxes, stick 2 pieces together so you get a plain card base. You can cover these in that fabric or paint if you have paints. There are a hundred ways to decorate a simple tag.
- Buttons; old buttons, new buttons, any buttons. They don’t need to be old and you can also use safety pins. Again, they don’t need to be old or even look old, but using one to attach a piece of that fabric can be very pretty.
- Keep it simple. You can make a cover out of a bag, an envelope or even a cereal box. You will find plenty of videos on You Tube. But remember, do not think it has to look as good as theirs.
- Make your pages different sizes, it will add interest without any effort. You do need them to fit your cover though!
- Mix it up, use ANY type of papers you can get your hands on and if you like, tea or coffee-dye it.
- Make the journal first and then embellish it. Once you have those pages sewn into a cover, you will be so pleased with yourself; the rest will be a pleasure.
- Again, do not compare what you have created to anyone else’s. You did it.
- ENJOY it because you only make your first once and the second one will be easier.
Well, that all I can think of right now and I apologise for going on. I just want you to please DO IT.