Monday, August 23, 2010

MiniBook tutorial

So, I know this is the moment you have all been waiting for. The tutorial I promised months ago. I have had the pictures ready and loaded forever, but have not gotten around to actually posting the instructions.

I'm sorry. Really. Please keep reading my blog.

Anyway...these cardboard journals are fun, easy and inexpensive to make. The best part is you likely have most of this stuff on hand and will be able to recycle some of that courrugated cardboard you got with that recent shipment of crafty stuff you ordered online:) There is so much you can do with is sturdy, but can be trimmed with a trimmer, painted, glued, punched, you can even run it trough your sewing machine! The possibilities are endless.

Here is what you will need for this project:

2 pieces of currogated cardboard cut the same size. I like 6 x 6 or smaller for my books, but they can be any size you wish.

Inner pages cut to 1/4" smaller than your covers. You can use any type of paper (matching, not matching, plain, pattern). I often use scraps from my scrap bin for this.

pattern paper, fabric or paint for your cover


glue, I use good old elmers or elmers craft bond glue stick. Glue stick works better for fabric.

scissors, trimmer, adhesive, bone folder, nail file or sand paper

heavy duty hole punch

Binder rings, you will need 2 or 3 depending on your book size. I like 1" rings, but again, you can use any size to suit your project.

First, decide how you will decorate your cover. You can make this as simple or as fancy as you want. For this journal, I went simple and didn't use ink or paint. Your first step is to glue the paper to the cardboard cover (or paint it). Spread a thin layer of elmers glue or gluestick all over the surface of the cover.

Place your paper over the cover and use a bone folder to rub any bubbles out from under the paper. Do these steps for the back cover as well. If you are going to do any sewing on your cover, now would be the time to do this.

Set these aside to dry and take a minute to watch that awesome scene in twilight where Bella tells Edward she knows he's a vampire...

Yes. I have a problem.

Once the covers are dry, take a nail file or sand paper and gently rub the edges. This gets rid of any excess paper hanging over the edge of the cardboard and gives a nice distressed look. I almost always do this to my paper edges for projects like this, it helps give it a finished look , I think.

Now, decide where you want your binder rings to go. I usually use 2 rings for a smaller journal. Use your heavy duty hole punch to punch holes for the binder rings. The use the first cover as a guide to punch the holes in your back cover. I make pen marks to approximate this.

Line up your inner pages so they are even inside the cover. Mark where your holes will be and punch...I usually punch the whole pile of inner pages at one time.

Now attach the binder rings.

At this point you can embellish your cover any way you want to. I layered a couple of flowers and a button here. I use my dry adhesive tape runner to attach the embellishments just as I would to a card.


Ta da! You have made a cute little journal to give as a gift or use for yourself.

One of the best things about these journals is the binder rings allow you to add or take out papers easily, so it's great for photos, kids art or love notes.

Here is an example of a painted cardboard book that has sewing on it.

Have fun with this and feel free to leave comments with questions!

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