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I made myself a custom cover for a journal of mine and thought I'd share how I did it. I wanted to have something which was portable, easy to store all my utensils in and yet not be too bulky or ugly.

This design is compact and beautiful, nearly begging me to use it or at least pick up and hold it close.

Anyway, these are the steps I took.

Step 1: Supplies Used

I didn't use everything in this picture as it turns out because I didn't need some of them. I used a piece of photo paper for the first layer that everything is built on. The journal itself is a smash book from Michael's craft store and already has a fine-tipped marker/glue stick built into the side of it. That gives me part of my artists kit right there. What else do I want for my kit? Colored pencils, regular pen and regular pencil, as well as a pencil sharpener. If you have other things in mind, just build them into the design and have fun with it :)

The main tricks to build this item were the following:
1. Using a glue gun for the raised aesthetic bumps on the gold trim.
2. Using dollar store red stir sticks as the structural frame for the pencil crayons.
3. Using a snipped up lense wipe for the stretchy fabric portions which hold the drawing instruments in place.
4. Using hockey stick tape to paint the gold trim onto.

Oh, and I used dollar store gold acrylic paint. The most expensive thing to get was the smash book itself. The pencil crayons sometimes cost a bit depending on the quality you get.

Step 2: Cut the Paper to Size and Tape On

Grab the book you've chosen and mark where the paper needs to be cut to size. Make the paper just a smidge under the size of the cover so the tape can hold it onto the front in a secure way. Then, grab the hockey tape and tape all around the paper, firmly sticking the paper to the cover.

Step 3: Place Artists Utensils and Draw

First step in getting the drawing on there was to put my pencils and pen onto the page until I had a shape I liked. Then, I began drawing things to fill the gaps. Once I had my drawing started, I added more hockey tape to the areas under the pencils to flesh it out.

Step 4: Glue the Stir Sticks Onto the Cover

I took the stir sticks and glue gunned each one in a position that made sense to me aesthetically and could functionally hold the pencils in place. I needed to break 2 of them to accomplish this.

Step 5: Glue Gun Embossing

I went around the borders and added glue in various shapes to add depth to the design. Then I painted it gold.

Step 6: Lightly Painted the Interior and Added the Strips of Elastic

I brushed it lightly with water and red paint to give the white parts some faded subtle emphasis. I am pretty happy with the result.

The stretchy fabric was glued on using the glue gun and I made sure it was tight as I glued the pencils etc. in place.

Step 7: Using It

The pens slip out nicely yet remain snug because of the design. If I did it again I might make a diamond instead of a triangle so I could have more utensils attached.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and that you might make one of your own!

<p>Wow. I'm so making this. I'm working on a journal, and I plan on bringing it to my camp. </p>
<p>What kind of camp? That sounds exciting! Are you finished the journal? I'd love to see :)</p>
<p>Very, very nice and great instructions also. Great project, thanks for giving some really good ideas for the journal cover I am working on :)</p><p>Voted!</p>
Great! Thanks for letting me know - hope your book project to goes well :)
This is really cool!!! I love how you have added the all seeing eye (or Illuminati eye) on the front ;)
Thanks! I wanted to have something interesting and symbolic. I appreciate you taking a look!

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Bio: My favourite things in the world are inventing things, writing songs, sleeping, Self improvement, and trying new things! I love instructables.com because it's ... More »
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