Picture of Journal (cardboard & duct tape)
These are directions for making a very easy and inexpensive journal.  The following steps will produce a book slightly smaller than 7"X10" with 20 pages. All steps can be adjusted to make a variety of sizes 
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Step 1: Supplies

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The supplies are very basic

*cardboard 2 pieces 6.5 X 9.5
several sheets of paper for the pages, I used white 9X12
*duct tape
assorted papers for book cover and inside cover lining
exacto  or scissor
thin ribbon
lg. eye needle
glue stick
large clips
block of wood

Step 2: Assemble the covers

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choose paper for cover of journal. Make sure it is slightly larger than the cardboard piece. I  used an old piece of marbelized paper  (remnant of a different project!) that was 9X12.

Step 3:

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turn paper over, place cardboard in center and fold up each paper corner to meet the corner of the cardboard

Step 4:

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lift cardboard and fold the corners under, replace cardboard, then fold up each of the sides along the edges.

Step 5:

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glue sides as flat as possible.

Step 6:

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next select a paper to use for inside the cover. This paper needs to be slightly smaller than the cardboard.

Step 7:

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glue the liner paper inside the cover...this is where the newspaper comes in handy.  Turn the paper over and cover the back completely to the edges. If you go over a bit the newspaper keeps your work area clean.

Step 8:

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Place inside cover, rub smooth.
Repeat steps to create back cover.

Step 9:

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place covers (good side up)  about 1/2 inch of space between (if adding more pages make the separation between the cover a bit bigger. )

Step 10:

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pull a length of duct tape to wrap around the binding of the covers, cut to size using scissor or exacto blade

Step 11:

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neatly press tape in place closing the "gap" on the inside of the cover binding. 

Step 12: Adding pages

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Depending on how many pages you want in your journal choose half that amount of full size sheets of paper....I wanted 20 pages so I took 10 sheets of 9X12 paper and folded them in half to create 20, 6"X9" pgs.

Step 13:

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use large clips to clamp the pages in the book (this keeps them in place so all the holes you make in the next step line up properly.

Step 14:

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open the book flat, with cover up, place on wood block. Using the awl and hammer, make holes 
through the duct tape and pages, making the awl enter the wood block, slightly. Using a wood block under the book will protect your work space. 

Step 15: Outside of binding

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put two sets of holes on either ends of the cover about 2 inches in from the ends... and 2 inches apart from each other. 

Step 16: Inside of book

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The inside should look like this, keep pages clamped until book is finished.

Step 17: Sewing pages

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pull out about 24" of thin ribbon, thread large needle. beginning on the outside of the binding push the needle and ribbon through. DO 
NOT pull it all the way through. 

Step 18:

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go back out through the other hole

Step 19: Tying the knots

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after the ribbon comes out of the second hole make a very tight knot, if someone is available have them hold their finger on the knot. If the ribbon isnt tight enough the pages will wiggle around. 

Step 20:

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when knotted nice and tight , cut needle off

Step 21:

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tie the ribbon in a bow and remove the clamps.

Step 22:

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The book is ready to start journaling!
This would be great for a smash book
Have fun!!!!
BrookM14 months ago

I am going to be attempting this craft for my wedding and I am curious if there is any meaning behind the "*" on the cardboard and duct tape? I have browsed the entire how to numerous times and I can't seem to find where this is referenced. I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything!

Thanks for sharing this... It is exactly what I was looking for!

Susan Cirigliano (author)  BrookM14 months ago

Hi BrookM1,

Sorry I didn't get back toy sooner for some reason I was just aware today that you made this comment!

"*" means nothing in the instructions. I just put it near the Cardboard and duct tape in the supply list because that is how i described the journal.

Good luck and have fun!

I'm sending this link to JACK!
P.S. You MADE that paper, didn't you???
ChrysN2 years ago
Nice, I love the paper that you used.