Getting a small gift for an adult isn't too difficult. A box of candy, some candles. But what about kids? Sure, you can pick up a toy you think they might like, but there's so many toys out there, how do you know they don't already have it, or that it's something they'll like? So here's a gift you could make for a child, or a teen (minus the crayons in that case.), that will hardly cost you anything. You know they won't already have it, and it's sure to be a hit.
This instructable will show you how to create your own soft-covered journal with a personalized cover, and crayons to go along with it. For all of you who can't sew, no worries! You won't have to stitch one thread.
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Step 1: Materials You'll Need
-Colored cloth (i used the back of an old green t shirt) 1 piece about 17" by 12" and two pieces measuring 5.5" by 9"
-White or light colored cloth, the same size as a piece of paper
-Either double sided tape OR tape from a lint roller
-Aluminum foil (i accidentally showed parchment paper in the picture, but you need foil.)
-About 5" of yarn, ribbon, or string
-1 piece of foam board, slightly larger than a sheet of paper
-1 large button
-Smaller buttons for decoration (optional)
-Hot glue gun
-10-15 sheets of paper
-Computer with a software program like Microsoft Publisher (that's what i used)
1 sheet of Card stock
Step 2: Making the Journal: Making the Base of the Cover
I'll start off by showing you how to make the journal. Get your foam board and cut it into two equal pieces.
Then take a piece of scotch tape and tape the pieces back together. Only put Tape on one side. This allows you to bend the cover like a regular journal or book.
Step 3: Pages of the Book
Take your ten-fifteen pieces of paper and fold them evenly in half. Crease them. I used the blade of a scissors to make a good crease.
Now separate one piece of paper and run a thin line of hot glue down the crease. Quickly line the rest of the papers on top of it, fold, and crease. Two papers should be stuck together now. Repeat this until all the papers are glued together.
Put a thicker line of hot glue down on the middle of the foam board. The glue should be on the scotch tape you used to tape them together. Press the crease of the papers into the glue. Fold the foam board over to make sure it works like a book.
Step 4: Adding the Cotton
Spread out your cotton so it's relatively thin and even. There should be enough to cover both sides of your foam board.
Spread hot glue on the BACK of the foam board, in a drizzle-type pattern. Flip it over so it sticks to the cotton. Press it down firmly with your hand. You may need to re-glue the corners or edges to make sure the cotton stays.
Trim the cotton around the journal, so no extra cotton hangs over the edges.
Step 5: Covering the Journal: Top and Bottom Edges
Take your colored cloth and lay it out flat. Set your journal in the middle, and mark where the bottom of the journal is.
Put hot glue along the bottom of the cloth, and fold it over to the line you drew. Do this only for the bottom side of the cloth; the top will need to be trimmed.
Put hot glue along the bottom edge of the foam board (the edge without the cotton). press the edge of cloth you previously hot glued to the edge of the foam board. The cloth should now cover the bottom edge of the journal.
Flip the journal over and drizzle hot glue on top of the cotton. Quickly pull the cloth over the cotton, and firmly press down so it sticks.
Cut the cloth on top of the journal so it's about 3/4"- 1". Put hot glue along the edge of the material, and fold it over so it is right at the edge of the journal. Then do the same thing we did before; put glue on the edge of the journal, and fold the material over. Press down on it. The edges of your journal should now be covered.
Step 6: Covering the Journal: Inside Flaps
To cover the inside flaps, start by putting hot glue on the cloth hanging out on the sides and folding it over. Do this to the front and back.
Before we go any farther, close the journal and glue your button on.
Now flip to the back cover, make a loop out of yarn, and glue it on to the back cover. Make sure it is long enough to reach around to the button on the front, but not too long that it won't hold it shut. Glue it in place.
Take the two small pieces of colored cloth you have and cover the backs with glue. Stick one on the inside flap in the front, and one in the back. Finally, the journal's covered. Now all you have to do is decorate!
Step 7: Decoration and Personalizing Your Journal
Did you know you can print off words and designs right onto material? If you didn't, I'm about to show you how.
So, you have two options. The first one is to cover your piece of card stock with double sided tape. Tape all the way around the edges, and then make an "X" with the tape in the middle. The other option you have (which is what i did) if you don't have double sided tape, cut a piece of tape from a lint roller so it's the same width as the card stock. Put hot glue on the back, the side that ISN'T sticky, of the tape, and stick the glue side onto the card stock, leaving the sticky tape side up. Cover the card stock like this.
Either way you did it, take your white or light colored cloth and lay it on top of the taped card stock. Press it down firmly, and cut off extra material around the edges. It should be exactly the same size as the card stock. Place your cloth-covered-card stock in your printer the same way you put regular paper in.
Go to Microsoft Publisher or any other software like this (Publisher is the only one we have, which is why I'm using it) and design a label for your journal. This adds a personal touch to the journal. You can add a picture you want on the journal cover as well. All you have to do is hit print, and out comes customized material! Peel it away from the tape, cut your label out, and glue it on the cover. Add buttons or jewels for a finishing touch.
Step 8: Making Crayons
I really like making and giving these fun crayons. You can make them fun shapes, unlike ones you can buy at the store. I put a dinosaur picture on the cover of my journal, and used dinosaur shaped cookie cutters to mold my crayons, making the two a perfect set!
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Peel the labels off your crayons, and chop them up into small pieces.
Next, take your cookie cutter and wrap aluminum foil around it so it's the same shape as the the cutter and covers the bottom of it. This prevents the wax from seeping out from under the cookie cutter. Fill the cookie cutter with the pieces of crayon, until it's filled almost all the way at the top.
Set them on the baking pan and bake them until they're completely melted, around 8-9 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the shape. Once melted, take them out of the oven, and set them on a flat, level surface until COMPLETELY dried and hardened. Pop them out of the cookie cutter, and you're done!
You now have a personalized drawing journal and some super fun crayons, and you saved some money, too, from making these yourself. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
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Holiday Gifts Challenge