How to Make a Woven Scrap Journal

comments (17) September 16th, 2015     

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Sister_Diane Diane Gilleland, contributor
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These blank books are made from leftover cardboard, yarn, fabric, and paper. How green is that?
The covers are woven from yarn and torn fabric strips, which create a pretty texture.
Just for fun, I mixed some old catalog pages in with the blank pages.
These blank books are made from leftover cardboard, yarn, fabric, and paper. How green is that?

These blank books are made from leftover cardboard, yarn, fabric, and paper. How green is that?

Photo: Diane Gilleland
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I am usually in some danger of drowning in empty shipping boxes and mailers, so I devised this cool blank book project to help use up some excess cardboard. Depending on the size and shape of your book, you can use it in lots of ways, too-for capturing notes, for using as the basis of a photo album or art journal, for recipes, or for kids to fill with drawings.

For this project, you'll want to be familiar with my Cardboard Loom tutorial, since it's the basis of the journal cover. And please feel free to experiment with your materials here-you can weave with yarn, strips of paper, ribbons-raid your stash and see what sparks your imagination.

What you'll need:

  • Sheet of scrap cardboard
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Bone folder
  • Scissors
  • Worsted-weight yarn, about 3 yards
  • Woven cotton fabric, about 1/4 yard
  • Plastic seaming needle
  • Sheet of decorative paper
  • Glue stick
  • Craft glue
  • Bias tape (optional)
  • Paper clips
  • Paper for pages
  • Stapler
  • E6000 (one-part epoxy)

Cut a cardboard base to the shape and size you like. Score a 3/4-inch spine.

Begin by cutting out a cardboard base. I've made this project with a piece of corrugated and also with a heavy chipboard mailer. Both work well. Decide on a size for your journal-you might want to base this on the size of paper you have available for the inside pages. Once you've determined the size, cut a piece of cardboard that accommodates both covers and a 3/4-inch spine. Score the spine with a bone folder.

Next, you'll turn this book cover into a loom. Refer to the Cardboard Loom tutorial to measure, mark, and cut the edges of the cardboard, then use some yarn to string the warp.

Turn the cover into a cardboard loom.

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posted in: fabric, paper, keepsake, yarn, scrapbook, weaving, journal

Comments (17)

feminineeffects writes: another perfectly concise tutorial! you're amazing!!
Posted: 12:15 am on April 18th
Pipster writes: Fab idea, your tutorials are really clear and easy to follow Diane. Just found this website and already love it!
Posted: 8:20 am on March 23rd
Yggdrasil writes: This is absolutely fabulous!
Posted: 10:38 am on November 22nd
NancyWard writes: Hi!

Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your letting me know if that's OK.


Nancy Ward
Posted: 10:21 am on October 30th
LyndaJ writes: Love this idea for making a book. My family laughs and will say to throw that box away before Lynda sees it. Now, something else to do with them. Thank you!
Posted: 1:03 am on September 28th
Floralshowers_Crafts writes: I absolutely love this. I took your idea and made a very similar looking journal, only I used a .50 cent mead turned out amazing!

Check it out here:

Thanks for the fabulous idea and instructions!
Posted: 12:59 pm on August 20th
Tally writes: Thanks for this exact tutorial. I wish I would have time right now to go for it.
Posted: 4:23 pm on January 18th
Nil writes: Can't wait to try this with my Wednesday night class of Girls & Boys! Looks Fantastic!
Posted: 11:38 pm on January 17th
Nil writes: Can't wait to try this with my Wednesday night Class of Girls & Boys! This looks fantastic!~
Posted: 11:37 pm on January 17th
Carriecan writes: Completely fabulous!
Posted: 2:58 pm on January 17th
Sister_Diane writes: eveh, you should be able to find those seaming needles in the knitting section of Michael's or Jo-Ann. Or, try your local yarn stores. If you can't find them, a metal tapestry needle with a blunt tip would also work well.
Posted: 12:47 pm on January 17th
JenniferStern writes: Diane, This is the perfect gift idea I was looking for...thanks for a great project and, your instructions are excellent:)
Posted: 9:56 am on January 17th
adina60 writes: I love your idea for a journal, I have been making note book holders but this is even better i shall make one and if it works out alright for me i shall post it. Wonderful idea for scraps!
Posted: 6:02 am on January 17th
SewDanish writes: What a wonderful idea! I will have a go at that using some of the million scraps from previous quilt projects :-)
Scandinavian Textile Art, Unique Handmade Supplies
Posted: 3:01 am on January 17th
eveh writes: I have always wanted to make a journal. I have everything I need but the needle. Do they sell that at Michaels? Yours turned out so pretty and I love the torn edges of the fabric and yarn together.
Posted: 5:22 pm on January 16th
MichaelaMurphy writes: Wow Diane, wow. Over Christmas I was teaching most of my family members how to knit (!) and my five-year-old niece wanted to try but it was too difficult for her to grasp the idea or the needles. That's when I thought of your cardboard loom post. The amazing thing was that because it was Christmas we had all of the things we needed right in the room (empty boxes, scissors, and the yarn from my knitting bag) within minutes we had a loom and Maeve was weaving right along with us. It was delightful to watch her first craft endeavor and she was thrilled to be able to make stuff with the grown-ups. This project will blow her mind--she can make herself a book! Thanks!
Posted: 1:58 pm on January 16th
LindaPermann writes: this is amazing!! i love the woven texture, and the reusing. nice job diane!
Posted: 12:56 pm on January 16th
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