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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Here's how your loom/cover should look when it's all strung with warp yarn. (Incidentally, if your cardboard has old mailing labels or marks on it, no worries-we're going to cover it completely with weaving!)

While we're here, I'll point out that I used a variegated yarn as the warp for the brown journal at the top of the post. It adds a nice range of color to the weaving.

Weave on the loom with fabric strips.

Now, we'll weave right on this book cover/loom. I'm using strips of cotton fabric here, which I've torn for extra texture. I like to use strips that are long enough for me to weave once across the cover. That makes it very easy to change colors often. My strips are about 1/2 inch wide, and yours can be any width you like.

Thread the end of a fabric strip onto a plastic seaming needle. (You may need to fold the fabric strip to do this.) Then, begin weaving in and out of the warp yarns. Make sure the fabric doesn't twist as you're weaving. You'll be weaving right over the spine of the cover-and don't worry about this because the fabric will stretch as needed when the spine is folded.

Feel free to refer back to that Cardboard Loom tutorial for some weaving basics.

As you weave back and forth, leave a generous tail of fabric at the edge of the weaving, as shown. You'll trim these off later, so make sure there's plenty of fabric for trimming.

Glue a paper lining to the inside covers.

When you've woven the entire cover, then it's time to do some finishing. Turn the cover over and use a glue stick to apply some decorative paper to the inside, as shown. (This can be scrapbook paper, magazine pages, or wrapping paper-whatever you like.) The paper should be about 1/8 inch smaller than the cover and should not cover the spine.

Trim the ends of the fabric strips to match the edge of the cover.

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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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