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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Join the ends of the binding strip at the spine of the journal. Fold the raw edges under and glue them in place.

Incidentally, once the glue has dried and you remove the paper clips that were holding things together, you may find that the clips have made crease marks in the binding strip. Not to worry-just run a hot iron lightly over the binding a few times, and those creases should vanish.

Fold and staple stacks of paper together to make "signatures" of pages.

Now, cut some paper to make pages for your journal. The pieces should be about 1/2 inch smaller than the cover on all sides and wide enough for two pages. I added some extra pages cut out of an old catalog, just for fun and visuals. You could also use old magazines or wrapping paper-anything pretty. We're going to combine these pieces of paper into something called "signatures."

To make a signature, stack six to eight pieces of paper together, and fold them in half as a group. Flatten the stack back out and place it with the fold facing down. Staple twice along this fold. (Or, if you prefer, you can sew instead of staple.)

Repeat this process to make four to six signatures (depending on how thick your paper is and how many pages you want your book to have). I recommend making enough signatures to fill the spine of your book. I use four 8-page signatures for a 3/4-inch spine.

Apply E6000 glue to the inside spine of the book.

To bind the pages into the cover, lay the cover open flat, with the woven side down. Apply a generous strip of E6000 between the spine folds.

Place the folded edges of the signatures into the glue.

Place the signatures side by side with their spines in the E6000, as shown. Make sure each signature is in contact with the glue.

Place the finished journal under a heavy book while the E6000 dries.

Then, fold the cover up around the pages, making sure the signatures stay in place. Place the journal on a flat surface, with a heavy book on top. Allow the E6000 to dry for a full 24 hours, and you can start using your journal!

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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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