Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happiness is a homemade art journal

Here is the first page in my new art journal.

inclusion #1

There is a supplies list at the end of this tutorial if you'd like to know what I used. Having said that, I'd like to encourage you to use what you have on hand, play around with cardstock, scrapbook papers, paper bags and cardboard.  In the past I've used large tags, cereal box cardboard, scrapbook paper and my Fellowes binding machine to create unique scrapbooks and art journals.     

watercolor pad dissected

This journal began with a 9 x 12" watercolor pad of 12 sheets, which I took apart. Keep the cardboard back as it becomes the art journal covers.  Watercolor paper or mixed media paper works well with wet art journaling techniques.   

paper cutter

Cut each sheet in half making pages 6 x 9".  And cut cardboard in half with a craft knife.  Folding the pages in half and then tearing them gives a rough edge which can look nice and may help overcome a little bit of perfectionism if you're prone to that :)

3 hole punch

Punch each page, where you are sure all papers can fit into journal.  I have a 3 hole punch which makes things quicker but in order to get through the cover cardboard I used a stronger single hole punch. 


Mistake or opportunity?  I work in assembly line fashion so all the hole punching was done at once BEFORE putting parts together and this lone piece of paper got punched way off from the rest.  My 1st reaction was to throw it away (reforming perfectionist here), next thought was, um aren't you "using what you've got",  and finally, just flip it around and re-punch it. 

index card guides

Inclusions or no inclusions that is something you must decide.  Donna Downey uses these journals that have 2 inclusions between pages, so I thought I'd give it a try. If you are interested in art journaling, check out Donna's Inspiration Wednesday videos.   

These cards came in a metal index box bought a while back and I liked the color and font of the letters, so into my journal they went.  Before punching the watercolor paper, I made sure the holes worked for ALL pages.  

Putting it together

Put your pages together, here I used 1.5" binder rings.  


I chose to alternate each page with a single inclusion card.  You can do whatever you WANT.

Finished journal

For me the cover art will happen when inspiration strikes.  The great thing about having a binder ring binding is that individual pages can be removed and worked on without messing up other pages.    

Growth tag

This tag without "GROWTH" was ready for finishing touches and a home, both of which inclusion #1 provided.    

attached with a brad

My main goal with this art journal will be all about growth.  Trying new things and using what I've got is how I came to attach the tag with a brad instead of taping or gluing it down.  

Are you thinking of making your own art journal?  

If so, I hope my tutorial helps.  

Supply list

  • 12 x 9 watercolor paper pad including back cover
  • scissors or paper cutter
  • 3-1.5" binder rings
  • hole punch (es)
  • 4 x 6 index card guides or some other "inclusion" item
  • ruler
  • cutting mat
  • craft knife

1 comment:

Thanks so much for stopping by!