Tag Archives: handmade journal

Introduction to Letterboxing

Letterboxing logbook and stamp
Letterboxing logbook and stamp

What is Letterboxing? It’s a fun outdoor hobby that is kind of like a lower-tech version of Geocaching. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly accessible places (like parks) and distribute clues to finding the box in printed catalogs, on one of several web sites, or by word of mouth. Individual letterboxes contain a notebook and a rubber stamp, preferably hand carved or custom made. Finders make an imprint of the letterbox’s stamp in their personal notebook, and leave an impression of their personal signature stamp on the letterbox’s “visitors’ book” or “logbook” — as proof of having found the box and letting other letterboxers know who has visited. Many letterboxers keep careful track of their “find count”. Letterboxing is a creative way to enjoy the outdoors!

In this class you’ll get introduced to the basics of the hobby and learn to make two of the items that participants use – a hand-carved rubber stamp and a handmade log book. The skills you will learn while making these items can be used in a lot of other craft pursuits, such as art journaling, card making, scrapbooking, printmaking and much more.

Each class attendee will receive a printout with a written tutorial for that class so if you forget anything we learned you can refer back to it later. All materials are included in the class price.

You will have time for lunch and there are lots of good places to eat or pick up food in downtown Maplewood.

NEW! At each class, there will be at least one door prize randomly awarded to an attendee – probably a craft supply item of some type that relates to the theme of the class. Past prizes have included a necklace kit, a polymer clay frame kit and a craft stencil. That’s my way of saying thank you for coming!

What to bring
It’s not necessary to bring anything but it’s a good idea to wear old clothes in case you get any ink on you. You can bring or buy snacks or lunch. We have a refrigerator for storing food.

What will be provided
I will provide rubber carving material, carving tools to borrow, rubber stamping ink pads to borrow, paper and cardstock to make your logbook and all other materials needed to complete the project during class. Extra supplies will be available to purchase if you want to do more work on your own.

Introduction to Letterboxing
Date: July 16, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Studio:art, 7403 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO
More information and registration: Class Signup

Make a Mini Album – 4 1/4 x 4 3/4 Inches

Make a mini album
Make a mini album!

I make a lot of 6 x 6 inch pages for handmade journals. When you cut a 6 x 6 inch piece of paper out of an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper you’re left with a lot of leftover 8.5 x 5 inch pieces. Here is a project that will use up those extra pieces and possibly some of your other paper scraps as well. If you’re a regular reader of mine you know I try not to waste anything!

What you’ll need:
Text weight paper
Card stock
Decorative papers
Paper cutter
Glue stick
Self-healing cutting mat
Metal ruler
Bone folder/burnishing tool
Clean scrap paper
Scissors
Double-sided tape
Awl or needle tool
Small hole punch
Brads
Heavy thread or lightweight cord
Beads

1. Download the template Mini Album and print it out to use as a guide.

2. Cut out a piece of 8.5 x 4.75 inch card stock. Fold in half.

3. Out of decorative papers, cut 2 8.5 x 1 pieces and 4 4.75 x 1 pieces.

4. Fold one of the 4.75 x 1 inch pieces lengthwise and make a sharp crease with the bone folder. Flatten out and apply glue to the back. Glue down on the inside fold seam and burnish well (see A on template).

Glue paper piece to the inside fold seam.
Glue paper piece to the inside fold seam.

5. Fold and glue two more 4.75 inch pieces to the edges (see B on template).

Fold two more pieces to the edges and glue down.
Fold two more pieces to the edges and glue down.

6. Fold and glue 8.5 x 1 inch pieces to top and bottom edges (see C on template). Burnish all well.

Glue two pieces lengthwise along top and bottom edges.
Glue two pieces lengthwise along top and bottom edges.

7. Fold another of the 4.75 x 1 inch pieces lengthwise and make a sharp crease with the bone folder. Flatten out and apply glue to the back. Glue down on the outside spine and burnish well (see A on template).

8. Cut out four pieces of 4.25 x 3.75 inch decorative paper. They can be all the same or all different. Glue to the front and back covers, inside and out. If you want to decorate the front cover further with more embellishments you can. Burnish all well.

Glue decorative papers to front and back covers.
Glue decorative papers to front and back covers.

9. Cut out front and back pocket pieces, fold in tabs and tape in place with double-sided tape.

Add pockets to inside covers.
Add pockets to inside covers.

10. Cut out twelve pieces of 8.25 x 4.75 text-weight paper. Fold all in half and nest pages. Use paper cutter to trim the paper that sticks out.

11. Using template as a guide for placement, punch four holes in the front cover with an awl, needle tool or small hole punch, and four holes in the back. Push brads in holes.

12. Using template as a guide, punch small holes in spine of paper and album cover with awl or needle tool.

13. Cut off a piece of cord that is about 28″ long. Thread the cord onto a needle and poke into the top first hole from the outside in, leaving about 7″ of cord trailing.

13. Run cord through the rest of the holes according to this sequence – second hole inside to out, third hole outside to in, fourth and bottom hole inside to out, third hole outside to in, second hole inside to out, then tie off. Add beads to cord if you want.

You’re done!

Handmade Birding Journal

Cover of birding journal. Cover collage is made of found images, scrap papers and rubber stamped images from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store.
Cover of birding journal. Cover collage is made of found images, scrap papers and rubber stamped images from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store.

Here is a great handmade gift idea for someone in your life that loves to watch birds. A blank journal like my sample provides places for notes, sketches, photos, memorabilia and more. Here is how to make one.

First download my free template, Square 6×6 Journal. Print it out and use it as a guide.

Cut out two pieces of chipboard for covers. Make a collage of bird related images for the front cover. Cover edges of cover with decorative paper. Cover inside front cover, inside back cover and back cover with decorative paper.

To assemble front cover, cut out a piece of acetate and punch small holes. Punch small holes in front cover collage and attach to cover with brads. Make pockets and attach to both inside covers with double sided tape. Cut out a number of pieces of cardstock for inside pages. Embellish with brayered backgrounds, sponged backgrounds, decorative papers, Project Life cards and rubber stamps. Punch holes in all pages and covers and compile together with binding rings. Open rings and add new pages as needed.

Here are some sample page spreads to give you ideas for the interior pages.

A set of inside pages. On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store. Patterned papers are from 7gypsies.
A set of inside pages. On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store. Patterned papers are from 7gypsies.
On the left is a cut-down Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a cut-down Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On the left is a Project Life card and on the right are rubber stamps from 7gypsies. Patterned paper is from 7gypsies.
On these two pages patterned paper is from 7gypsies and rubber stamps are from 7gypsies and Carolyn's Stamp Store. The plain paper insert on the right is a piece of sketching paper - it's good for drawing a sketch and it's removable if you want to use watercolor or other media that is messy.
On these two pages patterned paper is from 7gypsies and rubber stamps are from 7gypsies and Carolyn’s Stamp Store. The plain paper insert on the right is a piece of sketching paper – it’s good for drawing a sketch and it’s removable if you want to use watercolor or other media that is messy.

Stamps: Small word stamps are from Carolyn’s Stamp Store, other stamps are from 7gypsies.

Here are links to other products you can use for this project:

Binding Rings

Long Fasteners (Brads)

A Road Trip Journal for Dad – Part 1

In June of this year I took a trip with my Dad to Toronto and New York City. I knew ahead of time that we would be traveling on Father’s Day, so I made a gift to present to him on the trip – a handmade journal for him to write in each day, which he did. The journal was designed so that after the trip we could add photos and ephemera and perhaps write more about our memories. I’m in the process of getting both of our photos printed so we can start working on it. I expect this will be a long term project and we will enjoy the time together that we spend on it and memories of the great trip we had. Below are photos of some of my favorite parts of the journal, as they looked before any content was added. In the future I’ll be sharing some our favorite layouts as we get them done.

Cover of journal
Here is the front cover of the journal. It’s decorated with a collage that is protected by a piece of acetate. The small word rubber stamps are from Carolyn’s Stamp Store.
Inside front cover and first page
Inside front cover and first page. The inside front cover has a pocket for holding ephemera. The large rubber stamp on the right is from 7gypsies.
Set of two interior pages
On the left I used a trimmed Project Life card, part of the collage I made and some decorative paper. The small rubber stamps on the right are from Carolyn’s Stamp Store.
Set of two interior pages
On the left I used two different stencils from Crafter’s Workshop and a stamp from 7gypsies.
Set of two interior pages
On the left I used a Project Life card, part of my collage and decorative paper. On the right are stamps from Carolyn’s Stamp Store.
Set of two interior pages
On the right I used a stencil from Crafter’s Workshop and some decorative papers.
Set of two interior pages
On the right in addition to decorative papers I used a sticker from Tim Holtz and a Project Life card.

Here are some links to products I used to make this journal:

Months of the Year Unmounted

Year Numbers 2 Unmounted

Evocative Words II

Set of Unmounted Stamps – Journaling and Planner Words

7gypsies Medium Binding Rings Antique Brass

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Long Fasteners

Mini Road Sign 6×6 Stencil

Mini Sketch Grid 6×6 Stencil

Mini Woodgrain 6×6 Stencil