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tutorial: how to make recycled cereal box journals...

binding a cereal box journal book binding how to make cereal box journal Jillian Lauren Misc. Creations! recycle journal tutorial Tutorial-how to urban craft center

One of my favorite trades from Artfest was a small handmade journal from recycled brown paper bags and a Cheerio cereal box. The trade was handed to me by Angharad Jones, the ever so sweet owner of...

The Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica, too bad I don't still live in California! 'cause this would be my new fav spot to hang out...(Jillian- you should go say hi for me!)

Anyways...my little cousin, Molly is turning 21 May 1st and I want to hand bind a special journal for her as a gift (pretty excited about an idea I have for it will post later)...Anyways, being that I've never made one myself, I thought practicing my journal binding skillz on some cereal boxes we have here at the house made perfect sense. So here we go...a step by step process of how I did it (no clue if it's right or wrong, but it worked)

Tools/Supplies:

1) Binding thread (it's thicker than normal and I believe coated with some type of wax to prevent unraveling and breakage)

2) an "Awl" -I bought a heavy duty one for about $6 dollars at my local Daniel Smith art store, but for this cereal box project you could use a light weight one easily (there's one about a $1.50 difference in the two)

3) embroidery needle or binding needle (one larger than a typical sewing needle)

4) Scissors

5) Paper for inside journal (grocery store brown paper bags,newsprint paper, wrapping paper etc.)

6) any size cereal box

Binding Journal Tools

Step One: Flatten your cereal boxes...

open the bottoms....

& cut down the center panel sides an which way you want 'cause you won't need them...

Step 2:cut cereal box journal cover

following the creases in the cereal box cut away the outside flaps, all the way around all four sides...

(one cereal box will give you two rectangular pieces, allowing you to make 2 journal covers)

Step 3:

fold your cereal box front and back pieces in half and scorn with the heavy end of a flat knife

(they sell fancy ebony scorning tools at art supply stores- but a knife works just fine-trust me :))

Step 4:

with some type of measuring device mark two spots with pencil or marker on the inside of the journal cover (you can have the brown side on the outside ot be hip and rock the cereal box art on the outside :)) these marks are to aid as a guide on where to punch holes with your awl.

Step 5:

with your awl, tool tap the marked spots to punch holes all the way through your cereal box cover. *note* these awl tools are sharp, and it doesn't take too much pressure to penetrate holes, be careful of whats underneath your cereal box or you'll give it holes too!

Step 6:

cut your paper of choice just smaller than your cereal box cover. (you don't want single sheets side by side, you want rectangular pieces slightly smaller than your cereal box pieces folded in half-essentially making four journal pages, easier to bind this way)

Step 7:

Repeat steps 4 & 5 with all papers aligned neatly & stacked together.

Step 8:

(sorry no pics-too hard to do and snap pics too!- it's easy peeasy though!)

the binding part...start by threading your needle (with a long enough strand to make a couple pass thru's length wise of your cut cereal box cover) knot the loose end of your binding thread. Start by dropping your threaded needle from the inside journal cover (from the upper inside hole- this will hide the knot) bring your needle-on the outside of the journal and back up through the bottom outside cover hole, this time when bringing needle up also bring it through all your stacked paper pages too. Keeping your pages all nicely aligned, drop your needle back down from the inside top hole (through all brown paper bag pages and your journal cover) repeat this process once or twice, depending on how many pages you put in your journal... enough times to ensure your binding thread is taught, then tie off  your binding thread in a knot and snip the loose thread pieces off about 1/16" away from your tied knot.

you can knot your thread off either on the inside or the outside of your , which ever way you prefer, or where ever your binding thread runs out...this is a fun, funky journal, there is no such thing as "perfection" in this project :)

These are fun to have around, and Free!...great as travel journals, recipe books, idea journals,to-do list books, & kiddie journals- Arlin Jack loves the idea of having his own!

Enjoy....and thanks Angharad!



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  • Kylie Batt on

    ?? ???? ?…

    One of my favorite trades from Artfest was a small handmade journal from recycled brown paper bags and a Cheerio cereal box…..

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    Nice work. I liked the way you put this info forward with well written content and included the facts without over stating them. Well done :)

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