A few weeks go, I shared this instagram of some journals I made for my sister and had a few people ask for a tutorial. Finally, I'm getting around to doing it! These are really easy and though they may look labor intense, they can be done really rather quickly (especially if you do a bunch at a time and have a little assembly line going.)
You really only need a few supplies. Your cover material (I used kraft cardstock...because you can never go wrong with kraft cardstock.) Your inside pages (these have 20 pages so you'd need 10 sheets of paper to cut in half. Recycled or ledger type papers would work great as well!) If you're doing the peek-a-boo cover like I've done, you'll need some type of patterned paper or pages torn from a magazine. For these, I used pages from a yarn catalog. For my sister's set, I used landscape scenes from an Urban Outfitters catalog - they worked fabulously! To bind the journal, a needle and thread or embroidery floss.
First, trim your cover to 5.5 x 8.5" and cut your title from the cover. I made up a set of cover templates for you to download. The file includes the two shown ("now" and " "to•do") as well as twelve months. The placement is random (you can kind of see in the photo of my sister's set) because that's how I like them. If you aren't comfortable with an exacto, these titles are all chunky enough that they could easily be done with fine tipped scissors. You can grab the files HERE.
Now trim your inside pages to the same size as your cover. If you want to get a bit fiddly (totally unnecessary), you can trim them to different sizes so that when the journal is folded, the paper edges don't extend past the edge of the cover. For instance, for these journals, I first cut the 10 sheets in half and then progressively trimmed off a 1/16" sliver from the edges to the following sizes: (2) 8 1/2 x 5 1/2" (2) 8 7/16 x 5 1/2" (2) 8 3/8 x 5 1/2" (2) 8 5/16 x 5 1/2" (2) 8 1/4 x 5 1/2"
Fold everything and collate your cover, patterned insert and pages together.
Now you need to punch holes to bind the pages. I find the center of the pages (10" in the photo) with my ruler and position everything on a foam pad.
Punch the first holes through all of the pages.
Punch four more holes for a total of 5 - each spaced 1" apart from the next.
Thread your needle. I double up the thread before threading the needle so there are a total of four strands.
Using your threaded needle, pass through the top hole (inside or outside of the journal makes no difference and proceed in the pattern shown.
Wrap the needle around the end of the journal and into the first hole, threading in the opposite pattern of the first pass.
To finish, tie off both ends of the thread with a couple of knots and trim off the excess. There is surely a neater way to do this but I like the look of the loose ends and it holds up to regular use well.
Since I did a couple of these journals for the tutorial, I'm happy to send them to one of you :) Just let me know in the comments if you're interested in them and I'll choose someone Friday! Here are the completed journals: