DIY Project: Handmade Craft Journal

It's been awhile since I updated this blog. I won't exactly use my current activities as the reasons to my lackness of blogging, but let me just say that my current mood to write is a bit off...I just don't spend that much time in front of computers lately except for working. For this first comeback post I'll try to share something from my current hobbies.

I have been developing a new hobby lately on crafting. I have started scrapbooking, both digital and paper scrapbook, and I also started knitting and learning how to sew. I guess I got too deep into these new hobbies of mine that I kind of not having some extra time to write.

But I do miss writing, and since it's been years that I don't have any personal diary book (I use to have some when I was growing up), I decided to have another one again now that I actually have a lot stories and problems and ideas to share. I wanted to have a special book to write on, and have been looking for a notebook with special designs that would make me love the book enough to write on them often but i couldn't find the perfect kind of book that I like. So I figured, "Why not make my own? So I can have a special diary book that will show my personality best?". And so I did...


Let me share how I made it...

First, I prepared the items that I need to make it. I found this black notebook at Grand Indonesia which have unlined pages and the kind of paper that I love, and I prepared some fabrics to make the special covers. The first fabric was a pink double chiffon with butterfly graphics that I chose because I adore butterflies dearly, and the second fabric was a white lace with flower details that was actually the same fabric as my wedding outfit. Other items I prepared was sme scrapbook materials, contains of vintage butterflies pieces from Prima Flowers, and some of the digital scrapbook materials that I have printed on recycled papers. If you want to do this at home, I suggest that you pick any kind of notebook that you like or most comfortable in writing on and make sure that the covers are plain and thick enough so it would hold the fabrics perfectly. And you can choose any kind of fabrics that you like most, or perhaps use wrapping papers if you prefer them more. I also use special glue that I use for scrapbooks and crafting, and a sharp scissors.

The materials needed
 Now once everything is ready, let's start the steps.
  • Measure the fabrics so it can cover the whole surface of the notebook perfectly, and make sure that there's a lot of extra fabric. It's better to have more than less. And then put glue on the edges of the front of the outside covers evenly and generously, but be careful not to put too much so the covers and the fabrics can get too wet from it. Pull the first fabric straight above the surface and gently press them on the covers until it stays. Make sure there's no air bubble on the surface. If you can see at the image below that there's a dark line at the edges, that's exactly where I applied the glue. If you apply them too wide on the surface it will show through the fabric so be extra careful about it. Do the exact same thing to the backside covers.

The first fabric applied evenly covering the surface of the notebook's cover

  • After you have applied the fabric to the front and back covers, you can have fun with the covers. What I did to my diary was I add some of the scrapbook materials on the front covers for decorations. I used one of the scrapbook items that I printed on recycled paper at the center and I put some of the Prima Flowers butterflies around it to give the extra touch on the butterfly theme.

This is how I decorate my front covers. I then added my name at the center with my own handwriting

  •  Once you're done decorating the front covers, now it's time to add the second fabric, the white lace. Do the exact same steps as the first step above on applying the glue and fabric to the covers. Since both fabrics that I used were so delicate, I had to be careful when I was applying the glue. And since the first layer of glue would come through the fabrics so I actually didn't have to apply much of the glue for the second time. I just have to add a little amount at the exact same area as the layers of glue underneath and let them rest just as that. After this step I let the book stayed one night to let the fabric stay at place and let the glue, fabric and cover dry, so I can go to the next steps more easily.

How it looks like after I apply the second fabric.
Don't worry about the excess fabric at the adges, we''l work on that later.

  •  Next step - which I continued the night after - was to do the inside cover. Since if I let the fabrics only covering the outside covers and trim the rest at the edges won't make the covers look neat enough, I figured that it's best to flip it to the inside covers. This step is a little tricky so be careful. First, apply glue at the inside covers (what I mean by inside covers is the surface exactly beneath the ones that you've done before), and again apply the glue evenly and generously only at the edge of the surface. Right after you've done so, pull the excess part of the first fabric straight across the surface you're covering until it sets evenly and press hard until it stays. And then add a little more glue at the exact spot as before but this time on the fabric, then pull the second fabric the same way to cover the first. Make sure they covers evenly at the surface without any air bubbles. And while you're doing both steps, flip along the fabrics at the other side edges to the insides and arrange so the other sides of the excess fabrics are evenly covered by each other.


  •  After you have flipped all the excess fabrics to the inside covers, take the first pages after both the front and back covers and glue the edges of the opposite pages from the surfaces that you just worked with. Usually some notebooks have that extra first page which were made with different material papers than the papers in the body of the book, you can use this. And just use the paper of the very last page of the book for the back cover. This way you don't have to worry if you make a mess on the fabrics that you flipped to the inside. Just glues these papers together with the inside covers that you just worked on and makes sure that all fabrics are neatly set between the covers that you've wrapped with the fabrics and the glued paper opposite them. Press hard so they will set in place perfectly. See the image below to see clearer.

Glue the first and last page to the inside cover to cover the excess fabric.
See how the edges are automatically trimmed.
Then press hard so it will set.

  •  To make the whole covers set perfectly let it stay overnight until the glue and the whole fabric and covers/papers are dry. I pressed the under a heavy dictionary for one night so the whole cover that I worked with will stay in place until they are dry.
  • Take a look at your diary the next night/morning. If all the wet glue are dried, and both front and back covers are as stiff as a novel book covers, then you are done. Enjoy your own custom made diary book.
There it is. The final result, my own custom made diary.
That's all the steps needed. If you're interested to know more or confused with the steps, feel free to email me with questions.

Until next time!


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