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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Creating a Journal

A plain composition book is perfect to use for a journal. See how easily it is transformed into a memorable mixed media piece suitable for writing inside of. These books can usually be purchased at a dollar store or at a pharmacy in the stationery or school supplies section. Once you've got your hands on one, the "sky's the limit" as to how you can embellish it.
Journals are a special way to get creative and make something just for YOU.
I have just created a journal (here is a portion of the cover here) and if you would like to make one, it is simple:
Step 1: Purchase a composition book. Step 2: Choose background paper, trace the book, cut the paper, and adhere it to the book. (I used a glue runner to attach the paper.) Step 3: Choose any embellishments you like--Here I used burlap, as well as a Tim Holtz metal decorative piece, plus other items that struck my fancy. Step 4: A plain tag was decorated and adhered to the front. I used some Tim Holtz stickers and added some glitter. I attached a metal chain, as well as some string to the tag. Step 5: I stamped the background paper with Staz-on ink and also inked all around the edges of the journal to give it a vintage feel. (To do that, simply run the stamp pad around the entire front edge of the journal. Make sure it does not touch the pages. I used ink that was dark brown.) Step 6: Voila! All done!
Special Note: The background paper is from Shabby Cottage Studio. There are tons of designs that you can purchase from there and simply download right from your computer. Both thrifty AND cool. This one is only 65 cents! (It can be used over and over again.) You can find it HERE. You will also find awesome embellishments at the store, as well. You will want to run your cover design on thick paper (45 lb.) Regular paper is too thin. I purchased mine from Office Depot. You can also try to purchase these sheets of heavier paper from a local copy shop. (It's cheaper than buying a whole package. Because I use so much of it, I buy it in bulk, but you won't need to. If you simply walk up to the copy desk, you can ask if you can purchase a few sheets.) Also, you can use scrapbook paper and it is available by the sheet at many craft stores. The Eiffel Tower photo is from the Graphics Fairy--You can download that from HERE and print it in a jiffy, too!
If your journal is to memorialize someone special, you can also use your loved one’s picture on the front. I also like to tie string around my journals to keep them closed (although not shown here.) The string used on the tag was purchased at Home Depot. I will utilize the same kind for that purpose. I have altered some postcards especially for you in Photoshop from the Graphics Fairy, which I call "Postcards from Heaven." If you would like to use these for the front of your own journal, you are welcome to save them to your desktop and print them out. (They can also be used inside of a journal to write on.)
As you can see, these would be a perfect addition to personalize your own journal in memory of a loved one. If you would like to save the image to your desktop, simply click on the image. Then, when the larger version appears on your screen, right click on it and push "Save Image As." You can keep it on your desktop or file it away until you are ready to print it out. At that point, depending on your printing program, you can specify the size that you want it to be.
Here are some images that I altered from the Graphics Fairy especially for you. These could also be used for the cover of a journal.
This Victorian Angel image could be used as a tag, as well. Simply print it out, crop the corners on a slant, punch a hole at the top, and run some string through it. If you ink the edges, it will give it a vintage look--easy, peasy!
I altered this image, but left some of the French words on it for a special touch.
A vintage fairy could provide a wonderful theme to begin your project.
Here are two different cherub designs that have been altered.
Here are some butterflies from the Graphics Fairy that I altered.
Butterflies have special significance to many people.
So do dragonflies. So I altered these from the Graphics Fairy, as well. You are welcome to print any of these images out to use in your art.
Here is one that I have altered in different hues.
Here is a graphic from the Graphics Fairy that I have altered by adding a poem.
Here is a vintage book page from the Graphics Fairy that I have altered by adding "In Loving Memory." This can be printed, cut out, and a photo inserted.
I hope that you enjoy making a journal for yourself. If you do and would like to share a picture of it when it is completed, feel free to share it on my Facebook page, Angels at My Door, which is located HERE. Also, I would recommend bookmarking this blog page so that if you need to refer back to it, you will have it readily available. You may also want to use charms to embellish your journal. These can dangle on string and they look amazing. Thank you for visiting me. Blessings, Cindy Linking this to Brag Monday.


suziqu's thread works said...

Hello Dear Cindy
How are you going?
You have created such an effective journal cover design with such little effort and things so easily obtainable!
Thank you for sharing your ideas with us!
Love and hugs,

suziqu's thread works said...

Oh Cindy I have a new blog button too and I see you have a new website for your books which I will visit!
xox Suzy

Anonymous said...

LOVE it!!! I will try to make something similar this weekend. This took me back to your regular blogging days. Love it.
Thx, Cin.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I've marked this page...I would so love to make one of these! You make it look so easy. It's nice to see you here tonight! Much love, diane

Beth said...

I like this very much!! I would love to make one of these.

NanaDiana said...

Cindy- Well you can TELL US how to make them but, believe me, not one of them is going to look like yours! lol You got the "touch" girl! xo Diana

Jill said...

I used to make journals long ago. You've made me want to start again. I LOVE yours!!

Marilyn said...

I have the composition notebooks, pretty paper, and lots of stuff. I just need some talent to put it all together. Yours is NICE!♥♫

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Wowwwwwwwwwww! This is GORGEOUS! I loveeeeeeeee the colors and that burlap!!!!!

bohemiannie! art said...

very cool journal cover!

Gloria said...

Ahhh, the composition book, hope they never stop selling them.

Your mixed media cover is beautiful, lots of pretty embellishments ♥

Holly said...

You are so creative, Cindy! What a fun tutorial!
Blessings to you, my friend!

Creative Grammie said...

Aloha Cindy;
I love how you decorated your journal! I will definitely make one for my daughter and me.
A couple of years ago we (my daughter and I), bought tons of these tablets for .25 and decorated them with Hello Kitty faces for the girls and sports themes for the boys.
Your decorations for these books are just gorgeous! Can't wait to try this.
Hugs to you dear Cindy.

Valerie-Jael said...

Beautiful little journal Cindy! Hugs, Valerie

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi Cindy, I hope all is well. I know you are keeping very, very busy. I've bought many compositions and use them for all sorts of stuff, but have never taken the time to decorate them so beautifully. It's always my intention, but I just never seem to follow through. Though I did decorate one simply with Graphics Fairy images when we went to Paris so that I could use it to collect memorabilia. Thanks for sharing your lovely alteration. Have a beautiful day. Tammy

...the yorkshire fox... said...

...loVe your Altered Journal Cindy, the colours are lush and very pleasing to the eye, loVe the adornments too...a beautiful make, thanks for sharing...Mel :)

Lululiz said...

Aaah, that special Cindy touch! I love your creations, they are always so vibrant and full of interesting things.

Julia S-W said...

Wow - I love this! That cover looks amazing and I really like all the different textures you've combined. Must buy a journal and try this!

Unknown said...

What a fantastic makeover Cindy!! It simply all adds up, from colours to papers and embellies, awesome creation!! Hugs, Ira x

1CardCreator said...

Gorgeous journal Cindy, everything you touch just seems to turn to gold!

Ros Crawford said...

I love making journals ... this is lovely Cindy ... sending hugs!

Queenie Believe said...

Wow what an awesome tutorial and all the graphics to boot, wonderful!!
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

Donna said...

What a beautiful journal, Cindy! I love all of the textures and graphics. And thanks so much for sharing the wonderful images with us! Love them all! You are so talented:)

Myric said...

Thanks for sharing where to get that background! All the designs are well put together. Artfully creative!!!


Linda M. said...

Hi Cindy, Very nice tutorial and lots of great images. I think I really like those butterflies! Hugs, Linda

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Hi Cindy. How are you doing? Life just gets so busy.
I love your journal although I don't journal. I am going to save the old post cards. Not sure how I will use them. But when I decide I will have them.
Have a great weekend.

Michele said...

gorgeous journal! love the tutorial. thanks for the freebies too -- what fun! love to you! xo

Anonymous said...

Hello Cindy
How are you?
Beautiful journal.
One of my favourite items to alter for both myself and as gifts as I love the practical nature of them.
Thank you for sharing this beauty with us.
Wishes Lynne

Cindy Adkins said...

Wow! Thanks so much, Cindy! I love the journal - will make one soon for sure. How fun! Thanks for the freebies, too!
Hugs, Cindy

Carol Salisbury said...

Hi Cindy!
Love your journal!
I just bought a handful of the composition books at Walmart this week for $0.50 so I will be making a couple soon.
Thanks for sharing!

Ivy and Elephants said...

Hi Cindy,
I thank you for sharing this gorgeous journal tutorial with us. You have made it seem so simple and less daunting for us beginners. Just beautiful!
We'd love to have you link it, too.

sjmcdowell said...


This is so sweet of you to make a tutorial for all of us!!
I love making journals, and always love some new ideas!!!
The free images are perfect. I will be making one or maybe more soon. They will also make great gifts!!

Thank you for your hard work in making so many people happy!!

Love and Blessings,


Rupa said...

I was coming here often but there were no posts for a long time. Today, all of a sudden I remembered and visited you after a long time and so many wonderful things to see/learn! I love your journal with tags and just the tags also. Thanks so much for the beautiful images you have shared. So happy to see you posting again :)

Faye said...

Wonderful tutorial, Cindy! Makes me wonder if I might be able to make a prayer journal book for each of my Bible study ladies for their Christmas gift this year.

Anonymous said...

Still amazed at this journal, Cindy. Love Tim Holtz' stuff.
I also stopped by to grab your blinking button. Since I keep my page markers on another page, I'm sure it won't freeze my home page and I was editing the page today and could not believe I didn't have one of your old buttons. They're probably at some of my previous blogs.
Anywho, it's always so good to stop by here.

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