Friday, January 13, 2012

Positive Outlook & a Fabric Journal

I've been having a tough year so far.  I started off the year sick, pretty much in bed for the first few days.  After feeling a bit better it was still hard to get back to any kind of schedule since the girls were off school until January 9th.  So that really meant my working out was not on track.  I've been having trouble with my hamstring on and off for about two years, so that really makes it hard to get any training done for any running events that I might want to do.  We've been out of town for the last couple of weekends visiting family and for my husband's soccer tournament.  That means that our house is still decorated for Christmas and kind of a mess.  Whenever my house gets cluttered, I get a bit cranky.  All of that combined has just kind of gotten me down. 

I know I'm sounding like such a downer right now!  But I really do have high hopes for this year.  It could really bring a lot of changes to our family.  Even though New Years Eve celebrations just aren't as exciting for me as they used to be, I do like to think that you can start over with the new year and make changes for the better.  A good starting point to give yourself a fresh start.  Maybe my fresh start was just a little late.  Now that the girls are back in school, I'm hoping to get back on my schedule and get my crafting juices flowing again! 

To keep those ideas fresh and to keep a positive outlook on this year, I decided to start a journal.  Nothing big because I really don't want to have to commit to something that feels like a burden.  It is going to be a place that I can jot ideas, keep track of something that made me smile during the day, or a fun story about one of my girls.  Anything that inspired me or made me feel good during the day. 

If I'm going to keep a journal, it has to be a cute journal!  I had a composition book that I had bought during the back to school sales on hand, so I decided to use that to decorate.

This project reminded me of when my friend and I would cover photo albums in the dorm hallway back in college.  So if you don't need a journal, it can also be adapted to cover photo albums!

You will need a composition book, fabric, ribbon, cardboard, batting, and a glue gun.

Cut your batting to fit the outside of your journal.  I used mod podge to adhere it to the outside so that it wouldn't slip and just be easier to work with.  You could also use a glue stick to just help keep it in place.

Now lay out your fabric and place your journal on top of it.  Your material should extend a few inches on all sides.  I used two different materials, but you could also just use one material to cover it as well.  If you are using two fabrics.  Fold over the edge of the one material that will be on top of the other in order to have a clean edge on the front. 

Fold over the extra edges of your material and hot glue them to the inside of the journal.  You will want to experiment with folding the corners so that it is neat looking and flat.  I put a double fold in mine.  Also be sure to cut your material at the spine so that it will fit around your pages.  If you have a wider book, cut a notch instead of a slit and fold it to the inside, gluing it in place so you have a clean edge on the spine.

Next you will need a 2 pieces of cardboard that are slightly smaller than the inside covers of your journal.  You can use cardboard cut from an old cereal box.  I used an old shipping box, but I'm sure you can find something in your house to use.  Cover the front side of your cardboard with one of your materials, or even a coordinating fabric.  Hot glue the fabric to the back side of your cardboard.

Hot glue your cardboard to the back of your covers to cover the folded over pieces.  This will give you a cleaner look.

Now it is time to glue on your ribbon.  I used about a yard of ribbon, but make sure the ends are long enough to tie into a bow.  Singe the ends of your ribbon with a lighter in order to prevent them from raveling.  Hot glue the ribbon in place, covering where your two materials meet.  

This would make a good gift for anyone, but could be really great for Teachers or Mother's Day!

This is the journal I made for my husband.  It's actually made out of the back of a men's dress shirt that I had already cut up to make another project. 

I had signed my husband up for a beer making class for his birthday last month.  So after getting all of the home brew stuff he needs, he is now a beer making hobbyist.  He needed a journal to take notes and keep track of all of his beer making stuff.  He was excited to get it and started writing his notes right away!

Although it would make a great gift, you may just want to keep it for yourself and start writing!

One Artsy Mama

Tip Junkie handmade projects
{Junk in their Trunk}


  1. how cute is that?! I love it Melissa! And your fabric is great :)

    Thanks for sharing this at my link party.. I appreciate all your support!

  2. Hi Melissa! I happened upon your blog through the thread where you reported that your "follower" box wasn't correctly displaying the number of followers. I see that it is now. I'd love to know if they got in touch with you or if they just fixed it. I'm still having problems with mine.

    Love your blog! And your fabric journals are beautiful!! Plus, you find the coolest stuff from Pinterest. I'm signing up to be a follower!

  3. You did a fantastic job on these! I love this idea because you can usually get those notebooks so cheap. I would love for you to consider linking this project up to my “Drab to Fab” linky party on Fridays at my blog Sugar and Spice. It’s about refashioning, jazzing up, or changing up normal stuff to make it fabulous! Your post really embodies the purpose of the party! Here’s a link for more info:
    I’d love to see you on Friday!


  4. What a great idea! It would even be great to do for a personalized composition book for the kids school!

  5. Love this!

    Natasha xx


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