Blank books are lifesavers for creative types. One never knows where or when an intriguing idea will pop up. Having a clean piece of paper close by helps to capture the thought for later use. Sure, department and bookstores offer an array of ornately decorated journals, but you’ll discover the most special ones are those assembled with your own hands and imagination.
Make this paper project as simple or complex as you wish. Once trimmed into strips, you can use one oversize piece of colored paper for several accordion books. Consider each one a reflection of the different sides of your personality. Set aside one for favorite comics or jokes, another for empowering phrases, poems, photos or doodles. When slipped into an envelope, these thin diaries also work as distinctive greeting cards.
Find materials at Valley arts and crafts stores.
Love & light,
Awesome Accordion Journals
* 2 pieces of decorative stationery paper (6 by 9 inches)
* 2 pieces of cardboard or mat board (5 by 8 inches)
* Glue stick
* Card stock (4 3/4 by 7 3/4 inches)
* 1 oversize sheet of colored paper (25 by 37 inches)
* Rubber stamps
* Acrylic paints
DIRECTIONS (for a 5- by 8-inch accordion journal): Lay the stationery paper face down on a smooth working surface. Take one cardboard piece and apply the glue stick generously to one side and adhere to the paper. Set it evenly so the paper pattern will not be crooked on the front of the book. Smooth out air bubbles with your fingers. Cut out a square notch at each corner of the overlapping paper and glue down the flaps. Glue the card stock to the center of the inside of the cover to serve as a liner. Repeat the process for the other piece of cardboard to make two book covers.
Cut a strip of the colored paper measuring 7 inches by 37 inches. Make a fold 4 1/2 inches down and continue folding until the paper looks like an accordion. Trim any uneven flaps. Glue one of the flaps to the inside of one of the covers. Repeat on the other cover. Smooth any wrinkles.
Decorate the front with rubber stamps, paint, ribbon or other accessories.
TIP: Use as a card for someone. Just fill the pages with pictures or leave them blank for the recipient to fill. If using photos, make color copies rather than using originals. Use a glue stick, as liquid glue will make the paper wrinkle.
VARIATIONS: Feel daring? Substitute stationery paper with fabric, faux fur, wrapping paper, Astroturf, vinyl, a road map or some other creative covering.
* All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.