Every day when he was in Preschool, Mikey would write a page in a journal that was kept at school. It was a way for him and his classmates to use their creativity as well as to encourage their writing. From September through to June, his drawings slowly changed from scribble to pictures and he began to form letters with his writing. His PreSchool teacher had them write their name and the date on every page, beneath their picture. It was in his journal that Mikey began the jagged pre-writing storytelling squiggles that he now includes on every picture and likes to “read” back to me.
My husband and I decided that a summer journal would be a good way for him to continue practicing the skills he had learned in school. When we mentioned it to Mikey he was excited and thought it would be a fun project for the summer until he starts at his new school in late August.
I thought we could make the journals ourselves, so I gave Mikey a piece of thick watercolour paper to be the cover for his journal and he decorated it with his paints.
I thought that I might perhaps make my own summer journal too, so that we could work on them together each day. I had taken a single class in bookbinding back when I was in highschool. The class was instructed by a textiles artist who showed us each how to make our own sketchbooks for our art classes. We had tried out several different binding methods that day and I thought that this simple version would be best for our summer journals. I also needed something that would lie flat, both Mikey and I are left handed and we didn’t want spiral bound notebook or a journal with a thick spine that could get in the way.
DIY Summer Journal
You will need:
Plain paper (My journal used six sheets, Mikey’s used eight.)
Decorative paper for the cover (I used a scrap of wallpaper, Mikey’s cover is thick watercolour paper)
An embroidery needle
Start out by folding each of the pages, and the cover, in half and stacking them together. Using the measuring rule, mark once in the center of the fold and then once about two inches above the center and another two inches below the center. The outside marks need to be equal distance from the center mark.
Using your needle, poke holes through the sheets of paper where the marks are. Thread your needle with embroidery thread and push it through the center hole, starting from the outside. If the hole is not large enough for the needle to pass once threaded, you could try making it slightly larger with a small precision screwdriver.
Pull the thread almost all of the way through the center, leaving a short tail. Don’t tie any knots just yet. Put the needle and thread through the top hole (from inside to outside) and pull until the stitch is nice and snug. Put the needle through the bottom hole (from outside to inside) and pull until the stitch is snug.
Finally, put the needle back through the center hole (from inside to outside) and again pull until it is snug. Tie the two ends together in a knot and you are done.
Once your journal is done, you can put whatever you like in it. Mikey and I are planning to draw and write about our day, as well as paste in some photographs that we’ve taken as part of the fun we’ll be having during the Nurture Photography Challenge. We are planning on regularly visiting the photography store to get our photos printed this summer.
Looking for more summer journaling ideas? Head on over to Live and Love Out Loud where Kristi has a tutorial on creating tea stained vintage-look paper and creating your own beautiful vintage inspired journal.
I’m looking forward to you joining us for the start of the Nurture Photography Challenge next week on Friday June 5th!