Learn how to make a quick and easy no sew junk journal that is the perfect project for beginners or a quick weekend project.
This no sew junk journal is an ideal beginner journal project, and is the perfect project for using up all those leftover papers you have in your paper stash. Using this simple no sew journal assembly, you can make your junk journals in any size at all, and in no time at all.
How to make a Quick and Easy No Sew Junk Journal
The cover of this no sew junk journal is made in one piece from cardboard covered with decorative paper, with a fabric strip along the folded spine section.
Using plain blank pages the no sew junk journal goes together really quickly and then you can take your time filling in the pages with layered collages and junk journal elements.
- white cardstock 110lb or cardboard
- decorative paper for the cover
- fabric strip for the spine
- ribbon or decorative fibers to attach the pages
- paper for the pages
- utility knife or rotary cutter
- creasing tool and bone folder
- craft strength gluestick: either Craftbond or UHU (strong & fast)
Make the Cover
To make the cover you’ll need some type of cardboard such as a cereal box or even a piece of cardstock which is what I’m using.
This type of easy journal cover can be made in any size. I’m making mine 7″ long by 5″ wide when folded.
Before cutting the cardstock, make sure to leave 1/2″ extra along the width to make a folded spine section.
Even though these is a simple journal to make, the pages can end up quite bulky and if you don’t leave a spine section, the cover won’t close property.
To make the spine section, use a paper creasing tool and make two creases 1/2″ apart, along the center. Then use a bone folder to press the creases.
You can use any type of paper to cover the front and back cover sections such as wrapping paper, scrapbook paper or even printable paper. I’m using these printable papers.
For the outside, cut two pieces with an additional 1/2″ extra along the top bottom and side so you can fold it over to the inside. This will help protect the edges.
Cut the paper about 1/8″ in from the spine section so it doesn’t get in the way when you fold the cover over.
For the inside cover, cut two pieces about 1/8″ smaller than the cover all the way around.
Apply a craft strength gluestick or liquid craft glue to the outside cover, and press the paper in place. It’s easier to press the cover onto the paper so you can make sure that it’s positioned correctly.
Fold the edges over to the inside and crease the paper. Then cut away the corner sections about 1/8″ away from the edge. This will help to make sure that the corners aren’t too bulky when you fold them over.
Glue along the top and bottom sections first, then press the paper with a bone folder to make sure it’s attached. Fold the corner section over to make a sharp point, then apply glue down the sides.
Once the outside is done, glue the inside cover sections and press on the paper.
Allow the glue to dry then stack some heavy books or magazines on top and leave for a while or even overnight to make sure the cover is nice and flat.
Make the Spine Section
To cover the spine section on your no sew junk journal, it’s best to use fabric or even lace; something that’s slightly flexible. Opening and closing the cover repeatedly, over time can cause paper to wear away at the edges of the fold, so fabric is more durable for this application.
Cut a strip of fabric wide enough to overlap onto the front and back cover sections and long enough to wrap around the outside and the inside.
Use fabric glue or strong craft glue to glue the fabric in place. It’s easier to glue the spine section on the cover and then attach the fabric strip, rather than try to apply glue directly to the fabric which can be messy.
Make the Pages
To make the pages gather a selection of plain papers, or papers with light or minimal texture.
The pages don’t have to be the same size so this is the perfect type of journal to use up your leftover tea dyed papers or hand painted papers or even plain printable papers.
For this size journal you’ll need about 6-10 folded pages. Any more and it would start to get too bulky. Fold the papers in half and press a crease down the middle.
To attach the pages, you’ll need a length of string or ribbon or even a bit lace. I’m using several different decorative fibers.
Cut a length long enough to wrap all the way around the spine section and then tie off in a knot or bow.
Then simply slip the papers underneath. Using this method you can easily move the papers around or take them out to write or work on them and then slip them back inside the journal.
To finish off, I glued on a small butterfly clipart and some words to the front cover.
I also added a pocket to the inside front cover so I can tuck loose papers into it. I made the pocket out of a leftover scrap of cardstock which had a printable printable design on it together with some washi tape.
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