DIY smash journal book from unwanted paper

Every paper crafter knows this – there is paper you want a lot and paper that you don’t want at all. Don’t want, but still feel uncomfortable to throw it out. Because it is paper. And maybe there exists somewhere in the world something you can make with this paper. Maybe somehow you can save this it?

how to DIY smash journal book

From a very long time I have had a few colour-organised transparent folder pockets with pieces of very expensive wallpapers from European designers. Real treasures. Beautiful combinations, great pattern ideas. Paper, which is a piece of art itself. You can even put it in a frame, and give your space a new light, a new feeling.

As I said – great designs. But absolutely not in my style of work, not in my colours, not in my craft mood. A bit heavier than I prefer. And I also have no space for more frames and art on my walls at home. I remember how my late father was joking, “You don’t need to paint the walls, you have an art tapestry already”.

So, how to save this unwanted paper?

The piece of craft which, for me, can encompass everything is the journal. But not the journal when you are writing “make 10 push-ups” or “buy milk and call Linda”. I am talking about a real journal – diary journals, travel journals, art journals, smash journals. Especially smash journals! I love them! If you have to write a story of your mood and ideas, about your way in art and the world – the smash journal is your witness.

So, I decided to create a smash journal base. I am calling it “base”, because it will be still a virgin. I am not planning to stick or write something inside. Just to connect together all these pieces of paper and to leave them wait.

The cover

The cover of the smash journal I decided to make from a cover of a wrapping paper book. I like the cover, so I kept it after the paper was gone. These squares of different designs looked to me very useful to cut up little details for my scrapbook. And this “supply” survived even my minimalist clearing of my craft space. Imagine how much I liked it!

how to create the cover of your smash journal book

First, I separated the cover into two pieces, because it was a letter format and too big for my idea.

smash journal book - making the cover

I like A5 formats, which are comfortable to put under the book you are reading, to carry in your handbag… So, the next step was to fold the front cover in two. Then cut it again along the fold line.

DIY smash journal cover A5 size

The journal body

The journal body was created – of course – from all the unwanted pieces of wallpapers.

how to DIY a smash journal book from unwanted paper

First, I cut them the same size as the cover. And then fold everyone on the side about 2.5 centimetres. This step was important to ensure proper opening of the pages later.

creating the body of the smash journal

Then I decided where to make some holes. In 21-centimetre-long side and with a lot of pages, I realised the best thing would be to have 6 holes – one every 3 centimetres. This would make the book binding strong, but also save me a lot of time of punching with a single-hole punch. As maybe you know from my Capsule craft ideas, I have reduced by a lot the materials and tools I have available. And because I was not making journals and notebooks every week, I decided I didn’t need a multi-hole punch.

working on the journal's body

Hm, maybe this decision was a bit too harsh…

Whatever, the holes were made. And now I had all these pages and the two covers, ready to be put together.

pages and covers of a smash journal book ready to be put together

Before starting the bookbinding, I tied a big bead to the end of the cotton thread. The idea was to leave a long piece of thread for the finishing knot. And also to prevent the end of the thread pulling through the holes by accident. Ok, the bead was a bit too big, but it’s such a great turquoise colour!

Before starting the bookbinding, I tied a big bead to the end of the cotton thread

Of, course, I am not a specialist at bookbinding, so I did it the simplest way I know. And the journal body itself was ready!

DIY smash journal with easy bookbinding

Some last steps

First, I tried how the pages open. Especially if I was planning to write or draw on my lap, poor opening would make it difficult. Here shows why the edge folding in the beginning was so important.

smash journal - good page opening is very important!

Then I decided to make a little decoration. I couldn’t resist is the truth!

I couldn't resist to make some decoration!

Next, I decided to put a label on my new journal cover and some page separators. Ok, the cover was talkative enough already, but a cover without a label? And the separators were also not necessary. But I am a crow – I wanted this journal to have everything. In the future, I will probably glue lots of little treasure envelopes on the pages too.

how to DIY smash journal book

And the new journal was ready!

DIY easy smash journal book

Now I will have to decide how to use it, what to write and what kind of journal it will be – a smash or an art one. Or just a handbag diary of craft ideas? Time will show.

I will say only that it was very easy to create this one. If you are making one too, I would be very happy to see your project.

Also you can check this idea how to make a Foldable envelope pocket journal:

Enjoy your craft time! ♥

This post may contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and buy something, I may get a portion of the sale at no cost to you. With these links I promote products and services that I am using and think are excellent. It also helps me make a living off of this site so I can keep creating content for you.

Thank you for helping me! ♥

 

And something more:

Often we buy our materials in whole packs and after a certain project always something is left over and has to be hidden away in a box or an envelope. As the paper pieces from the article above (they are not ugly, just don’t answer my style)… And this is cluttering up our workspace – maybe a lot! The problem is that not only do they clutter your craft area, but also they are also cluttering your mind. For me this is the biggest problem and if you want to read more about this, you can check my book about Capsule craft collection.

how to improve our craft space and our creativiti

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