Yesterday, as a reward for her good reading habits lately, she and I sat down to make a “real” journal for her priceless drawings. It turned out to be super easy and very fun! Afterwards, the other kids asked if they could make one too (which, to me, is the ultimate sign of kid project approval).
A handmade journal is a great place for kids to write down summer vacation memories, practice drawing, host a favorite sticker collection, write a daily journal, or even write down favorite scriptures. You could even make one for yourself (or as a gift)!
Here’s how you can help your child make their own “real book” (AKA Cardboard Box Journal)!
The best part about this project is that you probably have these supplies on hand already:
- Thin cardboard from a cereal box or other boxed item (not the corrugated cardboard used in boxes for shipping)
- Thin ribbon or jute
- 20-30 pieces of printer paper
- Hole punch
- Large brads (2) (or needle, thread and a large button)
- Acrylic paints and paintbrush (or scrapbook paper)
- Stickers, rub-ons, flowers, jewels or other embellishments
Start by cutting out a piece of cardboard from the box. It can be any size, really. You’ll be folding this in half and using it as the cover for the book, so cut out a rectangular shape that’s twice as big as what you’d like the cover to be. We cut a rectangle about 10″ long by 7″ wide.
Next, we folded a stack of printer paper (about 20-30 sheets) in half…
And cut it to fit inside the cover.
Princessa opted to paint her cardboard, so she began squirting colors on half a paper plate (our version of a paint pallette)…
And began painting across the entire cover. Of course, in true Princessa style, pink and purple was the color scheme.
Meanwhile, I hole-punched two holes in the center of the fold in the pages….
And two holes in the center fold of the cardboard cover.
When the cover had dried, we lined up the holes on the pages with the holes on the cover, and inserted a piece of jute through both holes, binding the book together.
Then we tied a bow on the outside.
Next, we punched a hole on the inside of the back cover, about 2/3 of the way down, and 1 inch in from the side.
We cut a piece of very thin ribbon, put one end through the hole and tied a knot.
Then we wrapped the ribbon around the entire book, going over the front cover first. The string ended up back near where the hole was in the back. Kind of hard to describe, but hopefully the photo helps.
Next, we punched two holes in the front cover, about 2/3 of the way down and 1 inch in from the side.
We punched the holes one on top of the other.
We inserted the brads into the holes.
We taped the reverse side so that the brads stayed put and didn’t pull out.
Princessa set to work blingin’ it up with rhinestones, flowers and a rub-on.
While I entertained a restless toddler on my lap with a fun iPad app.
And… ta-da! It was done! Easy-peasy and very do-able! We tied the book closed by wrapping the ribbon around the brads a few times.
We look forward to hearing how yours turned out!