DIY: Mini Summer Notebooks

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial
Summer is here! And with the sunshine come vacations, camping trips, weekend getaways, and other outdoor adventures. Any time I plan a trip, I always make sure to bring a little notebook with me to record all the special memories that happen along the way. This mini notebook is the perfect companion to any adventure, plus it uses recycled materials and is easy to make!

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

Materials:

• Colored Card Stock or other pretty paper (for your notebook cover)
• Stamps and ink pad (to decorate your cover)
• Recycled papers (for your inside pages)
• Bakers twine (for the binding)

Tools:

• X-acto knife
• Ruler
• Cutting board
• Paper cutter (optional)
• Bookbinding Awl
• Bone Folder
• Bookbinding needle

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

1. Cut your papers to size

For the cover, I chose a thick colored cardstock. The thicker the notebook cover, the better. You can also try using handmade paper. For the inside pages, I used a variety of recycled papers I had on hand like lined notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, construction paper and even some pages cut out of old books and magazines.

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

I wanted my notebook to fit easily into my backpack or purse so I chose to make the finished size 4.25”x5.5”. Using my paper cutter (or a ruler and x-acto knife works too), I cut all my papers (cover and inside pages) 8.5”x5.5” inches, which when folded in half, will become the finished size.

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

2. Decorate your cover

To decorate my cover, I decided to carve my own stamp. And since I plan to take this notebook with me on a camping trip, I chose to carve a campfire. I also stamped the word “summer” below using my set of alphabet stamps.

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

Feel free to decorate your cover however you want! You could also collage your cover, draw or paint something, or cover the entire thing in wash tape. It’s up to you!

3. Prep your inside pages

I chose 15 sheets of paper for the inside of my journal, which when folded in half will become 30 pages. This is the perfect amount for me to fill up while on vacation.

To prep the inside pages for binding, gather the cover and inside pages together (in the order that you want them to be) and fold the entire thing in half making a crease in all the pages. You can use the bone folder to get a nice clean fold/crease.

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial
DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

4. Bind Your Notebook

Starting at the middle of your book (cover page is on the bottom), take 5 pages from your stack. Using a ruler to measure, draw two dots 1 ½” apart at the center of the fold. Take the bookbinding awl and punch a hole through all 5 sheets where you marked with the pencil. Set aside. Repeat this process two more times, or until you have holes punched through all your pages.

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial
DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

Reassemble your notebook back to its original order. Using a piece of baker’s twine and a bookbinding needle (or other needle with a large enough eye to thread the baker’s twine through), stitch the notebook together. Then tie a knot and trim.

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial
DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

One final touch you can do (which is totally optional) is to trim your finished notebook. You’ll notice that with the pages folded in half, the inside papers peek out of the cover. You can use a ruler and x-acto knife to carefully trim the excess making for a clean, finished notebook.

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial
DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

That’s it! Now you have a fun little notebook to take with you on all your summer adventures. Do you have any other summer travel traditions? Like making a photo album of your trip, collecting ticket stubs, or pressing leaves and flowers you collect along your way?

DIY Mini Summer Notebook #journal #paper #tutorial

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