Recently I have been enjoying making some hand-stitched journals. I started out by making some practice ones with scraps of paper I already had. It was so fun and fairly simple so I decided it would be the perfect handicraft to do with my children. Since then I have invested in some nice quality paper, made copies of some of my watercolor paintings, and created a line of journals to sell at Farmers Market and in my online shop!
However I have created this simple tutorial for you if you and your children would like to try your hand at making some yourself.
- heavy paper for covers
- lighter paper for pages
- several pieces of cardboard
- a thumbtack
- heavy duty thread
- a large sewing needle
- a small piece of beeswax
Step 1: Select your paper. I had some small pieces of heavy colored textured paper that we chose for our covers and a lighterweight sketch paper for our pages.
Step 2: Determine how many sheets you want for your inner pages. We made teeny, tiny books so we only used about 5 sheets, Using a paper-cutter or scissors cut your cover and pages to the same size. Fold your cover in half and create clean crease.
Step 3: Open cover back out flat and stack on top of all pages evenly. Place on two or three pieces of cardboard.
Step 4: Get out a thumbtack(the kind with the large heads work best) and evenly punch holes completely through all pages using the crease in the cover as your guide. If you want them perfectly space you will need to use a ruler, I just eyeballed it.
Step 5: Thread some heavy thread onto a large needle. I used a double strand. Run the needle and thread through a small piece of beeswax.
Step 6: Start on the inside bottom hole and stitch to the top of the book leaving a tail of thread. Then stitch back down to the bottom going the opposite direction. When you reach the bottom there should be no gaps between stitches.
Step 7: Now you can cut the needle off the thread making sure there are two tails long enough to tie a knot. Cross the threads into a nice tight not 2 or three times. Trim ends.
Step 8: Fold over and press each page, then fold entire book and press crease firmly with the scissor handle.
Step 9: You may need to trim your inner pages with some sharp scissors if they stick out from the cover too much.
And now you are all finished and have a fun little journal to jot down your thoughts in!
Depending on the ages of your children they will probably need varying degrees of help with this project. My 9 year old was able to do it all himself, my 6 year old needed a little help with the cutting and punching some of the holes, and my 4 year old was able to do just the stitching herself.
If you enjoyed this tutorial or have any questions please leave a comment and let me know! If making a journal yourself seems like too much check out mine in my shop!