loose ends sketch journal

i've been itching to craft a journal for some time now.  as in, make from scratch and stitch it together.  i have also been itching to use the paper combination Couture (blue flowers--outside cover) and La Mode (yellow print--inside cover) from Crate Paper's On Trend collection.  so one night in bed, while i was trying to fall asleep, i came up with an idea that scratched both of these itches!  

i didn't follow a template for the journal, but then this isn't exactly brain surgery!  the first thing i did was decide that i wanted Couture for the outside and La Mode for the inside--you'll see it in a few minutes.  i then chose the size of the book i wanted to create--5.5" x 8"--and so cut my papers down to 11" x 8".  i adhered them together and scored them down the middle at 5.25", 5.5", and 5.75".  after that, i stitched around the entire edge, though if you make one, too, that is an optional step.  one reason i did it was to create a lot of thread ends that hang off of the journal (hence the name of my book--"loose ends").  again, i was aiming at an unkempt appearance but it's not necessary if you prefer a cleaner look.

next came the inside pages.  in planning to make this journal, i had to figure out what kind of journal it was going to be.  in the end, i decided on a sketch book.  following sketches makes the conceptual process for designing cards (or layouts) so much faster.  i peek around in the galleries a lot and am always finding layouts that i love and wouldn't mind using the same embellishment/paper placement in the future.  other times, it's something i come up with on my own but am already in the middle of doing something else and want to jot it down for later.

i had some pretty blue grid paper in my stash and cut 10 pieces down to 10" x 7.5".  i also wanted to stitch those together, down the middle, but knew it was going to be tricky because i don't machine sew (MUST learn that SOON!).  so i used binder clips to hold my pile of papers together while i paper pierced my stitch holes.  after that, i did a simple backstitch and used crochet thread as it's a bit stronger and thicker than the usual sewing thread i use.  it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be, luckily, and when i was done, i had a small booklet of grid paper ready to insert in my journal.  using front and back, that gives me 40 pages to use for sketches, and most times, i can fit 2 on each page.

because this is just for my personal use, i simply took my Fabri-Tac glue and adhered the spine of the grid booklet to the middle score line on the inside of my patterned paper cover.  it worked out just fine since Fabri-Tac has amazing staying power.  i used the binder clips again to clamp the spine while it dried.

after that, all that was left to do was decorate my journal.  i wanted to make it bright and very feminine!  

i also wanted to keep the colors to yellow, black, turquoise, and pink.  i used a lot of embellishments from On Trend--especially a lot of the Tape Stickers.  

when i first got my box of On Trend goodies, i fell head over heels for the Eric Multi Chipboard Thickers.  i love how the letters are all different patterns.  they were the perfect way to spell out "sketch" for my journal and i backed them on black chevron washi tape to make them pop a bit more.  

also, notice the creamy-tan patterned paper that i matted on top of the Couture paper...it's actually Crate packaging. the On Trend Vellum Garlands come on this piece of thin cardboard and when i saw it, i noticed the turquoise bird right away.  it became the perfect thing to use on my journal since the color of the bird matched the blue i was already using, but the rest of the backing was neutral and understated.  i embellished the bird with a bit of glitter glue to make it stand out even more.  

i did the same thing to the butterfly.

and there you have it:  my handmade sketch journal!  i'm really happy i finally tried it and it wasn't too difficult so i will definitely be making another one of these in the future.  if you're up for trying one yourself, please do!  if you machine stitch, yours will even take less time than mine did.  if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.  i'm here to help!  

lots to do this week but i hope to make it back here with one or two more posts before Friday.  have a great Monday!    


  1. Fabulous job of mixing pattern and color. I'm sure you'll linger over it a second or two before opening it to jot down your sketch.

  2. Thanks so much for commenting, Nancy! I really appreciate it!


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