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How to Make a Junk Journal from an Amazon Cardboard Envelope

Updated on August 29, 2017

Recycle Your Mail Packaging!

The junk journal shown opposite was made from scrap paper and a cool piece of folded cardboard courtesy of Amazon.

Amazon.co.uk (and I hope Amazon in all the other countries too!) send out their books and DVDs in these cool cardboard envelopes. I buy a lot of books from Amazon so I wanted to come up with a way to recycle these nifty little packages.

The "envelopes" are made from a piece of cardboard that's folded in such a way that makes a nifty journal cover. Find out how I made my Amazon Junk Journal below.

Stuff You Will Need

Stuff You Will Need

  1. An Amazon Cardboard Envelope (they usually send out their DVDs and books in these) or a piece of cardboard big enough to be folded into the right shape.
  2. Scrap papers - magazine pages, print-outs, bills, business envelopes, old letters, book pages etc.
  3. Tough Thread - waxed linen is good or you could even try dental floss.
  4. Paints, gesso, stamps and ink pads, stencils, other interesting mark-making materials.
  5. A couple of beads or something else to anchor your stitches.

Amazon Packaging
Amazon Packaging

So, this is what you need - this bit of cardboard has been pre-folded to make a book shape, although you can fold the "spine" a bit narrower or wider depending on the amount of paper you want in your junk journal.

The cardboard envelope also has an interesting double flap feature inside - this is where Amazon secure your book or DVD but you can use it to hide a mini journal, a letter or just your contact info.

Paint Your Cover

Recycled Amazon Journal Cover by MeltedRachel
Recycled Amazon Journal Cover by MeltedRachel

Paint or Collage or just leave it Blank

If you leave your "cover" blank then you won't need to worry about ever losing your junk journal - your address will be right there on your cover.

I wanted to make my journal for a story I was writing about a grotty city area so I made the cover look pretty grungy and dirty.

I whacked some gesso down on top of the cardboard to hide my details and then I started rolling colour on with a brayer. My cover also features some of my home-made stamps which I'm sure will feature in a new lens soon.

Think about what you're going to use your junk journal for and decorate it accordingly.

Decorate Your Cover - My Inside Cover

Recycled Amazon Journal Cover by MeltedRachel
Recycled Amazon Journal Cover by MeltedRachel

Junk mail can be used to make pages for your junk journal!

Collect the Papers

Recycled Amazon Journal in progress by MeltedRachel
Recycled Amazon Journal in progress by MeltedRachel

Anything Goes!

I found that standard A4 size paper (8.3" Ã 11.7"), once folded in half, fit my Amazon envelope very well.

I used the paperback/DVD sized Amazon envelopes - they do come in bigger sizes and those can also be used to make larger journals.

You can use any paper you like for this project - this is a junk journal after all. Try raiding old books, junk mail, bills, even receipts (they could be good for tags etc).

Once you've got your mass of paper, start to fold it in half and put it into signatures (see the photos below). Work out which papers work well next to each other.

Check out some of my pages below.

Collecting Papers and Putting them into Signatures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Candy Bags can work well as pockets for tags, photos and notes.Use old book pages and packaging.Here I made a pocket from a piece of laminated plastic (the thread was trapped inside the laminator pocket.Old calendars are a good option for recycling and give you an interesting grid to work with.
Candy Bags can work well as pockets for tags, photos and notes.
Candy Bags can work well as pockets for tags, photos and notes.
Use old book pages and packaging.
Use old book pages and packaging.
Here I made a pocket from a piece of laminated plastic (the thread was trapped inside the laminator pocket.
Here I made a pocket from a piece of laminated plastic (the thread was trapped inside the laminator pocket.
Old calendars are a good option for recycling and give you an interesting grid to work with.
Old calendars are a good option for recycling and give you an interesting grid to work with.

Decorate Your Pages

Optional

Stamp, Paint and Doodle

As I planned to mainly write a story in my journal I wanted to add a little extra interest to each page. I also wanted to distress the pages a little bit more too.

Gesso is great for covering text and images on pages so that you can work over the top of them. I love gesso - when you have gesso you don't ever need to buy paper ever again - just work over the top of some junk mail!

My Altered Junk Pages

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gesso, paint and handmade stamps.Handmade stamps.Handmade stamps and a plastic bag fish!Printed with foam alphabet stamp, flip-flop stamp and random painting.
Gesso, paint and handmade stamps.
Gesso, paint and handmade stamps.
Handmade stamps.
Handmade stamps.
Handmade stamps and a plastic bag fish!
Handmade stamps and a plastic bag fish!
Printed with foam alphabet stamp, flip-flop stamp and random painting.
Printed with foam alphabet stamp, flip-flop stamp and random painting.

Stitch up Your Junk Journal

Putting it all Together

The last step to making your junk journal is to sew it all together.

Before you start to sew, however, you might want to reinforce the inside spine of your cover with some tape as the weight of the signatures could possibly tear through the cover. Give it a good even coverage.

You're going to make holes in your signatures and the journal cover so that you can stitch everything together. Follow the steps below.

Step by Step Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size

My Finished Amazon Junk Journal

Finished and Ready to Use

Once your journal is all stitched up it's good to go.

You might like to add some extra features to your journal, such as a tie around the width to keep it shut and protected when you carry it around.

The Finished Recycled Amazon Packaging Journal

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Share Your Thoughts - Reader Feedback.

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    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      Looks like great fun! Will be digging through my recycling piles in the future for junk journal material! Blessed~

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      I've been making journals like crazy lately with all my friends, they are so much fun to make and pretty easy.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 5 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Very interesting concept for exploring creativity and recycling!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Excellent lens - once more well-deserving of a purple star. You are OVER THE TOP! I think your crafts are so clever - and they don't require a lot of expensive materials. Squid Angel Blessed.

    • NazmiyalRugs profile image

      NazmiyalRugs 5 years ago

      Very creative, thanks for sharing!

    • MohkaUK LM profile image

      MohkaUK LM 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • MohkaUK LM profile image

      MohkaUK LM 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • youthministry profile image

      Paul Turner 5 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

      Worthy of the the front page of Squidoo.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 5 years ago from Iowa

      Looks like an incredibly fun project. Beautifully done. Blessed.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      So clever! Great directions too. *blessed

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      I FREEKING LOVE THIS!!! When I did my art degree, I did something similar with my logbooks - so creative. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea and definitely going to put one together at some - ingenious use of Amazon packaging. All I want to do now, is make my own! BRilliant!!!

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      Very cool! I have been obsessed with junk journals lately. I'm so glad to find another Squid who enjoys them, too. I love your idea of candy bags as pockets and I also appreciate the great instructions on binding.

    • oceanfaerygoddess profile image

      oceanfaerygoddess 5 years ago

      Your junk journal is fab. What an absolutely fantastic idea! i am definitely going to try this next time I get an order from Amazon (good excuse to order a book!!) - I'd love to try covering it with some fabric or using up bits of scrap material too!

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 5 years ago

      Wow, you're very creative to have come up with making this journal from shipping packages!

    • profile image

      ddalgleish 5 years ago

      Great idea for a journal, thanks for posting it.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      It just goes to show you one man's trash is another man's treasure. Cool Lens.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks so much :) White pen or sticky labels would work.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 5 years ago

      @RoadMonkey: That's a great idea - or some sort of fancy ribbon might work well too :)

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 5 years ago

      Great idea. I would probably be more likely to use a large elastic band round the spine to hold the folded papers because the thought of sewing makes my head hurt - it was my least favourite class in school and my grandmother and the sewing teacher used to have to do mine for me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love this idea. It looks really funky. It seems like it would make a great scrapbook. I was just wondering how you can see your writing when you write in it, since many of the pages are quite dark?

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 5 years ago

      @Gayle Mclaughlin: Thank you :)

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 5 years ago

      @SheilaMilne: I have quite a stack too - thanks for visiting :)

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 5 years ago

      @kimbesa2: Me too - I have so many of them!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 5 years ago

      @AgingIntoDisabi: Thanks so much :)

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 5 years ago from USA

      Thanks! I get a fair number of these Amazon containers, and I'd love to make several of these folders!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 5 years ago

      @ItayaLightbourne: Aha! Amazon mailer - I couldn't think of what to call them! Thanks for visiting :)

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Fantastic tutorial for making Junk Journals! I think I've got a few of those Amazon mailers too. Just might have to make one. Blessings! :)

    • AgingIntoDisabi profile image

      AgingIntoDisabi 5 years ago

      What a great recycling project, and beautiful too!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      I have so many of those Amazon covers - I just knew they'd come in handy! :)

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 5 years ago from McLaughlin

      What an interesting tutorial!