How to Make a Junk Journal from an Amazon Cardboard Envelope
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
- 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.
- Scrap papers - magazine pages, print-outs, bills, business envelopes, old letters, book pages etc.
- Tough Thread - waxed linen is good or you could even try dental floss.
- Paints, gesso, stamps and ink pads, stencils, other interesting mark-making materials.
- A couple of beads or something else to anchor your stitches.
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
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
Junk mail can be used to make pages for your junk journal!
Collect the Papers
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 SignaturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Decorate Your Pages
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 PagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 InstructionsClick 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.