I hate it when I forget my fabric grocery bags!! URGH!!! I try so hard to remember. They are hanging right by the door! But, it happens every once in a while. I’ve been known to shove 10 lbs worth of groceries into my purse, just to avoid a plastic bag.
Well, it happened again, on Sunday. A trip to Trader Joe’s resulted in lots of yummy food and 3 stuffed paper bags. After we put the groceries away, I was folding up the paper bags and was noticing how thick the paper was. Then the creative wheels started turning and because I’ve been reading A LOT about art journaling, well…
I was able to get 2 small journals (4 x 5 inches) and one large journal (8 x 6 inches) from two brown paper bags.
Here is a quick bit about how I made them:
For two small journals cut 16 pieces measuring 5 x 8 inches. Eight sheets for each journal. For the large journal, cut the paper into five or six 8 x 12 inch pieces. I ironed each sheet with steam to get them flat and then folded each sheet in half. Then I hand stitched the binding using THIS TUTORIAL. For one of them, I hand stitched a straight stitch.
You can paint the pages with one or two thin layers of gesso to make the pages thicker and stronger and to give you a clean, white page. Just make sure to use a dry brush or very little water with the paint to keep the paper from getting too soggy. From there on out, the sky is the limit! Paint, draw with pencil, charcoal, chalk, oil paintstiks, crayons, pens, markers, decoupage with paper, photos or fabric, use stamps. I use mat gel medium for all of my collage needs (or you can use modge podge)
Ideas for your journal:
*Color study, paint a different color on each page and then write feelings or draw pictures that each color evokes.
*Words. Write a random word on each page then paint, draw something that is associated with that word.
*Copy old black & white photos of family members and paste them to your journal. Paint colorful hats, dresses, vests on everyone.
*Use pictures from magazines and paste them in your journal. Fancy them up with markers, pens, paints, colored pencils.
*Make a numbers or alphabet book with the kids.
*Themes: Pick a theme , make a list then and fill your journal with each listed item.
- ~things that make you happy
- ~wishes, dreams and aspirations
- ~pet peeves
- ~favorite things
- ~travel journal
- ~favorite place(s)
- ~favorite people
The great thing about these journals is that they are a really inexpensive way to get creative with art. There is no pressure to make a masterpiece, just a really fun way to get ideas down on paper and experiment.
P.S. I thought I’d see if anyone else had done this, and because this is an amazing and huge world full of a gazillion creative people, I found that my idea wasn’t all that origianl after all. Ah well. I can happily say however, that I learned more and was inspired by the following three really cool paper bag journal makers: