Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scrap Journals

These are just some of the scrap journal I have been making. I starting making these about four or five years ago. First it was because of a move and then I realized how much I accumulated in a year or so. Then I decided to make it a yearly tradition. I love all the uses for these things. Also, they are great fun to make with a bunch of arty girlfriends.

With the new year everyone is always cleaning and sorting through their things. This year I believe this particular project has become even more relevant. It is a great way to recycle and the end product is something you can actually use or even give as a gift.

First, I start with the box of scraps I have been collecting all year from previous projects. I also save the return envelopes that come with my bills - I pay everything on line so never use them - art work that I junked, old tags, postcards from art shows, etc. I have a box I throw all this stuff into, whatever I haven't used in a year goes into making these journals, or is given to other artists, or tossed.

Next, I find a large area in my house that won't be disturbed for a day or two. Usually the bonus room floor. Then I start sorting. This years I sorted by color. Pinks and red, blues, black and white, yellows and creams, greens, etc. Then I added envelops, tags, postcards to these piles. I even use text or music from old books that I might have torn out for a collage.

After you have an assortment of piles you have to determine how large of a journal you will make. I usually find the average size piece of paper in each pile and work from there. [Remember the charm of these journals is that you are not having each page the same size.] I then get my paper cutter and start cutting the scraps to make the pages.

A roll of Scotch removeable tape is in order now. I use this tape to hold the awkward small pieces in place when I punch the holes in the pages. Now you can do this with a rubi coil binder like the ones I am showing you or with your zutter binder. Both work great. I get the big coils from Kinko's for 25 cents a piece. They come in five different colors. Just alternate your page sizes and what you want in your book. It can be a whole smorgasboard of things. I like to put the envelopes in to put things into. The ones with windows are cool.

The covers are made of scrap chipboard covered with scrap papers. I try to make about 10 or 12 of these to last around a year. One I put quotes in. Another I put buisness cards and reciepts from artwork in. I have one that is for grocery lists and dinners. So go get a box, throw your scraps in it and start making a few scrap journals.
Here I have used scraps and some arty postcards.


I have used small envelopes, tags, wallpaper pieces, and scraps here.


Tags, old projects, some envelopes.


More scraps and arty postcards, etc.


A basketful of finished scrap journals waiting to be filled.

A couple of people have asked me about the zutter binder and the rubi coil. They both are good machines, I have both. I like the rubi coil for these for two reasons - the large coils are cheap, and here by the coast plastic doesn't rust. I have to be real careful about metal here. I often leave a journal in my car and metal doesn't do well here.

The other question that came up was cutting the holes in the pages. Each machine will only cut a certain amount at a time. Smaller signatures are better, then just combine them when you bind. Feel free to email me with any other questions.

14 comments:

Patti said...

wow, never would have thought about getting the combs (binders) at Kinko's and even using scrap for the covers - thanks for sharing!

Tita Moma said...

Thanks so much for sharing about the scrap journals. I have been wanting to make these journals and have been looking at the zutter bind it all. After reading your post I googled Rubi Coil binder. These seem to be heavier than the zutter. Are you familiar with both machines? If so, what's the main difference? Does the Rubi Coil only use plastic coils? Would love to hear your comments! Your journals are beautiful!! Thanks, Peggy.

Elizabeth Golden said...

Tita Moma - Peggy - It really depends on how thick you want your book. Both companies make big coils and binders. I cut my pages in groups, signatures, so both machines are about the same there. I think it really depends on how you want your binding to look. I am sure over time the metal will be long lasting, if you live in a moisture area, as I do I go for the plastic - no rust. Hope this answers your question.

About : sbartist said...

Elizabeth - You are a genius!!! Thanks for the awesome idea : ) Sb

sandee said...

These are terrific! So, now that you've made all of these, are you going to journal in all of them?

Elizabeth Golden said...

Good question Sandee, actually I was thinking about putting at least one in my blog giveaway later in the month

Robin said...

Such a great idea for using up that never ending scrap box!

Aimeslee said...

Another info-packed blog entry, thanks. Ali Edwards has made a mint in the scrapbooking world using this technique in a 3-ring binder. Sigh, I really wished I could create faster....lol. So much paper to cover, so little time! xoxo

Sally Hackney said...

I love this idea. I've been saving old return envelopes too. Hmm... I will do this! Love, Sally

Lizbethem said...

Thanks for inspiring us with these home-made journals. One of these days I hope to make one myself...I look forward to entering the giveaway :)

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, these are absolutely gorgeous -- every single one of them! What treasures. I have a Zutter binder and find I can't always get it to close smoothly and evenly -- I end up with a slightly flattened binding. An advantage to a coil binding such as rubicoil is that you can turn the cover completely back and out of the way without pages coming loose, unlike the Zutter.
Donna

trisha too said...

this is fantastic!

i love this idea.

these are all just lovely, thank you for the tutorial/inspiration!!

Dianne said...

these are super, and so clever! bet it's a lot of fun to fill them up! thanks for sharing...

cindy said...

Great idea! Your blog is always full of wonderful, inspirational projects. I love checking in to see what you have.
Thanks so much!
Cindy