Remembering 2014

Nope, that title isn't a typo.

Do you remember what happened in March of 2013? How about February? May? If you can't pinpoint any memories like that, this project may be for you.

In my childhood, I was a voracious journal-er (journalist? journalizer? anyway...). As the years passed, I became less and less regular about it, only keeping a journal during especially important or focused times, such as my semester abroad in college. And you know what? I can't even count the number of times I've gone back to that notebook to relive some of those traveling memories. So why not start it up again?
2014: The year of the journal. And since it's your memories, let's personalize it, shall we?

This entire project cost me under $5 for the notebook and the washi tape.
The paper cutter pictured above certainly is not a must-have. It's a scrabooking tool I've had for years and would highly recommend to anyone who does anything with paper, but scissors will do just as well for this project. A straight edge like a ruler would be helpful too if you're going the scissor-only route. The tape squares could be easily replaced with a standard glue stick or other glue medium appropriate for paper - Use what you've got!
First step? I covered the front and back of the notebook with plain colored paper. I wanted the binding of the composition book to remain flexible, so opted not to adhere anything to the black spine. A few double-stick tape squares and the paper was stuck. A quick trim around the edges with my scissors and the paper was perfectly sized to fit my covers.
Trim all paper and photos into triangles. Perfection is NOT a must!
Play with the loose triangles until you like the layout.
Now it's time for tape. My washi tape* was wide (about masking tape width), and since I wanted to include more images, I decided to make it a little smaller. All it took was a slice down the middle and I had thin strips perfect for my creation. Then it's just a matter of taping down the edges of every triangle.
I taped all the triangles, then ran one single strip down the middle and along the binding edge to cover all the torn tape ends and make my journal look a little more 'finished'. Then I used the full width of the tape to go around each outer edge of my journal, wrapping the excess around the cover's edge and adhering it to the inside of the cover (see below).
The finished front and back covers are seen above and below. For good measure, I gave mine a spray of clear coat meant for paper maché (not pictured, but grab it here or at your local paint supply store.   You could also brush on ModPodge instead if you don't want to mess with a spray paint.) The clear coat spray only takes a few hours to dry and off-gass, and voila! A moisture-safe, handmade journal, personalized just for you.
What an easy gift for next holiday too, right? The one pictured here I created for my Oregon-dwelling uncle who loves to write, and all images were found by typing things like "Oregon wilderness" or "Oregon scenery" into Google images. 

Under an hour of time and under $5... Can't beat it! I'd love to see what you create if you try - Post a link to your work in the comments!

*My washi tape is Scotch brand, found at Target. Search "washi tape" on Amazon or Etsy.com for THOUSANDS of options.
--> Get a paper cutter similar to my ancient one here.

Last but not least, my triangle design inspiration is via the amazing and creative sisters behind A Beautiful Mess. Check 'em out!

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