Over the summer, I had art camp here every day for five weeks. On day one of each new session, the first thing we did was make an art journal. It was something that could be used throughout the week, if the kids were done with their projects early, or if they had an idea they wanted to sketch. We talked about “thinking and working like and artist”, which means keeping a journal close by to write thoughts or draw or paint or glue…whatever moved them! The kids LOVED making these journals. They thought it was so cool that their names were on them, and that they could fill it up with anything they wanted. Plus there was a nifty handle to carry it around. Winner!
Supplies for making the journals:
paper bag // three or more sheets of 12 x 18 sulphite paper (or other paper that size, i just happened to have sulphite paper and love the density) // plain or colored masking tape (I used painter’s tape) // hole punch (1/8″) // brass fasteners
1. Cut down the sides of your paper bag and cut off the bottom. You will now have two separate paper bag sheets (with handles).
2. Fold the inside paper you are using in half and lay it down on one side of the paper bag. Trim around the paper leaving a bit of a margin. Trim the other paper bag sheet.
3. Tape the two sides together. I put tape on the outside and the inside.
4. Punch a small hole at the top and bottom, going in as far as your hole punch will let you. Punch the hole close to the fold, but not on the fold.
5. Open up the bag and lay the folded paper inside, marking where the holes are on the white paper. Now punch holes in the white paper right on the fold.
6. Insert the brass fasteners from the outside and secure them on the inside. Voila!
I actually taped the two sides together and then had the kids paint and decorate them before I attached the inside sheets. After the paint and glitter dried, that’s when I put in the sheets with the fasteners.
Supplies for decorating the journals:
letter stencils (optional, you can freehand) // watercolor paints // brushes // glitter glue // glitter (messy and exciting alternative to glitter glue) // white glue in a bowl with a brush (if you use glitter) // neon chalkboard pens
We glued envelopes inside the front cover. This was strategic in once sense, to cover all of the grocery store graphics, but also it allowed them to be collectors and to save the little bits they found to use for their art.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best!