Tomorrow I leave for my spring semester in Amsterdam. I’m so excited I spent all of yesterday decorating supplies for me to use abroad. I covered my laptop charger and phone charger in red glitter tape, created my very own planners from index card rings, and decorated two travel journals. (For when the first one runs out!)
Decorating your journal is a very personal process. I can’t tell you how you ought to decorate, but what I can do is give you a few ideas, and show you some technical tricks that will make your travel journal look professionally made! Here is a step-by-step guide to making a travel journal, with mine as a template.
-Two lined notebooks. Mine are Staples brand, made from biodegradable materials. I chose them because they had a blank brown cover and they are eco-friendly!
-Black and white ink pads.
-Black construction paper.
-2 sets of alphabet stickers. One of mine was printed with a map design and the other was shiny and gold.
-Scrapbooking paper printed with maps.
-White fake flowers.
-Black sticky gemstones. Be careful to buy ones that come with a sticky film on the back because it is very tricky to glue down tiny, unsticky rhinestones!
-Thin foam brush.
Instructions for Book 1
Step 1: Rub the surface of the white ink pad onto the book cover in a circular motion. Stop when the cover is saturated to your liking.
Step 2: Stick map alphabet stickers onto black construction paper. Cut around each letter.
Step 3: Arrange each rectangle/letter onto the cover in a way that pleases you. Adhere with elmer’s glue or tape. Tape is less messy, but does erode over time. Glue dries clear, so messiness is often temporary. I like to use a thin foam brush to apply glue because it keeps it allows me to apply only a fine layer of glue.
Step 4: Brush the edges of your decal (mine was a vintage cut-out of a clock) against the black ink pad to dye the edges black. I like to apply harder pressure on the edges and lighten the pressure as I moved the pad inwards. This creates a nice ombre effect.
Step 5: Adhere a white flower to the center of the decal with glue. Then, cut a black rhinestone from a pack and adhere it to the center of the flower.
Ta-da! That is how I made my first book.
Instructions for Book 2
Step 1: Rub the surface of the black ink pad onto the book cover in a circular motion. Stop when the cover is saturated to your liking.
Step 2: Stamp alphabet stamps onto black construction paper with the white ink pad. Apply light-medium pressure so that you don’t get excess white residue onto the paper. Cut around each letter.
Step 3: Arrange each rectangle/letter onto the cover in a way that pleases you. Again, glue or tape work fine. Scrapbooking sticky tabs work as well, I just didn’t have any left!
Step 4: Cut out a rectangle from the map-printed scrapbooking paper. Adhere to the cover with tape or glue.
Step 5: Stick gold alphabet stickers onto a wooden tag.
Step 6: Brush the edges of the tag against the black ink pad to stain it black. Again, hard pressure on the edges and lighter pressure towards the middle creates a nice gradually lightening effect.
Step 7: Adhere the tag on top of the scrapbooking paper using glue.
As you can see, it’s not that difficult to decorate a travel journal. Small touches go a long way. Placing stickers/stamped letters on top of construction paper makes them pop. Staining the edges of a tag or a decal with ink makes the book look more multidimensional. Keeping to a color scheme and repurposing motifs will help your books look like they are part of the same collection. I used maps, for example, in both the alphabet letters of the first book and the background of the second book.
I can’t wait to show you guys the INSIDE of these books once I start filling them out. I use books like these to write poems and journal entires, and paste business cards, ticket stubs, and all kinds of travel memorabilia.
Until next time (tot de volgende keer)!