These journals can be made with materials from your craft stash and your recycling bin… for FREE! When I call these “journals,” I am using the term broadly. They don’t have to be diaries full of ideas and musings, but they can be catch-all books for anything your child deems worthy of saving: stickers, leaves, pictures cut from magazines, drawings, whatever their little imaginations desire!
I am part of the PSA Essentials design team. I received complimentary PSA products in exchange for creation of project ideas.
To make Cardboard Kids’ Journals, you will need:
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lightweight cardboard boxes (like cereal boxes)
How many of these bad boys go in the garbage or recycling container each week? In our house, it is way too many. You can reuse some of these lightweight cardboard boxes to make these easy journals.
Begin by opening up the boxes all the way and flattening them out.
Fold the cardboard in half.
Trim off the excess flaps of cardboard to create the cover of the journals.
This is my scrap paper drawer. Whenever I use part of a piece paper, but not the whole thing, it gets stuffed in here. Most of the time these leftover scraps aren’t usable for projects, but they are perfect for these journals. You can use up that stash and make the journals extra colorful!
Trim the paper to fit inside the cardboard covers. Fold the paper in half.
Run the center fold through your sewing machine or hand sew the binding with embroidery thread.
You could leave the journals like this and let your kids decorate the covers. I decided to spruce up the journals with some of my PSA Essentials stamps.
First I glued some more scrap paper to the covers. I used some leftover Valentine’s paper for the journal for my daughter, and some gear paper left from the Playroom Art I made years ago (yes, I save too much stuff) for the cover of my son’s journal.
I decided to turn my daughter’s journal into an alphabet book, since we are working on letter recognition with her.
I stamped the cover with PSA’s Vanilla stamp packs and Cranberry, Grapefruit, and Holiday Red inks (although you can’t really see a difference in color here).
I used black ink to stamp one letter on each of the rainbow-colored pages. At first we can just use the book to learn letters, then eventually we can add pictures of things that start with the corresponding letters on each page.
I can through this journal in my purse to keep her quiet at the grocery store or at restaurants, or we can just look at it together at home.
I stamped some spaceships onto my Star Wars-loving son’s journal using PSA’s Rocket stamp pack and Poppy Orange and Lime inks.
I am going to let him use his journal however he likes, so I have a feeling it will end up being filled with stickers and his drawings of Jedi.
Kids will love filling their special journals with all kinds of ephemera, and you can bust through your stash as you do it!
You might like these other fun kids crafts:
Let's be buds.
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