Friday, November 12, 2010

Recycled Travel Journal

I love to bring along a journal on my travelling trip abroad. I am ashamed to say, I never completed any of them when my journey ended. Reason being, I was simply too tired or busy to write during the journey. After all these years, I have completed only one journal on my Beijing visit and that was done after coming back home. I only have notes of the rest which I used for references on whenever necessary.

My Chiangmai Travel Journal

For my recent trip to Chiangmai with my good friend, I handmade a recycled travel journal with old table calendar. I always thought it would be too wasteful to trash the outdated table calendars and I have kept few copies of them in my treasure box :)


As the main concept for this journal is " Recycled", I picked a Body Shop ribbon from a Christmas gift packaging last year, some garment tags, old drawings on watercolor paper, old paper stocks which had turned yellow and spotty and most important an outdated table calendar for the project. I gather some materials and info of Thailand from an old magazine; color copy a fabric I bought from Chiangmai years ago; select some plain paper and pretty scrap booking papers from my paper stash; rubber stamps and inks, some quotes on paper. Last but not lease, the stationery set which consisted of white craft glue, used hotel key card or phone card as glue applicator, various sizes double sided tapes, cutter, scissors, markers and pen.

1) First, cut away the calendar stand of rectangle shape. Then, flip one cardboard to the front and the other to back to make the front and back cover.

2) Tape the recycled ribbon on front and back cover with masking tape. To prevent ribbon from fraying, brush clear nail polish at the ends of ribbon.

3) Cut and tear small pieces of plain, printed papers (even fabric) and images or words from catalogues and magazine related to the theme. You may tear and cut the papers during the process of the collage.

4) Apply white craft glue with a used hotel key card on the cover. I worked on the front and back cover at the same time in order to achieve similar color tone and texture. I started the paper collage by pasting different papers of varied sizes overlapping each other, stamping some beautiful images and overlapping with some semi transparent paper. These layering gave a depth to the artwork and making the layout more interesting. Don't worry if the papers go out of the borders as you could trim them later. Also not to worry of too much glue as white craft glue is transparent once it dries and leaves a protection coat on the crafts.

Half finished

5) Brush some colors on the covers with ink pad to make the colors of the puzzles more uniform. Then, I used a permanent marker to draw some patterns in order to link all the puzzles together. I continued by brushing over the black drawing with white acrylic paint as I didn't have white ink pad; the drawing now blends with the artwork.

6) I pressed some acrylic crystal stick-on with an iron. You may obtain this crystal beads from shops selling tailoring supplies where they are greatly used locally on Malay tudung and baju kurung. Or you may recycle you broken accessories parts to collage onto the covers.

The making of travel journal
A fully completed journal
The cover and back cover of my travel journal is completed. I went on working on the inside pages. I tore some plain papers to cover on the calendar pages for writing spaces; brushed some paint over garment tag; cut a strip of paper from an old catalogue to paste on one of the page; using my magic ink pads to brush on the edges of paper and etc. I enjoyed most was machine stitching on the book.

Left : Machine stitched a flyer onto the page- allows full view of flyer including the back page.
Right : A hill tribe embroidery work was stitched on a paper before being paste onto the inside cover

I didn't complete the journal writing again.....and of course those photos had to be added on after coming home. A week of hard work after coming home . Yeah!!!I finally completed my first handmade travel journal and putting it onto my blog. Good job!

Glimpse of the inside pages

So friends, let's start making a recycled journal for yourself. It doesn't have to be perfect like those publication layouts. Be free to doodle something and paste on anything. Writing down feelings and thoughts of a moment and cherishing your record for a lifetime can be unique experience.