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It was 1992 when I began journaling.

25 years later, I think it’s safe to assume that scattered around my house are no less then 100 purchased journals filled with quotes, daily activities, pictures, spiritual meanderings, meaningless musings and all other sorts of what some people may consider unending drivel.


Most of these journals cost on the average about ten dollars. I always tended to go for the prettier journals with lined paper and strong spines.

Other journals came as gifts for which I was grateful.

Now, wherever did I obtain this passion for putting pen to paper in small little books you may ask?

I often asked myself this same question as I kept stacking my filled journals one by one on top of the other. It is my belief that the answer to my obsession is my grandfather, best known in our family as Opa Scherer.

Currently, I am the keeper of what I call The Scherer Archives which contain journals and photo albums which can be found my living room, bedrooms, at least four book cases and one suitcase.

Yes, there are that many.

My Grandfather spoke and wrote in languages that I never learned and so they are mostly unreadable.

This breaks the heart as I can only imagine what they contain.

Now, what I’d like to tell you about are my experiments into making small travel size journals.

My daughter introduced the idea to me when she gifted me with a Tardis blue leather midori journal.

I’ll start with the smaller art journals which I’ve been making over the past week.

My personal preference for the art journal is the cold pressed paint paper which is best suited for watercolour painting.

First, I made the cover. This was done by taking one sheet of the chosen paper and cutting it lengthwise in half, then covering it with either artwork or gluing some decorative paper to it.

Next, I took a sheet of my cold pressed art paper and used washi tape to help divide it into sections. The reason I used washi tape instead of regular scotch tape is that it doesn’t damage the paper when it’s removed.

Then, with my scissors I cut along both lengths of the washi tape as follows…. Which left me with this

So, you may be asking yourself this by now:

How do we put this all together?

There are several options, you can bind it with stitching if you’re sure that you are comfortable with not being able to add or subtract pages later on.

This is my preference for my writing journals.

But since, I’m focusing on an art journal, I’ve come up with an idea that’s much more flexible and easy. You can remove and add paper at will.

Now, here’s the trick:

I got a black hair tie which was purchased in bulk at the dollar store.

I gave the thick paper which would be used for painting a good heavy fold along with the cover.

Then I inserted the prepared paper strips inside the cover.

Next, I fed the paper and the cover through the hair tie until it was halfway up.

In this way, the hair tie is holding everything together like a rubber band would.

Another beautiful thing about this is that should I want to remove a piece of paper and replace it, no problem because it’s not sewn together. It’s only a rubber band that’s holding everything together.

And there you have it, a quick and easy journal easily made for less than a dollar depending on the quality of your supplies.

Of course, the past few days did not come without some mistakes along the way…

I’ve learned that when using a paintbrush to glue cardboard to paper, it is no longer a paintbrush. It then becomes a glue brush because it’s nearly impossible to remove the glue bits trapped between the bristles. The last thing I want are glue particles finding their way into my painting.

Another thing I learned is I must be very careful when using soap to clean the brushes.

It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out where all the bubbles in my paintings were coming from.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial.

It’s time for me to start thinking up another one.