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Collage style cover for multi-functional journal

I promised a fellow blogger, Eva, I would show her how to do one of my art projects. She is a primary school teacher and I thought of a project she could do with the children.

I recycle magazine pages to create collages. Mostly, I paint on them. Occasionally, I use collages to personalise sketchbook covers. All I need are magazines, a book with a paper cover, glue and scissors. I tear out a story and glue away.

scrapbook, scissors, masking tape, magazines

This is a croquis sketchbook. It is larger than a copy of Esquire or Bazaar (pictured). One book has 100 pages. If both sides are used, you can have 200 entries.

scrapbook, open, blank pages

These sketchbook pages will have many functions, all rolled in one:

  • guest book
  • photo album
  • scrap book
  • notebook
  • journal/day book
  • sketch book

magazine cutouts arranged on the cover

After selecting pictures and cutting out text, I arrange everything loosely.

I sometimes visit homes with official guest books, and I thought it would be fun to modify the idea. For example, you could ask house guests to pose for instant photos. Later, they can add notes for your album pages. Or, young siblings may enjoy updating a book as a yearlong project.

magazine cutouts arranged on the cover

Need it —–> Glue; magazines; notebook or sketchbook with paper cover.

glue swiped on the cover
Opt it —–> Oil markers or acrylics; decorative masking tape; a friend to chat with.

done and taped with decorative masking tape
All done and taped down. Work it —–>

  • Find striking images, words or lettering.
  • Try to tell a story as you search.
  • Tear or cut around text or pictures.
  • Arrange the cutouts for a quick look.
  • Glue cutouts to the cover.
  • Try to cover the entire space, the more overlaps the better.
  • Do not try to be neat.
  • Use decorative masking tape or clear tape to secure weak points.
  • If you like, you could add a painting or drawing with oil markers.

done and taped with decorative masking tape, close up

Use it —–>  One entry page should be as crowded as possible. Share the fun with friends.

open page with welcome message and heart shaped sketch

Thank you for viewing. I realised too late the camera automatically switched to the “hand held night scene” setting, hence the romantic ambience. (Palms forehead). Happy crafting until next time.

By ΠιCΘLΣ

Life is short, so let’s be decent.

89 replies on “Collage style cover for multi-functional journal”

Thanks Julie. I’m feeling a lot better. I think it would be a great idea and thank you for suggesting it. If I can find away to prevent the cover collage from lifting, I’d totally go for it. I already massacred the pages of two of these over 5 years but the covers are pretty solid. Let’s hope customers are interested in buying them. x

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Thanks again. I thought of varnish and if I can find a matte one, I’ll certainly consider it. I used the glossy type to seal acrylic paint on clear plastic bottles after I paint on them (gifts to friends). The problem is that the smell kills my mucous membranes, even with the windows open, so I’d be perpetually irritated. We’ll see. x

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Thank you so much. I only realised the therapy aspect of it when a few other readers mentioned it. I’m happy I stumbled on something that can help others. Thank you for your comment, Jennifer sensei. x

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Great idea! I was just wondering what to do with the stacks of family photos I have. This would be an interesting project, and more visually appealing than just looking through the pictures as a single item! Thanks for the inspiration!

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I’m happy to have done this for you. I am sure you will enjoy the results and the multiple functions of your book. They’ll get heavy towards the end, and that feeling of satisfaction will be wonderful. Best of luck with your project. x

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“I tear out a story and glue away.” YES!!!! This is great, never thought about covering covers of sketchbooks…that is a great idea. Been trying to think of a reason to bring home the latest issue of Bazaar…bingo! Thank you for sharing your lovely work and process. (Thought the photographs were great and enjoyed the ambiance ;D)

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Alok, thank you for this lovely compliment. I was blinking hard because I thought, “Alok is the one with the talent.” Then I realised you meant me. How very kind and thank you, again.

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WOW, it was a great idea,, sister! I do love your art, n I’ll learn its steps, n I’ll try to share it to my children. They’ll love it, I’m sure that. Thank you very much, my sister SB! 💝👍👍👍, You really made my day. 😘 Super thank you!

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Every January, I look forward to making a collage from magazines at my friend’s epiphany party and have done collages with clients. I really like the idea of collaging a functional item like a journal, or maybe even a piece of furniture. I have a friend who collaged family photos all over the bar between her kitchen and dining area. What fun!

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Jo Anna, thanks so much for the additional tips and ideas. Could you tell me more about the collages with your clients? It sounds therapeutic. If there was a post about it on your blog, please point me to it. x

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No posts about client collages, yet. I’ll look for the one on my epiphany collage. For clients, I bring in magazines, glue sticks and recycled cardboard. I suggest they look for pictures and words that relate to their recovery or stress management, or their goals . I haven’t done this lately, and I’m being reminded that it’s about time. 🙂

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Thank you. I’m glad you like the idea. It’ll work, especially if you just like to relax and hang out. It’s great to have random sketches and doodles. They add to the easiness of the mood and help your friends to relieve stress. x

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I remember my days when I would do that, but I just draw skulls and bones and blood and dead humans…… I was a bit into heavy metal then, probably that´s why teachers didn´t like me or where scared of me

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I do the gothic eye makeup thing, and I’m sure people are scared of me because of that. I normally encourage people to draw anything in these journals. I’ve seen something similar to what you described in the past. Everyone was having fun, so no harm done. x

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