Recycling is one of the greatest things about making junk journals. When it comes to making covers, you probably already have items in your home that could be re-purposed. It just takes a little creativity!
My favorite thing to use for making junk journal covers is vintage books. Old books are eventually discarded because they are coming apart or no longer useful. They collect dust in thrift stores, library basements and attics.
What better way to keep them alive then to recycle them into new cherished treasures!
I especially love when I can gut a book completely and use the whole cover, spine and all. When I'm lucky enough to find a vintage book in excellent condition, I create a hidden stitch spine so that the junk journal I make looks like the original book on the outside - in other words, my sewn signature threads aren't visible on the back of the spine.
If the spine is badly damaged, it can be cut off and the front and back covers used on a ring-bound junk journal. Or a new spine can be built with chipboard and covered with a durable material like Kraft-Tex.
Of course they don't have to be vintage books. If you have hardcover books on hand you can make them look perfectly vintage with these distressing tricks.
I also love using file folders to make my covers - hanging folders, tabbed folders, colored ones, manila. They make a durable base and can be embellished, painted, stained or just left plain.
This fabulous tutorial takes it one step further and shows how to make the cover AND base pages entirely with file folders. Check out Michelle's file folder mini featuring my Steamtown Spring journal kit.
Food boxes are another popular recycled product for junk journal covers. The chipboard is perfect for creating covers. They can be covered with patterned paper, paint, printables – the possibilities are endless.
Of course the topic of journal covers can't be mentioned without addressing what type of glue should be used in making your project. Follow this link to my short list of best adhesives for making junk journals. And be sure to share your favorites there as well!
Mixed Media Cover
Faux Leather Hard Cover
Faux Leather Soft Cover
Want to share how you construct your covers? Or decorate them? Share your tips and ideas here!