Hi there! It’s Rebecca here today and I don’t know about you but we’ve been exploring our neighborhood a lot lately. Most of our local hiking trails and beaches are closed at the moment, and we live in a suburban city in southern California, which means there are people everywhere! Avoiding getting too close to them can be a bit difficult, so we’ve pretty well stayed close to home when we go out for some fresh air. Admittedly, that gets old after awhile, though, so I thought it might be fun to make a Nature Journal for my daughter.
It gives her a goal when we go out on walks–to hunt for interesting leaves, flowers, pebbles, and whatever else she thinks is cool. We can take pictures of fun-looking bugs and pretty birds and put them in there, too.
I used the We R Memory Keepers Book Binding Guide and Pocket Punch Board, found at Michael’s stores, along with some Crate Paper embellishments and papers to create the journal. I started by cutting some patterned papers down for the size of the journal. I trimmed them to 10″ W x 8″ H; they will fold in half to become 5″ W x 8″H. After scoring them down the middle, I rounded all four corners of each paper (using the 1-2-3 Punch Board to do that).
Next, I lined up the papers on the Book Binding Guide. This paper is pretty thick, and I had 7 layers to poke through, so I decided to divide them up and do them in groups of 4 and 3. The piercer will poke through 7 layers, but I used smaller stacks just to be safe. The guide keeps a tight hold on the paper stacks to keep them in line, which was helpful.
Once I had all the holes poked, I arranged the papers in a complementary fashion for the journal and stitched the pages together. The Book Binding Guide comes with needles and a strong, waxed thread, so that’s what I used when stitching. It didn’t break or tangle as it passed through any of the holes.
Then it was time to create some pockets. The Pocket Punch Board makes it really easy to create a lot of pockets, very fast! I made about 20 altogether, I think. You can choose a flap pocket or a notched pocket, and you can make them in a wide range of sizes. I stuck to smaller ones, so they’d fit in the journal.
I was particularly fond of the convenient size of the 2.75″ x 3.25″ notched pocket, which is made from a 4″ x 6″ paper size. After cutting my book page paper down from 12″ x 12″ to 8″ x 10″, I was left with 12″ x 4″ strips and could cut 2 pockets from each one!
I did create a few pockets with flaps, too, figuring my daughter can close them if she’d like to keep her nature findings from falling out.
After assembling all of my pockets, I decorated each page very simply. I want Nemy to be able to write a few notes in the journal, and maybe draw some pictures so I didn’t want to fill up all the pages. I did want to make them pretty for her, though, and offer a few suggestions she could use as a guide when we go out and walk around.
This project was easy and fun to create, and it’s something my daughter and I can take exploring with us, which will make the daily walk around the ‘boring old neighborhood’ a lot more fun and interesting!