I know this lovely young girl who just recently had a birthday. When trying to figure out what to get for her, I decided to make her gift. Not only would it be special, but it would also be made out of completely reused materials. She recently commandeered my drawing book and used up three full pages with her awesome 4- year old art. So I set out to make an art journal for her.I am a lover of list making, notebooks and DIY’s and while perusing Pinterest one day I came across the Midori Travel Notebook. While typically leather bound, the main appeal of this notebook is the reusability of it. It features elastic bands, which hold a plethora of different types of notebooks. While I would love to have my hand at creating my own, I really wanted to inspire this little one to keep being creative and have something that can grow with her, at least for a short time. I didn’t do a very good job at taking pictures, but I will link the websites where I got the ideas.
So without further ado, I give you: A Very Faux-Dori Notebook
The items I scrounged up were:
- An old pop-up calendar
- An old pair of elephant pants
- A hair ribbon
- Decorative headband
- All-purpose glue
- Heat-n-bond hem strips
- Double stick tape
- Masking tape
- Cute envelopes (The one item I did buy – I wanted to give her little pockets. You could use ones that you already have as well)
- First things first, the cardboard was cut from the calendar and refashioned it into a book form. A bit of space was between the cover and the spine so that the book would be able to close easily. Then the joint was coated in masking tape. That cover wasn’t going to fall off.
- Next up, the pants. The hem was undone from the pant leg with a seam ripper and the elastic was pulled and kept for later.
- The pant leg was then chopped off and cut to extend about 1½ inches or so passed the books edge. Nothing was measured properly; partly because the ruler was MIA, but also because the edges would be hidden by an inside paper layer. But under normal circumstances, measuring would happen.
- Strips of the hem tape were glued to the front cover of the book form. The book got cozy with the lovely fabric rectangle and met the iron. ModPodge would work awesome for this and there is a fabulous tutorial at ModPodge Rocks. But alas, this is Thailand and ModPodge doesn’t exist here.
- The book was flipped over and the edges ironed in sort of mock hem. The all-purpose glue was used around the edges to ensure a proper seal.
- Next, the used document envelope was sliced up to cover the ‘hemmed’ edge. The envelope was cut along the joints in the spine because it wouldn’t close otherwise.
- This next step was the most frustrating. How to get the elastic to stay? The initial thought was to simply glue the elastic under the paper to the fabric. That proved to be hell on the paper and a solution needed creating. In come the staples! The staples did not go through the cardboard completely and were a wonderful way to keep the elastic in place. However, they are visible. *Future reference: put down the staples – then the paper. But it is for a four five year old so she probably won’t mind.
- After that it was smooth sailing. The ribbon was glued to the front of the book. While drying, the envelopes were placed on the inside using the double stick tape. The flower portion of the headband was used as decoration on the front of the book.
- There was leftover material from the headband and that was used to make a penholder on the inside cover.
I threw in some colored pencils and stickers along with a cute bag to give it to her in.
When she opened it she immediately started coloring and kept telling me it was her ‘lucky birthday’, which she also received a scooter and a slingshot from China.
It was an awesome project and completely recycled. This little girl was so excited to get this as a gift and I’m equally as excited that I can help to instill creativity in such a young, eccentric soul. It was a wonderful feeling.
Let me know in the comments if you have tried something similar.