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How to Make a Junk Journal from an Amazon Cardboard Envelope


Recycle Your Mail Packaging!

The junk journal shown opposite was made from scrap paper and a cool piece of folded cardboard courtesy of Amazon.

Amazon.co.uk (and I hope Amazon in all the other countries too!) send out their books and DVDs in these cool cardboard envelopes. I buy a lot of books from Amazon so I wanted to come up with a way to recycle these nifty little packages.

The "envelopes" are made from a piece of cardboard that's folded in such a way that makes a nifty journal cover. Find out how I made my Amazon Junk Journal below.

Stuff You Will Need

  1. An Amazon Cardboard Envelope (they usually send out their DVDs and books in these) or a piece of cardboard big enough to be folded into the right shape.
  2. Scrap papers - magazine pages, print-outs, bills, business envelopes, old letters, book pages etc.
  3. Tough Thread - waxed linen is good or you could even try dental floss.
  4. Paints, gesso, stamps and ink pads, stencils, other interesting mark-making materials.
  5. A couple of beads or something else to anchor your stitches.
Amazon Packaging

Amazon Packaging

So, this is what you need - this bit of cardboard has been pre-folded to make a book shape, although you can fold the "spine" a bit narrower or wider depending on the amount of paper you want in your junk journal.

The cardboard envelope also has an interesting double flap feature inside - this is where Amazon secure your book or DVD but you can use it to hide a mini journal, a letter or just your contact info.

Recycled Amazon Journal Cover by MeltedRachel

Recycled Amazon Journal Cover by MeltedRachel

Paint or Collage or just leave it Blank

If you leave your "cover" blank then you won't need to worry about ever losing your junk journal - your address will be right there on your cover.

I wanted to make my journal for a story I was writing about a grotty city area so I made the cover look pretty grungy and dirty.

I whacked some gesso down on top of the cardboard to hide my details and then I started rolling colour on with a brayer. My cover also features some of my home-made stamps which I'm sure will feature in a new lens soon.

Think about what you're going to use your junk journal for and decorate it accordingly.

Decorate Your Cover - My Inside Cover

Recycled Amazon Journal Cover by MeltedRachel

Recycled Amazon Journal Cover by MeltedRachel

Junk mail can be used to make pages for your junk journal!

Recycled Amazon Journal in progress by MeltedRachel

Recycled Amazon Journal in progress by MeltedRachel

Anything Goes!

I found that standard A4 size paper (8.3" Ã 11.7"), once folded in half, fit my Amazon envelope very well.

I used the paperback/DVD sized Amazon envelopes - they do come in bigger sizes and those can also be used to make larger journals.

You can use any paper you like for this project - this is a junk journal after all. Try raiding old books, junk mail, bills, even receipts (they could be good for tags etc).

Once you've got your mass of paper, start to fold it in half and put it into signatures (see the photos below). Work out which papers work well next to each other.

Check out some of my pages below.

Stamp, Paint and Doodle

As I planned to mainly write a story in my journal I wanted to add a little extra interest to each page. I also wanted to distress the pages a little bit more too.

Gesso is great for covering text and images on pages so that you can work over the top of them. I love gesso - when you have gesso you don't ever need to buy paper ever again - just work over the top of some junk mail!

Putting it all Together

The last step to making your junk journal is to sew it all together.

Before you start to sew, however, you might want to reinforce the inside spine of your cover with some tape as the weight of the signatures could possibly tear through the cover. Give it a good even coverage.

You're going to make holes in your signatures and the journal cover so that you can stitch everything together. Follow the steps below.

Finished and Ready to Use

Once your journal is all stitched up it's good to go.

You might like to add some extra features to your journal, such as a tie around the width to keep it shut and protected when you carry it around.

Share Your Thoughts - Reader Feedback.

Gayle Dowell from Kansas on August 08, 2012:

Looks like great fun! Will be digging through my recycling piles in the future for junk journal material! Blessed~

KarenCookieJar on July 28, 2012:

I've been making journals like crazy lately with all my friends, they are so much fun to make and pretty easy.

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on July 27, 2012:

Very interesting concept for exploring creativity and recycling!

Rose Jones on July 26, 2012:

Excellent lens - once more well-deserving of a purple star. You are OVER THE TOP! I think your crafts are so clever - and they don't require a lot of expensive materials. Squid Angel Blessed.

NazmiyalRugs on July 25, 2012:

Very creative, thanks for sharing!

MohkaUK LM on July 25, 2012:

Great lens!

MohkaUK LM on July 25, 2012:

Great lens!

Paul Turner from Birmingham, Al. on July 24, 2012:

Worthy of the the front page of Squidoo.

Mona from Iowa on July 24, 2012:

Looks like an incredibly fun project. Beautifully done. Blessed.

Angela F from Seattle, WA on July 24, 2012:

So clever! Great directions too. *blessed

Marc from Edinburgh on July 24, 2012:

I FREEKING LOVE THIS!!! When I did my art degree, I did something similar with my logbooks - so creative. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea and definitely going to put one together at some - ingenious use of Amazon packaging. All I want to do now, is make my own! BRilliant!!!

JJNW from USA on July 24, 2012:

Very cool! I have been obsessed with junk journals lately. I'm so glad to find another Squid who enjoys them, too. I love your idea of candy bags as pockets and I also appreciate the great instructions on binding.

oceanfaerygoddess on July 24, 2012:

Your junk journal is fab. What an absolutely fantastic idea! i am definitely going to try this next time I get an order from Amazon (good excuse to order a book!!) - I'd love to try covering it with some fabric or using up bits of scrap material too!

TheresaMarkham on July 23, 2012:

Wow, you're very creative to have come up with making this journal from shipping packages!

ddalgleish on July 23, 2012:

Great idea for a journal, thanks for posting it.

Deadicated LM on July 23, 2012:

It just goes to show you one man's trash is another man's treasure. Cool Lens.

Rachel Field (author) on July 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Thanks so much :) White pen or sticky labels would work.

Rachel Field (author) on July 23, 2012:

@RoadMonkey: That's a great idea - or some sort of fancy ribbon might work well too :)

RoadMonkey on July 23, 2012:

Great idea. I would probably be more likely to use a large elastic band round the spine to hold the folded papers because the thought of sewing makes my head hurt - it was my least favourite class in school and my grandmother and the sewing teacher used to have to do mine for me!

anonymous on July 23, 2012:

I love this idea. It looks really funky. It seems like it would make a great scrapbook. I was just wondering how you can see your writing when you write in it, since many of the pages are quite dark?

Rachel Field (author) on July 23, 2012:

@Gayle Mclaughlin: Thank you :)

Rachel Field (author) on July 23, 2012:

@SheilaMilne: I have quite a stack too - thanks for visiting :)

Rachel Field (author) on July 23, 2012:

@kimbesa2: Me too - I have so many of them!

Rachel Field (author) on July 23, 2012:

@AgingIntoDisabi: Thanks so much :)

Rachel Field (author) on July 23, 2012:

@ItayaLightbourne: Aha! Amazon mailer - I couldn't think of what to call them! Thanks for visiting :)

Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on July 22, 2012:

Fantastic tutorial for making Junk Journals! I think I've got a few of those Amazon mailers too. Just might have to make one. Blessings! :)

AgingIntoDisabi on July 22, 2012:

What a great recycling project, and beautiful too!

kimbesa from USA on July 22, 2012:

Thanks! I get a fair number of these Amazon containers, and I'd love to make several of these folders!

SheilaMilne from Kent, UK on July 22, 2012:

I have so many of those Amazon covers - I just knew they'd come in handy! :)

Gayle from McLaughlin on July 22, 2012:

What an interesting tutorial!

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