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Leather DIY Traveler’s Notebook Project for Bullet Journaling

Leather DIY Travelers Notebook

Traveler’s notebooks have gained a lot of popularity lately, because they are so versatile and can be used for bullet journaling, personal planning, art journaling, and so much more. They come in a variety of sizes, and for those who enjoy making their own journals, it is easy to make a DIY traveler’s notebook from a variety of materials.

For those who are not familiar with traveler’s notebooks, they are leather covers with elastic bands that hold one or more journals inside them. The journals may be purchased in a vast selection of papers that include watercolor papers, multi-media papers, grid papers, Tome River Papers and Moleskin Cahiers. The purpose of the traveler’s notebook depends entirely on the user. I use mine for bullet journaling, so I find one with lined paper works really well for me.

I got these really cool journals (Millie Marotta’s Tropical World Journals) that feature a really fun cover with designs for coloring from Michaels. The insides of the journals feature 64 lined pages.

Millie Marotta's Tropical World Journals

Millie Marotta’s Tropical World Journals

I have a fun collection of traveler’s journals but none of them seem to fit this odd sized set of journals. Since I purchased quite a lot of them (they were on sale and super cute), I decided this would be a great “make it yourself” BUJO traveler’s notebook project. So this DIY traveler’s notebook has been created to fit these odd sized bullet journals.

My leather was purchased very affordably in a grab bag at a chain craft store. With a 40% off coupon it cost me less than $10.

BUJO DIY Travelers Notebook Project Supplies

BUJO DIY Traveler’s Notebook Project Supplies

Supplies needed to make a very simple DIY traveler’s notebook:

  • leather (large enough to cover the journals)
  • Journals
  • Charms or buttons (to use as accents)
  • 2mm elastic cording (color of your choice)

Tools Used for This Project:

  • Steel Leather Hole Punch (size appropriate to the elastic cording)
  • Cutting Mat
  • Scissors;
  • Pencil or marker;

Step 1:

Lay the piece of leather right side down on the cutting mat and measure the piece to fit two journals. Depending on the capacity and size of the journals you are going to use in this leather travelers notebook project, you will need to measure your journals and then cut the leather with a few added inches so it will be a bit wider to compensate for the extra width of these journals.

Leather DIY Travelers Notebook Project - Step 1

DIY Leather BUJO Traveler’s Notebook Project – Step 1

Step 2:

Find the center of the leather and mark where you want the top and bottom holes to be. I made mine slightly off set because I find that it seems to work better for me. Then using the leather punch, punch out the four holes (you can make more holes if you decided you want more than two elastics inside of the travelers notebook).

eather Travelers Journal - Step 2

Leather DIY Traveler’s Journal – Step 2

Step 3:

Then find the center of the spine and mark one hole. Using the leather punch, punch out the hole.

Step 4:

Take the elastic and measure three times the length of the spine of the leather piece. Cut it and begin to thread it through the top two holes and then down through the bottom holes. The two ends should meet at the center of the interior of the leather piece where you can tie a knot. Don’t worry; once you load the journals, you won’t really see the knot.

Leather Travelers Notebook - Step 4

Leather DIY Traveler’s Notebook – Step 4

Step 5:

Since this is fairly thin leather, I decided it needed a small piece of leather for the elastic tie to give the book a little more structure. To make this, just take a left over piece of leather and cut a 2” by 1” piece of the leather. Using the leather punch, punch out a hole at each end.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 6

Take another piece of elastic and measure the width of the folded piece of leather (or use the journal for sizing). The piece of elastic should be one and a half times the width of the journal.

Step 7

Using the piece of elastic, load the piece of leather you cut in step 6 onto the elastic, then add some buttons or charms. Thread both ends into the center hole of the spine of the travelers notebook, and then tie a knot. I found that I needed to tie a double knot to keep the elastic from slipping through the hole.

DIY Leather Journal Project - Steps 4and 7

DIY Traveler’s Notebook Project – Steps 4 and 7

Step 8:

To finish the journal, just open the journal up to the center of the journal and slipping it through the elastic. If you like the look of rounded corners, you can use a nickel to trace a rounded corner (or a corner punch) to cut it out.

Step 8

Step 8

I like how rustic this project looks with all of its imperfections. My DIY leather traveler’s notebook project piece will work well for my current needs. Later on, I may add some metal eyelets to the holes to strengthen them.

Leather DIY Travelers Notebook Project

Leather DIY Travelers Notebook Project

One final tip: Depending on the quality and thickness of your leather, you may need to reinforce the piece of leather if it is too thin. My piece seemed to fit just fine but after a lot of use, I may have to reinforce it with fabric to strengthen it.

If you have made your own DIY traveler’s notebook, we would love to know what materials you used. Tell us in the comments below!

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Father’s Day Gift Wrap with Graphic 45

Looking for a quick last minute way to wrap dad’s Father’s Day gift that will make you look like a pro? We’ve got the answer for your Father’s Day gift wrap dilemma!

(Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay a commission that supports Craft Critique if you make a purchase after clicking on the link. Graphic 45 and Buttons Galore provided product to Craft Critique that was used in this post. Nally Studios, the owner of Craft Critique, manages social media for Buttons Galore.)

Masculine Gift Wrap

Supplies:

Gift wrap is so often seen as a feminine thing – frilly and fancy. How do you approach wrapping a gift for a man without making it look, well, plain? Vintage is a great way to go!

I started with Graphic 45’s rolled DIY Craft Paper to wrap my box. This particular design has a text based print on one side and butterflies on the other, making it versatile for any occasion of gift wrapping. Once the box was wrapped, it needed some embellishment.

A bow might be too frilly for Dad, but rosettes are another story! I created this one by cutting strips of paper and gluing them on top of each other, alternating over and under to create depth. (Make sure they are glued very securely with something like a glue gun so the rosette stays together.) Finish it off by cutting a scalloped circle and gluing it on top, and topping with a button with the shank removed.

The best part about this rosette is that it can be adjusted to any size package! I use 3/4″ wide by 7″ long strips to create this one, but a smaller or larger rosette could easily be created by simply adjusting the size of the strips used.

Finally, for the tag, use one of the ATC-sized Alphabet Banners. This one says “D” (for Dad, of course!) and the stencil cut-out is backed with a paper from the 8×8 paper pad. Glue some embellishments to the tag, and use twine to attach it to the top of the package!

This design could also easily be adjusted to package wedding party gifts (with black and touches of the Bride’s colors), or used for birthday wrap. Whatever the occasion…masculine doesn’t have to mean plain!

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Tie Dye Summer Fun for Kids (and Grown-Ups too!)

Welcome to the Summer Fun blog hop on Craft Critique!

Today I’ve got a fun project that will not only keep bored kids busy – it will create something practical they can use and enjoy all summer long. I’m talking, of course, about that never-goes-out-of-style tie dye!

[Disclosure: Some product used in this article was supplied to Craft Critique by Tulip for editorial review purposes but opinions are entirely those of the author. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay a commission to support Craft Critique if you make a purchase after clicking. You pay the same price but our site’s commission helps support our continued operation. Thanks for supporting our site!]

Summer Fun Tie Dye

For these shirts (due to a craft fail on my part), I actually ended up working with two different tie dye kits from Tulip:  Tulip One Step Mini Tie Dye Kit (Princess) and Tulip One Step Mini Tie Dye Kit (Pixie). They are different color versions of the same product, Tulip’s One Step Mini Tie Dye.

I used basic white t-shirts purchased from Walmart and the local craft store for this tie dye project. It’s important to get 100% cotton shirts if possible and to also wash them before dying them (let’s not talk about how I know that…).

The Tulip dye packages come with instructions for creating various kinds of dye designs on an item. My daughter chose a simple striped design for her shirt, and I decided to experiment with a more complex swirl design. The great thing about tie dye is that there really are no mistakes! Anything you do just adds to the character of the design.

tied up tshirts

The striped t-shirt for my daughter was dyed dry (and it hadn’t been washed on top of that). It used loads of dye – almost two whole of the mini bottles for a medium sized t-shirt.

Tie Dye Shirt in process

The upside of this was that the color on the shirt is intense, especially on the purple. And using the dry method meant I controlled exactly where the dye went.

Striped Tie Dye Shirt

For the swirl shirt, I used the wet method (wetting the shirt before applying the dye) and the shirt had been pre-washed. It used much less dye as the dye traveled a lot through the shirt instead of staying exactly where it was applied. The color was still quite intense but there wasn’t the same white borders between the colors since the dye traveled into the banded area.

Swirl Tie Dye Shirt in process

The result with the swirl design was much more white area than with the stripe, because of the the way the shirt is bunched up to achieve the swirl design.

Swirl Tie Dye Shirt

I recommend completing tie dye projects outside to minimize messes. I cut open trash bags to use as a protective cover for my porch table, and then used the bags to roll the shirts up in while the dye had to set (6-8 hours) before being rinsed. Very efficient!

In all this is a quick and easy (and affordable) project that is practical too. Tie dye is a fun way to work with groups of kids to make t-shirts that then make the kids easily identifiable when you take them out as a group (such as for a summer camp) if you give them a limited set of colors to work with like school colors.

Looking for more summer fun? Check out the links below!

Summer Fun #1 Cotton Candy Cookies - tie dye shirts - fruit juice lego jello - Splatter shirts - Beach Bag - From Nap-Time Creations

Fruit Juice Jello Lego Snacks – Nap-Time Creations

Zipper Beach Bags – Sew What Alicia

Splatter Shirts – Andrea’s Notebook on Nap-Time Creations

Cotton Candy Cookies – Sweet Jenny Belle Bakery

 

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Get Ready for July 4th with a Pallet Flag!

Pallet projects are very trendy right now in home decor. Pallets make the perfect base for rustic style flag projects. This pallet flag provides a twist on the usual flag design by replacing the blue field of stars with a cutout map of the United States with a string art star! Perfect for the 4th of July, this pallet flag will bring flea market style to your patriotic celebration!

[Disclosure: Products used in this project were supplied to Craft Critique by Plaid for promotional purposes but we maintain full editorial control of this content. Some links in this article are affiliate links that compensate Craft Critique when visitors make a purchase after clicking on them. Thank you for supporting Craft Critique when using our links!]

Pallet Flag

This pallet flag is created from two Plaid products – a 12″ x 16″ unfinished wood pallet, and a brand new wood string art cut out from their Bucilla String Creations brand.

Pallet Flag supplies

I started by painting the pallet base in two coats of White Adirondack chalk paint. Once that was dry, I taped off my stripes using painter’s tape. I wanted three white stripes and four red ones so I divided the vertical dimension by 7 and then started measuring in from the edge and filling in the tape.

Pallet Flag stripe painting

(Make sure to press the edges of the tape down securely to prevent the paint seeping under it. If it doesn’t seal properly you will find yourself having to do touch-ups after the tape is removed.)

After the tape was in place I painted the red paint over it to create the red stripes.

While waiting for the red paint to dry, I painted the map blue. Then the clear wax went onto both items after they were dry, and I buffed it to a nice soft sheen.

I die cut a star of approximately the size I wanted to string on my die cut machine to use as a template, but you can skip this step if you are confident free handing the stringing. I was careful when threading my string to not have any threads on the back pass anywhere but directly underneath threads on the front. With a bit of forethought to the pattern of stringing, it can be done.

The finished map was attached to the pallet background with hot glue. And my flag was all ready to hang to celebrate the 4th of July, or any patriotic occasion!

Supplies:

Make a pallet flag with a U.S. map on it!

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DIY Jewelry Fun with Michaels “Pemberley” Collection

A few weeks ago, I attended SNAP Conference in Salt Lake City. It’s an annual event that brings together creative and lifestyle bloggers to learn, meet with sponsors, and network. Since I normally work at home either banging on a keyboard or throwing paint and ink around, my typical daily wardrobe is decidedly un-glamourous. (Think sweatpants and souvenir t-shirts.) So attending an event that is populated partially by fashion bloggers? Well, that had me hyperventilating. The pressure was on to step up my game!

Accessories are a big part of finishing any outfit, and I decided to wear my portfolio by making some of my own jewelry for the event. I had fallen in love with the new Pemberley collection from Michaels’ house brand Bead Landing the moment I saw it. It turned out to be a perfect match for some of my new SNAP outfits, and after a shopping spree at my local Michaels store, I got down to creating.

Pemberley necklace

For this necklace to go with a lace top,  I wanted a romantic look. I mixed the Pemberley collection with another recent Michaels jewelry collection, a boho chic collection called “Gypsy Desert”. A lot of the elements mix surprisingly well with the heavily vintage Pemberley.

Pemberley necklace close-up

Supplies:

  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Chain
  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Charms (rose & green drop)
  • Bead Landing “Gypsy Desert” feather charm
  • Bead Landing “Gypsy Desert” quote charm
  • Bead Landing magnetic clasp
  • Bead Landing jump rings (7mm)

The necklace design is easy to assemble. It’s just a collection of charms that are arranged in various lengths of cascade. I made the rose charm into a drop pendant by attaching it to the end of some leftover chain before attaching it partway down the green drop pendant.

Pemberley necklace construction

Opening and closing jump rings (and chain link) is the only skill required to make this project!

May is National Arthritis Month, and you may have noticed a special kind of clasp on the supply list above. I suffer from minor arthritis-like symptoms due to my lupus. Traditional jewelry clasps are difficult for me to do as a result. Magnetic clasps, like the one below, are much easier. If you are a crafter with a loved one struggling with arthritis, you might consider offering to use your skills to replace their jewelry clasps with easier to fasten magnetic ones!

Magnetic necklace clasp

I loved the Pemberley collection so much, though, that I couldn’t stop with making one piece! I also used it to make a gift for my SNAP secret sister. For this Pemberley necklace project, I used two different kinds of chain to make a double stranded necklace.

Pemberley double strand necklace

Like the necklace above, the charms on this one are just an arrangement of cascades of varying lengths. The only skills needed to assemble this are the ability to open and close jump rings.

Pemberley double strand close-up

Supplies:

  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Chain
  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Pearl Chain
  • Bead Landing “Pemberley” Charms (rose, drop & sewing themed)
  • Bead Landing “dream” charm
  • Bead Landing magnetic clasp
  • Bead Landing jump rings (7mm, 4mm)

For a beginning jewelry maker (or anyone looking to make a quick and easy project) working with a coordinated collection of jewelry findings is a perfect way to create a beautiful project. I have plenty of leftover elements from these projects. What will I make next? I can’t wait to decide! Maybe a matching bracelet…

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Celebrate Star Wars with Frozen Han Solo Soap!

Today is May the 4th – Star Wars Day – and we’re celebrating with a gift for Dad (or your favorite geek).  Frozen Han Solo soap is a fun way to get clean!

[Some links is this article are Amazon affiliate links that support the ongoing operations of Craft Critique when you make purchases after clicking on them. Thanks!]

Han Solo Soap

Our soap of Han Solo frozen in Carbonite is made from a Melt & Pour Shaving Soap base from popular soap making supply site Brambleberry. While the base is excellent by itself, a few additives like vitamin e oil and bentonite clay make it even more nourishing and gentle on the skin. Continue Reading →

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Make A Chicken Wire Memo Board

Chicken wire is all the rage right now in home decor. It’s part of the vintage farmhouse decor trend. Especially popular are chicken wire memo boards.

Purchasing chicken wire memo boards in home decor stores can be very pricey, but the supplies needed to make one are extremely affordable:

  • Chicken wire (available at home improvement & garden centers)
  • Poster Frame
  • Wire cutters
  • Staple Gun

Not only is making a DIY version saving money, but it provides the chance to match the project to any decor. The possibilities for frame options are virtually limitless! The frame I am using is a very inexpensive faux barn wood frame from Michaels Stores.

Chicken Wire Memo Board assembly Continue Reading →

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