Friendship Journal

I made this lovely Friendship Journal that I’d like to share with readers of my blog.  Here are the instructions for making your own unique handcrafted book.  The list of materials is a long one, but it’s worth the time and effort.  You will have a beautiful book for yourself or to give as a gift to a special friend.  You can personalize it to your taste!  Enjoy!

Instructions for Making a Friendship Journal

By Robin Larido of Robin’s Art & Design on Etsy

Materials & Supplies:

9 sheets of 11″ x 14″ heavyweight drawing paper

One pack of 12″ X 12″ double-sided decorative cardstock (I used K&Company) old-fashioned prints.

Seven sheets of light weight patterned 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper (one to three sheets of different designs.)

1 sheet of scrap paper for hole template (at least 8″ long)

1 yd each of 5/8″ wide satin ribbon in a solid color and a floral print.

1 yd. of Celebrate It 6″ wide tulle mesh ribbon

6-strand embroidery floss in 4 different colors

1 yd. of rayon eyelash yarn or other decorative yarn fiber (Blue Hollow and Fish Bay Elements on Etsy have beautiful yarn bundles) or

½ yd. of yellow daisy trim

½ yd. of ¼” wide satin ribbon (optional)

1 used dryer sheet or other scrap of textured paper for cover

1 flat-back pearl embellishment for cover

Small round craft buttons and Victorian theme novelty buttons (swans, hearts, roses)

Manila file folder, pre-cut tags or clothing tags.

Two – 3-1/2″ x 5″ white envelopes with decorative lining paper

One silk fabric flower

Silver glitter

Three small paper scrapbook frames

Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Ink in Tea Dye and Broken China

Tim Holtz idea-ology ChitChat word stickers

Inkadinkado rose stamp (No. 95380)

Adhesives: Decoupage glue or gel medium, PVA glue and/or scrapbooking tape

Large sewing needle

Clip art images: flowers, bouquets, butterflies, birds, Victorian children (I used Dover Publications Old-Time Fruits and Flowers Vignettes in Full Color and 504 Decorative Vignettes in Full Color). You can also find wonderful high-quality free clip art at and

For the book:

1. Cut the 9 sheets of drawing paper into eighteen sheets measuring 8″ x 7″ using a rotary cutter mat.

2. Trim two 12″ x 12″ sheets of decorative cardstock to 8″ x 7″ for the covers.

3. Cut a piece of decorative cardstock measuring 7″ long x 3″ wide for the spine.

Make the decorative collage pages:

For my friendship journal, I made a total of nine collage pages.

1. Cut 4 squares of scrapbook paper or other decorative paper measuring 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″, mixing the patterns.

2. Using decoupage glue, adhere two each of two different prints to a sheet of drawing paper, aligning three sides – right side, top and bottom (making sure the edges match up), leaving a blank 1″ border on the left side (this will be where you punch the holes). Press and smooth the paper down to seal out any air pockets.

3. Find and print out friendship quotes from the internet. Carefully cut out and rub the edges with distress ink, using a direct application method. Tint the paper by rubbing a cotton ball on the ink pad first and then gently rubbing it over the quote.

4. Again using decoupage glue, adhere clip art images and a friendship quote in a pleasing arrangement on top of the decorative background. Brush a layer of glue over the images to seal.

5. Add ribbons, buttons, word stickers and embellishments. I added glitter around some of the images and in the center of some of the flowers and butterflies.

6. Punch holes on the right hand side or the bottom of the page using a needle, spacing the holes evenly about ¼” apart, starting and ending ½” in from each edge and about ½” in from the edge. Thread a needle with embroidery thread, knot one end and sew the thread through the holes, leaving a tail. Tie a knot to secure. You can even add a small bead to the end before knotting.

7. Rub distress ink along the edges of the pages.

Make the pocket pages:

I made a total of nine pocket pages.

1. Cut a piece of decorative card stock 5″ wide x 4-1/2″ high. Fold under ½” on all four sides, using a bone folder and secure to the underside with PVA glue. Apply strips of scrapbooking tape to the side and bottom folded edges. Adhere the pocket to the page aligning the bottom edges, leaving a 1″ border on the left-hand side of the page to make room for the holes.

2. Decorate the front of the pocket with a square of contrasting paper or clip art image.

3. Cut 2 strips of cardstock 7″ long x ¾”-1″ wide. Adhere the strips to the right side of the page, overlapping slightly, leaving a ½” border at the edge. Stamp roses in a vertical line in the border with Tea Dye ink, next to the paper strips. Rub the edge of the pages with Tea Dye ink.

Make the tags: (I used a combination of clothing tags and manila folder templates).

1. If you are using manila file folders to make your tags, draw and cut out five tags as follows: 1 @ 5″ x 2-1/4″, 2 @ 4-1/2″ x 2-1/4″, 1 @ 4-1/4″ x 2″ and 1 @ 4-1/4″ x 2″. Trim the top side edges at a 45 degree angle.

2. Trace the manila tags (or pre-cut tags, if using) twice onto decorative paper and cut out. Using gel medium or decoupage glue, adhere the decorative paper onto both sides of the tag. Smooth out any air bubbles with a bone folder.

3. Punch a hole if necessary ½” down from the top edge. Rub the edges of the tag with ink, let dry. Decorate with clip art or word stickers. Tie a length of embroidery floss through the hole. Place the tags in the pockets.

Make the envelope pages:

There are a total of two envelope pages.

Open up the flap of the envelope. With the decorative liner facing you, apply scrapbooking tape or a thin line of PVA glue around the sides, bottom and along the fold on the envelope back. Adhere one envelope to the back of a pocket page and one to the back of a collage page.

Make the picture frame pages:

There are a total of two frame pages, plus a frame on the back cover. These frames will hold a wallet size photo.

1. Cut six pieces of cardstock 4-1/4″long x 3-1/2″ wide. Measure and cut out an inner rectangle measuring 3″ x long x 2-1/4″ wide, leaving a 5/8″ wide border all around on three of the pieces, using an X-acto knife and cutting mat.

2. Apply scrapbooking tape to the back of the frames along the outer edges on both sides and the bottom. Press the frames down onto the uncut pieces of cardstock to create a backing. Rub the edges with ink.

3. Apply more scrapbooking tape or a line of PVA glue to the underside of the backing. Press the frames down firmly onto the other sides of two pocket pages. Embellish if desired.

Decorate the blank pages:

On the blank side of the collage and pocket pages, stamp a border of roses on the left side of the page. Rub the edges with Tea Dye distress ink.

Make the Covers:

Front cover: Cut a piece of dryer sheet or other textured paper 3″ x 4″. Adhere to the center of the cover with decoupage glue. Brush another layer of glue over the top to seal. Carefully tear around the words “FRIENDS FOREVER” separately using a straight edge or ruler to guide the tear. Rub the edges of each word with ink. Adhere the words to the center of the dryer sheet. Brush a layer of glue over them. Adhere a bird image to the cover positioning it toward the lower edge in the same manner. Glue on a pearl embellishment.

Back cover: Adhere a frame to the back cover, centering it. Embellish if desired.

Note: If you are not using double sided cardstock, cut two additional 7″ x 8″ pieces of cardstock and adhere to the blank sides of the covers. Decorate with images or squares of contrasting paper.

Make the holes and sew:

1. Make a 13-hole template from the piece of scrap paper. Mark holes 1 and 13, ½” from the top and bottom, respectively. Mark holes 2 and 12 equidistant from holes 1 and 10, ½” away. Continue to mark holes 3-11, spacing them ½” apart.

2. Fold the decorative paper spine in half lengthwise. Press with a bone folder and open up.

3. Decide on the order of your pages and arrange accordingly. Position the stack of pages between the front and back covers so that the left side is flush. Fold the spine over the covers.

4. Place the template on the cover within 1″ of the decorative spine; secure with large paper clips or bull clamps. With an awl, pierce sewing holes through the pages and the cover. Remove the hole template, leaving the paper clips in place.

5. Thread the needle with a 12″ piece of embroidery thread or thin ribbon. Begin sewing from the bottom hole, leaving a tail. Proceed along through all the holes. Exit the top hole, tie a knot and leave another tail. You can add beads if you like.

Add the finishing touches:

1. Run a bead of glue along the inside of the spine in between some of the pages. Cut several 10″ long pieces of yarn and press down into the glue, leaving top and bottom tails. You can also cut the pieces slightly longer and add beads to the ends. Tie knots to secure them in place.

2. Cut a length of satin ribbon about 27″ long. Apply some glue or a piece of scrapbooking tape along the middle. Center and press the ribbon along the outside spine on the back cover. Wrap the ends around to the front and tie a bow.

3. Cut a piece of tulle mesh the same length as the ribbon. Center the ribbon on the inside front cover near the inside spine and wrap it around to the outside. Loop it around the ribbon bow and tie into a knot. Trim the ends of the ribbon at an angle.

All instructions are the exclusive property of the artist. Not for resale.

© Robin Larido

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime.


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