These handmade pressed flower journals capture the beauty of the gardens. Displaying your hard work in a beautiful keepsake that lasts long after the frost arrives, it also makes for a special gift for a favorite friend.
First, decide the intention for the journal. If you would like to use the journal for drawing, purchase drawing paper from a craft store. I prefer this brand of drawing paper for my projects. If you would like to use the journal for writing, any lined or unlined paper will work well for this project.
What you need:
- Matboard or cardboard for front and back covers
- Drawing paper or unlined paper for journal
- Paper cutter or a good pair of long scissors and a ruler.
- Drill or paper hole punch to create holes in the binding
- Needle and thread for sewing up the journal’s binding
- An assortment of pressed flowers for decorating the covers
- Modge Podge as glue and clear coat for pressed flowers (this is available at most craft stores and is a milky-white, quick-drying protective coat that dries clear in 10 minutes).
- Embroidery thread, string or thin yard for binding
- Optional: collage paper for covers if you’re not going to do pressed flower covers. Old wallpaper pieces work nicely for this too!
How to do it:
1) Begin by deciding on the size of your journal. I created a 8.5” x 6” sized journal. The following are measurements for creating a journal this size, but you can adjust as needed.
2) Create a cover and back to the journal by cutting two 6” x 7” pieces of matboard or cardboard. These will serve as your front and back covers. Create your binding by cutting two 1.5” x 6” pieces of matboard or cardboard to create a thin binding strip.
3) Cut your paper for the inside pages to the size of the desired pages in the book. I used 8.5” x 6” sized pages. I cut twelve pages of drawing paper for my book.
4) Cut 2 pieces of 3” x 6”collage or regular paper. Use Modge Podge or craft glue to glue onto both the binding and the cover page to secure them together. Leave about a 1/8 of an inch of space between the two pieces. This will allow you to easily fold open the book without damaging it.
Do the same for the back cover and binding.
5) Drill 4-5 small holes through the binding and inside pages. This will make it easier to sew the book together.
6) Stack pages between the covers and sew it up to bind it all together.
Now, to beautify this journal with the wonders of nature . . .
During the last months of warm weather, gather an assortment of flowers and colorful leaves and press them in an old, heavy book. I also used birch bark, which you can also press in the book to dry. To protect the book, you can place the flowers between two pieces of waxed paper or tissues. Placed a few more books or another heavy item on top of your “pressing book”. Leave them to dry for a few weeks. Note: if you don’t have access to fresh flowers and leaves, ask your local florist for some of their fading or past “sell date” flowers.
Start with Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 above. Then proceed as follows:
Lay out the cardboard pieces so that both back and front covers are displayed. Place flowers and leaves on the outside covers of the book and arrange until you like the design. Be extra careful with the pressed flowers, since they become brittle and delicate as they dry.
Brush the back of the leaves and flowers with Modge Podge and gently press onto the cover. Paint over everything with another coat of Modge Podge to secure them to the matboard. Once dry, add one more coat of Modge Podge.
Continue with Steps 5 and 6 above to finish your lovely homemade journal.