Making a recycled blank journal

imageTo make this journal, I used things that would otherwise have been thrown away (or actually had been thrown away):

  • the paperboard cover from a broken binder notebook
  • odd-sized old-school computer paper with perforated edges that I found in a dumpster
  • fabric from an upholstery sample book (the kind that fabric stores throw out on a regular basis)
  • binder screws from the upholstery book
  • aluminum washers

imageI sewed the fabric as a rectangular sleeve, leaving one of the short ends open so I could slide them over the paperboard, which I cut to size with a utility knife. Once the board was in the sleeve, I hand-sewed the open edge shit with hidden stitches.

imageI trimmed off the perforated edges of the paper and used an adjustable three-hole punch to make holes for the binder screws. I used scissors to make matching holes in the fabric.


I’ve been using the notebook to take notes for my biology classes. Because it uses binder screws, I can refill it with new paper if I no longer need what I’ve written within its pages.

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