Sparkle Crafts
Sparkle Craft: Summer Travel Journals

Sparkle Craft: Summer Travel Journals

In the So Many Fairies story, “The Bookmender's Helper”, The Bookmender is a craftsperson who works alone. He has always worked alone, and he has been happy enough over the years.

But, one day, a bedraggled girl with a very old and valuable book arrives at the door to his workshop, interrupting his solitary work. He is initially hesitant to let her stay, but the whisperings of a paper fairy help the Bookmender discover the true treasure that lives in both the book and the girl.

While the Bookmender and his sweet apprentice work with rare, prized books—thank goodness!—a book need not be elaborate to be enjoyed.

Easy to put together and perfect to throw into a backpack or beach bag, these little travel journals are great for documenting summer adventures.
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You can use special patterns of tape or pretty gift boxes to make these a little more special. Or you can churn out a stack quickly with plain tape and cardboard from your recycling bin. I like to sew the spines with my sewing machine for a more finished look, but if that's too much for your laid back summer, pop in three or four staples instead. Let your small ones decorate the covers, and they'll be ready to go.

Not only are these fun for kids, this mama also loves having all the drawings and thoughts from our trips contained and safe so that, come end of summer, I can steal a few to use in our family summer scrapbooks.

Summer Travel Journals

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Several pieces of thin cardboard (e.g. an old gift box or cereal box)

Craft knife

Cutting mat


Duct tape or fabric tape

Several sheets of drawing paper

Sewing machine or stapler

Stickers, washi tape, or whatever else you can dream up to decorate the cover

Rubber band (optional)


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Cut the flaps and extra bits off of your box until you have flat pieces of cardboard. Use the ruler and craft knife to cut two pieces to the exact same size. You can make these journals any size you'd like, but I think half the width of a cereal box (for the finished book) is a good place to start.

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Tear off a strip of duct tape that's a few inches longer than your covers are tall. Lay one piece of the cover on each side of the duct tape, leaving about half an inch in the center to form the spine.

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Fold the ends of the duct tape over, then use another, shorter piece of tape to cover the inside of the spine.

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Next, fold about 4 sheets of drawing paper in half and trim them just a little smaller than your cover.

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Place the folded drawing paper inside the cover, then sew (or staple) up the center, catching both the paper and the center of the duct tape “spine” to complete the book.

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Decorate the cover with stickers, tape, or whatever strikes your kiddo's fancy. Pop a rubber band around the book, and use it to secure markers, crayons, or pencils to the outside of the book.

Whether you're heading somewhere exotic or just to the local swimming hole, now you're all ready to document your summer journeys!

If you liked this tutorial, here are others you might enjoy: - Nature Wrapping Paper - Simple Sewn Books

About the Author

Meryl Carver-Allmond

Sparkle Kitchen & Craft Blogger

The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.

Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.

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