mini goldleaf journal collection in 8 simple steps: The perfect (easy) handmade gift

mini goldleaf journal how-to
mini gold leaf journal how-to 2
Mini journals as I like to call them, or pocket journals are the perfect gift for a friend or loved one. Give them a little collection of 3-5 journals that they can keep in their bag (s) and write down any brilliant ideas that they can refer to later (or just a shopping list or cell phone number). These are so easy to make and such a lovely gift.

In the past I’ve shown some tutorials that require sewing or hot glue. This time all you need is a stapler, glue, paper, and gold leaf. Here’s how to make these journals in a few simple steps (if you want to be a little fancier follow this journal making how-to and then just follow the gold leaf steps below):

  1. Cut a piece of oak tag into the size journal cover you want and cover with kraft paper or brown paper bag
  2. Cut a pretty piece of paper the same size as the cover for the inside cover (I like origami paper, or metallic paper)
  3. Cut plain paper a little smaller than both the cover and inside cover paper (this will be the pages so put in a nice bunch so the journal lasts a while. Throw in a sketch or a secret note into the middle so when your friend gets to it, they’ll smile)
  4. Glue the fancy paper (with a glue stick) onto the inside cover and fold in half once glued to make sure it fits (I cheat but trimming them both together at this point. I like rounded edges so I do that by eye)
  5. Staple the little inside pages together and into the cover on the binding (I like a long neck stapler for this so I can staple on the fold. You can punch holes and tie with ribbon if you don’t want to staple or if your stapler is too small to reach the binding)
  6. Put some Elmer’s glue or any glue you have into a little cup and with a paint brush or your finger tip, paint a little design on the cover (not too thick)
  7. Apply gold leaf (making sure it’s attached to glue)
  8. Let dry and rub off extra and the spots where the glue was will have your gold leaf design (I do this really haphazardly, I think it’s fun and easy. You could take your time and make something a little fancier)

*I recommend tying them up in a ribbon like a little gift or old fashioned school books in a bundle.

Materials: gold leaf (powder, flake, or paper), glue stick, Elmer’s Glue, oak-tag, metallic or origami paper, printer paper, stapler

4 Responses to mini goldleaf journal collection in 8 simple steps: The perfect (easy) handmade gift

  1. Sweety P December 12, 2008 at 11:50 pm #

    These mini-journals are so cute! This would be a wonderful gift for my mother!

  2. Samantha Hahn December 13, 2008 at 10:44 am #

    oh good!!! I hope you make them!!!

  3. The City Sage December 13, 2008 at 6:56 pm #

    These are adorable. My sister is obsessed with journals and always looking for new and interesting ones—she fills them up so quickly!

    I just adore the idea of putting a little note or drawing as a surprise for when the recipient reaches a certain page. so cute and creative!

  4. Samantha Hahn December 14, 2008 at 1:32 am #

    oh I hope you make some for her, or even just one. If you do, send a picture over so I can post it! I’m sure she’ll love it coming from you.

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