Art journals are meant to be looked at and enjoyed. They are meant to be shared with others and touched, but they need to be protected. Pre-made covers are available online , but I have made a few journals in odd sizes, so I was wondering how to protect those. My time spent scrapbooking came in handy and gave me a lightbulb moment that not only solved the problem, but is a simple and inexpensive solution for all my albums and journals. To make your cover, you will only need a few supplies.
16 gauge clear vinyl sheet (I bought 3 yards at Joann Fabric at $6.99/yd and used my 60% off coupon so it only cost me $8.39 for 3 yards or $2.80 per yard–I’ll have enough to cover lots of journals!)
A Fuse tool (these retail for $29.99 at Michaels, but I used a 50% off coupon)
Lay out plastic sheeting on a large surface with the paper backing facing up and lay your journal open on top. If either cover has a fold-out on it, be sure to open the fold-out completely so that your sleeve fits around the farthest edges of the journal.
If you’ve never used a fuse tool before, the pointed tip is for cutting vinyl and the spoked-wheel tip is for fusing plastic.
Screw the wheel tip on the tool for this project.
Plug in your Fuse tool–it will take 10 minutes for it to heat up enough to fuse the vinyl.
Use your pencil to trace around the open journal leaving 1/4 inch allowance on the top and bottom and 2-3 inches on the sides to create the flaps.
Cut the vinyl using your scissors and fold plastic over the ends of the journal to create a flap. Press firmly to crease the plastic. I used my pencil, but a bone folder would be great for this.
Place the metal ruler over one end of the flap and line up the open slot in the ruler with the edge of the journal. Be sure to keep the paper journal inside so you allow enough room for the journal to slide into the flap easily, but snug enough so that it won’t fall off. Place the wheel of the Fuse tool in the slot of the ruler and roll it slowly, but steadily back and forth to seal the vinyl. Fuse BOTH ends (top and bottom) on one side of your cover. Watch out, the ruler gets hot too! Don’t ask me how I know this–I just do.
***Before you fuse the other end, make the crease while your journal is SHUT. Otherwise, you may not make the sleeve long enough to accommodate the journal when it’s shut and it will buckle your journal. Don’t ask me how I know this, I just do 🙂 I’m not perfect, remember?
Fuse the remaining end and you’re done 🙂 The best part is that you can make these in any size and for any purpose. I love this little tool!! I can tell this is going to come in handy for making lots of projects. It will also be great for creating wipe-able worksheets for my little guy so he can practice letters and numbers (even tic-tac-toe) using dry-erase markers.
Hope you found this useful. Follow my blog for updates and new projects and recipes coming soon.