Nature journals come in all shapes and sizes. You can make your own or buy one. For young children you might want to consider a spiral bound notebook or a three-ring binder with loose-leaf paper. You can also make your own upcycled journal. For more advanced artists, you might want to invest in an artist’s sketchbook. Try to use recycled or upcycled materials like scrap paper and unused cardboard. It is not necessary to buy any new materials.
- Scrap piece of cardboard
- Five 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper, cut in half
- Box cutter
- Push pin, awl, or hole punch
- Embroidery thread
- Sewing needle
- Pen or marker
- Measure out paper to your preferred size. I am using 8 ½” x 11” paper and have cut my paper horizontally in the middle to end up with half sheets.
- Cut out your cardboard. I am going to make my cover a little larger than my paper. Trace your first cover to another part of your cardboard and cut to size.
- Use a piece of paper as a template and measure out 4 equidistant holes a half inch from the edge with the ruler. Use a push pin, awl, or hole punch to create the holes. Repeat this on the sheets of paper and covers.
- Single thread a needle with embroidery floss; make it long so that you don’t run out of thread very much but keep it in your comfortable working range. Do not tie the end with a knot.
- Take about half of your papers and thread your needle into the second hole through the papers and front cover. Pull through towards the front and leave about three inches of extra thread at the end and secure with a piece of tape if you’d like. We will use this thread at the end.
- Next, insert your thread through the back of the second hole and pull toward the front through the back cover, papers, and front cover to make a loop around the spine.
- From the front side, move to hole number 3. This should be the following hole to the right and will make a horizontal line. Insert your thread through the third hole, bring the thread up toward the front to make a loop around the spine.
- From hole number 3, move horizontally to hole number 4 on the backside. This should be the following one to the right. Make a loop around the spine again by bringing your thread through a second time.
- After creating the spine loop, make another vertical loop to secure the pages. To do this, you will pull you thread through the fourth hole and instead of having your thread sit around the spine, move it so that it creates a 90 degree angle and secures the bottom of your cover.
- Now your needle and thread should be pulled toward the front cover. Continue moving to make vertical stitches to fill in the empty spaces between each hole.
- Once you get to the first hole on the top of the book, create a loop around the spine and then a vertical loop on this end.
- At this point, you should have a remaining vertical space between the first and second holes on the back cover. Put your thread from the first to second hole and pull through to the middle of the book where you had left the excess thread. Tie both threads in a double knot and cut off extra thread.
- You have completed your nature journal! Decorate your journal to your heart’s content! For mine, I have added an embroidered decoration to my cover.