Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Matchbook Journal Tutorial

I have had my Tim Holtz Matchbook die for a while now and have been wanting to use it. This week I had some time to play with it and decided to create a mini journal. I was very happy with how it came out and it is the perfect size to take with you anywhere. Since I used so many distress products on this I am going to submit this to the Simon Says Stamp and Show Depth of Distress Challenge.  I am going to give a quick and easy tutorial on how I created this including dimensions for the inside pages.

First, like I said, I used the Tim Holtz Matchbook Die to cut my matchbook out of cardstock. This die cuts 2 sizes of matchbooks. I used the wider one for my mini book. I wanted to cover to have a bit of texture. So I ran just the cover portion of the matchbox through my Big Shot with the Stripes Embossing folder.

 I then went over the raised areas with my Snow Cap Paint Dabber.

To finish the cover off I used the Washer Border Die to cut out a 3" wide strip of white cardstock. i then inked the piece up with Dried Marigold Distress Ink. I then cut the Word Fun out of grunge paper using my Cricut, covered it with Picket Fence Crackle, let it fried and inked it with Salty Ocean and the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. Lastly I added the phrase "in the..." . My thought behind this was a Summer Journal so each page could be a different place I had Fun in.

Now for the inside pages. First you want to cut 3 pieces of paper to measure 3" wide by 6 1/2" long.  This will give you an 11 page book. I added edges to my pages with the Ornate and Brackets on the Edge Dies. The edges are cut just on one of the 3" side on each page (at the longest point they still measure 6 1/2").

I also wanted my pages to cascade out. So to do this you will want to score your pages at different dimensions. The score marks should be at 3", 3 1/4", and 3 1/2" as shown below. If you did not want the cascade look you can score all of your pages at 3 1/4".

I used plain white cardstock and then inked up the pages in Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean, Squeezed Lemonade, and Dried Marigold Distress Inks. I then went around the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. You can also use decorative double sided paper and save your self this step.

Now to pierce holes in the pages so you can stitch them together. First line up your score lines and put your pages in the order you would like to have them. If you decided to cascade them the 3 1/2" scored page is the middle page, then the 3 1/4", and last the 3".

Once you have then stacked up on each other you need to pierce 4 holes into the score mark are of all pages for the stitches. Do this when they are stacked up so you make sure the holes all line up. My stitches are approximately 1/2" and are about 1/2" in which makes then 1" apart from each other  I was making a lot of these so I created myself a template with a scrap piece of cardstock. I find it easy to pierce in the center of the score line if you use an old book (in my case a telephone book)

Almost done with the pages, all you have to do is stitch the pages together. I use waxed thread, but any thread will work. Keep your pages stacked on top of each other, just like in the previous step. Simply tie a not in the end and come up through your first hole down into the second, up through the third and down into the fourth. Tie you thread back off and you are done. Below is what your stitches should look like from the inside of the pages and the back.

A few more steps and you are done. For the book closure I used seam binding that I died using Mowed Grass Distress Ink. On the inside of the back cover of the matchbook I cut out earlier, I added 2 eyelets about 1/4" up from the score line from the small flap . I then threaded 2 pieces of  the died seam binding into the eyelets (one in each eyelet) as shown below.

Instead of tying a bulky knot into the end of the seam binding I simply tape the end onto the inside of the back cover. You are not going to see the back cover so this does not have to be neat just as flat as possible.

Last step here is to adhere your pages to the inside of the matchbook. Add adhesive to the last page of the pages you stitched together and adhere it to the inside of the back cover you just threaded the seam binding through. You will want to line you pages up with the score lines on the ,matchbook so that the pages are not over any of these score lines. You are all done!

This was a Fun, fast, and easy project and yet I really like how it looks. I hope you will try this yourself and let me know how it turns out. Thanks for reading this far and for stopping by.


  1. Very nice Stacy... loving those summer colors. Definitely some of my faves. ; )

  2. What a cutie, nice little journal. Well done!

  3. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great project, I love the embossed section. Thanks so much for joining us in this week's Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge!

  5. Oh this is a fun project! Love this and what a great tutorial!