diy {a boy’s art journal}

I am on the ball this year – at least with one gift. I have this hope that my kids will love to draw, but usually they’d rather sword fight. In the past I have bought blank journals for them to fill and this usually peaks their interests more than construction paper. This year I am giving the older boys art journals that are customized just a bit. It is hard to find ideas for boy gifts that are handmade. Girls are easy. Boys, not so much. Here is what I made:


* A blank journal. I got mine at Barnes & Noble. For my boys it is easier if they can flip the cover completely over. The bound book type of journal frustrates them when it keeps closing on them.

* Wood grain contact paper (which you if you made these, you might have it one hand too)

* Letter stickers

* Blank notecards

I made this up as I went along so I don’t have any exact measurements.

These instructions aren’t the best, but hopefully the pictures will help.

Step 1: Lay contact paper under the journal to decide what size you want it. Cut sides to determine how ‘big’ you want the front pocket to be. Fold the center section over. This will create a pocket on the front. Cut off small edges.

Step 2: Flip journal over. Peel off backing of remaining contact paper and fold sides over to make it all stick. Pull it tight when you fold it over so the pocket in the front isn’t loose. Add stickers for initials.

Step 3: In the front pocket I added some drawing prompts. For my 4 year old I wrote out some of his favorite characters and books. For my six year old I copied text from some of his favorite books. The idea is that they will select one prompt from the front cover of the art journal and then draw what is on the card. For mine most of the prompts involve something dangerous, disgusting or dirty. I imagine if you girly this up for the opposite gender your prompts might be quite different.

I did flip mine over to see if the paper would fall out. It didn’t. I imagine if you put a lot in the front pocket or thick items it would eventually stretch out and make it loose.

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