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Unique gifts tutorial: Get Your Craft On! Apple Crafts: Apple Journals

Sewing  |  August 26th 2011  |  0 Comment


Unique gifts tutorial: Get Your Craft On! Apple Crafts: Apple Journals

sewing tutorial

Today I have a fun project for you as a part of my Apple Crafts Series … some cute apple journals.   If you are looking for last minute teacher gifts, these go together in a snap.  They would also be cute to pop in your purse to jot down notes, give to a gardener as a gift, etc.  I call them apple journals because I made apples out of some cute little buttons, but really the sky is the limit here for decoration.

I am going to give you the list of supplies that I used … and it looks like a lot of stuff, really it’s not because I have each and every item listed individually, but I also want you to keep in mind that I am telling you how I made the journal in the picture … so if you don’t want rounded edges, you won’t need a corner rounder, if you don’t like the distressed look you will not need distress ink, and if you don’t like sewing on paper then you don’t need a sewing machine, etc., etc ….

Let’s Get Started!

Apple Journal Tutorial
x-x Finished Size Apx. 5″ x 7″ x-x


1 piece of 8″ x 11.5″  brown kraft paper or cardstock
12 sheets of copy paper or graph paper
Paper Trimmer (or scissors)
Hole Punch (or other tool to make holes such as an eyelet setter, paper piercer, crop-a-dile, etc.)
Around 50″ of Bakers Twine or other type of string
3 buttons (I used 3/4″)
Coordinating Embroidery Floss
Pencil with eraser
Ruler (or other straightedge)
Embroidery Needle
Brown & Green markers (or pens, pencils, etc.)
Alphabet Stamps
Black Ink Pad
Distress Ink
Corner Rounder
Sewing Machine


Let’s start off by making the journal cover.

1. Take your piece of kraft paper or cardstock and fold in half.  Trim the paper down so that while folded in half it measures 5″ across x 7″ high.

2. Using a corner rounder, round the corners.

3.  Take your distress ink, and distress the kraft paper or cardstock.  I like to use a slightly moistened cosmetic sponge, but moistened paper towel works just fine too!

4. Take your distressed paper over to your sewing machine and sew around all four sides.  I use a long straight stitch between 1/4″ – 3/8″ from the edge of the paper.  If you do not sew, you can always hand sew or embroider a running stitch … OR … just skip this step altogether.

5. Using a ruler and pencil, lightly draw a line across what will be the front cover.  This line is where you will be putting your “apples” — so where you put them is really a matter of personal preference — near the top, in the middle, near the bottom … randomly, etc.

6. Place your buttons over your drawn line where you would like them, and using your pencil draw a dot through each button hole to mark the placement.

7. Take your embroidery needle and punch holes through the paper where you drew your dots in the last step.

8. Cut 3 lengths of embroidery floss each measuring 6″ long.

9. Attach each button by threading your needle with the 6″ length of embroidery floss.  Place the button over the holes you made, and starting from the front, bring your threaded needle down through the first button hole and through your pierced hole in the paper.  Leave a tail.

10. Bring your needle, from the back of the paper, up through your next pierced hole and through the second button hole.

11. Tie a knot in your floss, and attach the remaining buttons in the same method just outlined.

12. On a scrap piece of paper, practice drawing stems and leaves with a brown and green fine tipped marker or pen.  Once you are confident in your leaf and stem drawing ability, draw them on over the buttons … now you have apples!

13. Using small alphabet stamps and black ink, stamp the word “journal”. (Tip — if you live in the States and have a Michael’s nearby, check out their dollar craft items … they usually have whole packs of alphabet stamps for just $1!).

Your journal cover is done, let’s fill it with some paper!

14. Take your graph or copy paper and trim all of the sheets down to 6.5″ x 9.5″.  Fold them all in half.

15. Put the filler paper inside of the cover and center.   Punch a hole through the cover and the filler paper on the top and bottom.  I used a crop-a-dile to punch through all of the layers at once, but you can do each piece individually … just try to line them up relatively evenly.  Where you punch the holes is again a matter of personal preference, I put mine about 1/2″ up from the edge of the cover.

16.  Take your twine or string and feed it through the 2 holes you punched in the cover and filler paper.  Wrap around a few times.

17. Tie a knot in the twine.