Google+ House Revivals: Make a Pretty Art Journal Guest Book

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Make a Pretty Art Journal Guest Book

We've been saying we need guest book for the beach house. So many wonderful people have visited and it would be nice to have a record of their visits. Another reason we decided we needed a guest book is kind of embarrassing -- it's hard to remember everyone's name sometimes!

Often our guests are friends of family or friends of friends, or spouses and children of co-workers, so we are meeting them for the first time during a house party weekend. Try as I might, sometimes a name slips my mind. It's embarrassing. All our guests are important to us, and we would never want someone to think we didn't care enough to remember their name, so hopefully having a guestbook will act as a memory aid!

We didn't want a formal guest book, because our beach house is pretty laid back. I decided to create an art journal style guest book, with an assortment of pages that guests can use to sign or embellish however they want.

I wanted to use stuff I already had, and since I'm probably a hoarder a curator of items that may come in handy someday, that was easy to do.  I had an old cardboard file from Ikea that worked nicely for the cover -- in fact, I was able to get a cover for a second art journal from it, as well!

I started by removing the side flaps and carefully removing the elastic band that held the flap closed.

Then I cut the folder in half, lengthwise.

Now there are two journal covers!

I decided I wanted a thicker book, so I scored additional fold lines at the binding and the flap.

The binding edge of the cover was then notched and covered with paper using a decoupage medium. The outside of the cover was covered in scrunched up old maps, and the inside of the cover was covered in leftover scrapbook paper from another project.

Next, I began rounding up and repurposing paper to use as guest journal pages. I included envelopes, old atlas pages, and leftover scrapbook paper from other projects. This was a great way to use up my stash!

The pages were then altered and layered using material and media I had on hand. I had some doodles and sketches I'd done while talking on the phone (do you do that?), and cut those out and pasted them onto pages here and there. Vintage stationary, book pages, and scrapbook embellishments were layered together with Mod Podge. Pages were painted, stamped, and covered with oil pastels, as well!  Everything was sealed with Mod Podge.

The pages were attached to the binding in sections, or signatures, but not in the traditional manner.

No stitching was involved here!

I simply folded my pages and notched the top and bottom edges at the fold. Then several pages would be stacked together and tied to the cover. Easy. As. Pie!

Again, I raided my stash, and grabbed bits and pieces of string and ribbon and yarn and cord for the binding.

I love the eclectic and cheery look! Since the sections are each tied on separately, I can add pages if we need them.

The elastic band was re-used to hold the book closed. I colored it with a green marker before putting it on the cover.

Since, the pages were coated with Mod Podge, we needed an easy way for guests to write on them. My husband suggested Sharpies, so I grabbed some short ones and tied them to the binding.

Now that we've renovated the "deck of death", our guests can sit outside for inspiration when they add their own art or sentiments to the guest book.

Do you have a guest book for your home? Do you love it? Did you purchase yours, or make it?

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