Papercrafting the Holidays: 12 Days of Christmas Journal
Papercrafting for Christmas – a journal full of pockets to fill for the 12 Days of Christmas
Greetings from my creative Christmas workshop!!!
I’ve got another project to share with you for this Christmas season.
I made a 12 Days of Christmas Journal from empty, “upcycled” toilet paper tubes, along with papers and stamps from the Graphic 45 “12 Days of Christmas” collection, and papers from the Graphic 45 “A Christmas Carol” collection.
All supplies and tools used in this project are listed at the end of this post – some are linked to buying sources*.
Here’s a sneak peak of the finished journal (keep reading to see more pictures of the finished journal):
When Steph reached out to her contact at Graphic 45 for holiday crafting products, not only were they kind enough to send me some of the A Christmas Carol collection that I used to make the Advent Calendar and Ornaments project which was recently shared, they also sent me papers and stamps from their 12 Days of Christmas collection.
Check these products out below:
I knew right away that I wanted to share with y’all how to make a TP (toilet paper roll) Journal with this AWESOME collection.
The first thing you need to do is start saving your empty toilet paper tubes.
You can save your empty paper towel tubes as well, but you’ll need to cut those down to a smaller size (approx. 4.5″ long).
You will need a total of (12) 4.5″ rolls for this project.
Flatten the TP tubes – you can easily do this by pushing the rolls flat, then using either your bone folder or the edge of a CLOSED pair of scissors, sharpen the creases by running one of these along both of them.
TIP: If you have a die cutting machine, run the TP tubes through it – it’ll make your tubes very flat and that’s a good thing!
Fit the paper to the TP tubes – the 6″ x 6″ paper pad makes this step easy because you don’t have to pre-measure and cut the paper to size – it’s already perfectly sized! 🙂
Measure your flattened TP tubes to get the tubes’ length and width measurements.
Using these measurements, add 1″ to the length, and double the width measurement and add an extra inch.
My tube measures 4.5″ x 2.5″ so my pattern paper will need to be at least 5.5″ x 6″
Because I am using the 6″ x 6″ paper pad, I will not worry about cutting the extra 1/2″ off the length – it’ll just be tucked into the tube!
Align the length of the TP tube with one side of the edge of the paper and fold it over, onto itself – be sure to press the paper firmly to make a good crease.
Note: In the example below, bright red paper was used just for demonstration purposes – I didn’t use this bright red paper for my project!
The folded paper will overlap the opposite edge of the TP roll by appx. 1″ – fold over this remaining small section and press the paper firmly to create a good crease.
You will now have three panels (see below).
Center your TP tube on one of the larger panels and mark where the top and bottom of the TP tube stops – mark this line the full length of the paper using your ruler.
This will create the tabs you tuck into the TP tube.
In the picture below I marked all of these lines with a black pen so that you can see where your creases should be.
I also used my Score Board to make these creases – it makes the job much easier and faster when you have to do this 12 times.
Once your creases are made, grab your scissors and cut small wedges in the paper on ALL of the small tabs (the image below shows before and after wedges are cut into tabs) – this will help you easily tuck in the tabs.
Now it’s time to start gluing the paper to the TP tubes.
Tip: Glue sticks or strong double-sided tape work best for this step.
Start by gluing the TP tube to the large panel that had the small narrow tab attached to it – be sure to center the tube in between the lines.
Next, glue the narrow tab down and then the other large panel on top.
Lastly, place some glue on the small tabs and tuck them into the TP tube.
If you like the “aged” look, you can ink the edges of the TP tubes like I did.
Create the next paper layer – to create the next paper layer, I went through the Graphic 45 12 Days of Christmas paper pad and found the patterned paper that I like.
Choose the paper you like based on the look and feel you want for your journal.
Measure and cut the paper to the size you’ll need for this layer.
This is how I cut my patterned paper when I want to make sure the design in the paper is lined up the way I want it to be:
- Trace the flattened TP tube onto a piece of scrap acetate. (I save all flat sheets of acetate from packaging – there are so many ways you can use it!)
- Cut out the shape you just traced onto the acetate – this is now your template
- Lay your template on your paper and move it around until you like the way the pattern looks through the template
- Trace the template onto your paper
- Cut out the shape you just traced onto the paper
A see-through template makes cutting a special piece of pattern paper so much less stressful! 🙂
In the picture below I taped the edges of my template so you could see the edges of it – I wouldn’t normally do this as I want to be able to see the full pattern through the template.
I knew I wanted this second layer to have a “lacey” look, so I used a Fiskar’s Border Punch and punched both long sides of the next layer of paper.
You can use any border punch you have, or even pinking sheers or other decorative scissors.
Then, using the glue stick (or double-sided tape), I adhered this paper to one side of the TP tubes.
You can apply this second layer of paper to both sides of the TP tube if you wish. 😉
Close off one end of the TP tube – measure the width of your tube and add 1/2″.
My TP tube measures 2.5″, so the final measurement (when I added the 1/2″) is 3″ (this will be your length measurement).
The width measurement is 1.5″.
Now, using these measurements, cut 12 pieces of paper from coordinating patterned paper this size.
My cut rectangles measure 3″ x 1.5″.
Score a crease, lengthwise, down the center of this paper, then fold the paper in half and glue both sides of the paper onto one end of the tube (as shown below).
Do this for all 12 TP tubes.
Mark two spots, evenly spaced, on the end of the tube that you just closed off.
Grab your Crop-A-Dile (or another heavy-duty punch) and punch a hole on these two markings (see image below).
Next, set eyelets into these holes.
Repeat this process for all 12 TP tubes.
Tip: Short eyelets will not work for this project – you will need to use longer eyelets, like those shown below. In large craft stores you’ll find these in the Leather Tooling section.
These are the ones that I found in that section and they worked perfectly!
Do some stamping – it’s time to grab those AWESOME Graphic 45 12 Days of Christmas stamps and start decorating!
Tip: If you can only purchase one item from Graphic 45 ‘s 12 Days of Christmas collection, I recommend the stamps.
You can use these over and over again and they will last you for many years (when properly cared for!).
Instead of stamping onto cardstock, I stamped onto white scrap fabric I had in my fabric stash.
This will bring a “WOW” factor to the journal because it’s unexpected.
(Note from Steph: It looks so awesome, especially in person, and gives the pages extra texture and a “vintage” look and feel!)
Tip: I tried this stamping-on-fabric process with several ink pads and I found that the Staz-On ink worked best. I would suggest trying this technique out on a piece of scrap piece of the fabric that you’ll be using before committing your ink to your chosen fabric pieces as your fabric may take the ink differently then mine did.
My fabric was a cotton and rayon blend and some of the other inks ran and bled together – the Staz-On did not do that for me on this particular fabric.
Once you’ve stamped your numbers, cut the numbers apart and pull a few strings around the edges of each cut piece to achieve the torn & tattered look.
In the picture below you can see the finished pockets for the journal – note the further embellishing I did:
- I glued a strip of burlap ribbon onto the pockets.
- I put a drop of glue on the four corners of the fabric number tags. (IMPORTANT: Do not glue the whole back of the fabric piece – it’ll make the fabric stiff and it may make your ink run!)
- I glued a gem over each of those four spots to hide the glue underneath, and what do you know, it brings some needed BLING to the pockets!
- Lastly, I glued down some paper flowers and adhered buttons to the center of them with Gold Stickles.
And just like that, the pockets are DONE!
Make the covers for the journal – cut two rectangles from scrap cardboard or chipboard you may have lying around your house.
(Can you tell this project is all about recycling? 😉 )
Your covers should measure approx. 5″ x 3.25″.
Go back to your Graphic 45 12 Days of Christmas paper pad (or whichever paper you’re using) and pick two patterns to use – one will be for the outside cover and the other will be used for the inner lining.
The outer cover will measure 6″ x 4.25″ (you need it to have at least a 1/2″ overhang on all four outer sides).
The inner lining will measure 4.75″ x 3″ (this needs to be about 1/4″ shorter all the way around the inside).
For the outer cover, glue down the cardboard in the center of the paper you chose for the outside of the cover and cut “V”-shaped notches in all four corners (as seen above).
Wrap the paper around the edges of the cardboard and glue it down to the back of the cardboard.
Place glue on the back of the inner lining paper and center it over the back of the cardboard, pressing down firmly.
If you inked the edges of your pockets, I’ll suggest you ink the edges of your covers as well for a consistent look and feel.
Let’s finish the covers…
I used one of the TP tube pockets as my template to mark the spots on the covers where I needed to punch the holes for the eyelets.
I also punched a hole in the center of the opposite edge of the covers and placed an eyelet there as well (this is the hole I tied the ribbon to).
Next, I glued down a piece of burlap ribbon to the front and back cover.
I then used two more stamps from Graphic 45‘s 12 Days of Christmas set, stamping them onto the same fabric as I previously stamped the numbers.
I then cut out the fabric pieces and shredded the edges of them, and attached them to the covers in the same way I attached the numbers on the pockets (see instructions and images above).
As a final adornment, I added a small Christmas tree charm, which I found in my stash, to the cover – I like when charms dangle from journals, don’t you?
We’re almost done!!
Time to put the journal together!!
Stack the covers and pockets in the correct order and slip them onto two extra large binder rings.
ONE LAST THING TO DO!!!
We need to make the journal tags and
Graphic 45 has made this step very easy for us!
In the 12 Days of Christmas paper pad, Graphic 45 has included two pages of journal cards (a total of 12 doubled-sided cards).
All you need to do is…
- cut them a part
- trim them to size
- use your corner rounder punch to round the corners
- attach ribbon, lace and/or yarn to the top of each one
Easy – the tags are done and ready to slip into the Journal’s pockets!
And now, some shots of the finished 12 Days of Christmas Journal…
Did you enjoy this tutorial?
I hope I showed you just how easy it is
to make a fun and chunky journal like this.
And the great thing is that you can create something like this
for any holiday or occasion, or as a great handmade gift!
Please leave us a comment below,
telling us what you think about this project –
we’d love to hear your thoughts!
And if you have any questions about the process above,
please ask –
we’re happy to help!
if you decide to make a TP Roll Journal,
and/or have made one in the past,
please share a link to your finished project –
we’d love to see it!
I’d love it if you’d come by my blog, BeEclecticArtStudio, to say hi.
Supplies and tools used in this project:
- Graphic 45 Twelve Days of Christmas collection – 8 x 8 paper pad
- Graphic 45 A Christmas Carol collection – 6 x 6 patterns & solids paper pad
- Graphic 45 | Hampton Art Twelve Days of Christmas collection – stamps
- (12) toilet paper tubes
- Cardboard or chipboard (scraps from household supplies and food packaging work well)
- Acetate sheets (from packaging, or overhead transparency material)
- Eyelets (with a long shank, like those used in leather work)
- (2) extra-large binder rings
- Ranger | Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Fired Brick, Peeled Paint, Peacock Feathers, Vintage Photo)
- Staz-On Ink Pad (Pumpkin)
- Ranger Stickles (Gold)
- Aleene’s Tacky Glue
- Glue sticks (this is linked to the Ranger Glue Stick which Steph really likes)
- Embellishments (ribbon, flowers, buttons, rhinestones/gems, charms, ribbon, lace, yarn, burlap, scrap fabric)
- A ruler (this is linked to the Tim Holtz Design Ruler Steph loves!)
- A bone folder
- A corner rounder punch
- A stapler & staples
- A Score Board (this is linked to the Martha Stewart Score Board)
- A Fiskar’s Lace Border Punch
- A WRMK Crop-A-Dile
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