Card and Cookie Journals

Two handmade journals with unusual covers.

Moleskine is a terrific journal, I just have to scrub my watercolor brush a bit harder to get the Inktense pencils color to smooth out on the page. Other journals for writing have thin papers, and for drawing often have laid stock, so the facing pages have two different textures. Or maybe, I’m too picky. So I decided to make my own.

A client had sent a card—two, in fact, and I liked them both. I wondered it I could use the card as a cover for a small journal. I gathered up the two cards, a piece of artwork on marker paper—a very lightweight paper, a cellulose card cover, a sheet of Arches Text Wove and a Strathmore Series 400 drawing paper. After folding the signature, I used a simple stitch to create the small pamphlet journal. Success! Different papers, different sizes, but useful and handy.

Trader Joe’s has two thin, crisp cookies that delight me—lemon and ginger. I love the

You can use different size papers, and a variety of paper stock.

cheery yellow box that holds lemon cookies, so I cut off the front and back, and created another journal. The box has a view window in the front, so I first lined the inside of the covers, then drew a design and glued it to show through the window. I filled it with Strathmore 400 Series drawing paper—a creamy medium-weight stock that takes watercolor pencil and glue well.

After spending a few hours in the book press, the Cookie Bookie was sturdy, dry and pressed flat. As it was a box, it can take some wear without showing it, and it perfect for some quick sketches. It would make a great dream journal—I’d love to dream about lemon cookies!

Binding is Tyvek tape, colored with Copic Markers

My next project is a green and black cracker box that’s a bit smaller, but has great style.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer, book artist and certified creativity coach. See her work at and © Quinn McDonald, 2010, all rights reserved.

6 thoughts on “Card and Cookie Journals

    • You will never look at a box the same way again. I have to admit, I purchased the crackers for the box design. Hey, it’s as good a reason as any. Lucky for me, the crackers were delicious!

  1. Nice way to collect cards into a book. I’m curious, though. What exactly odes a book press do? Is it a specialized piece of equipment or is there materials in a home that can make a substitute?

    • A book press is a way to apply pressure to a completed piece to compress the folds, tighten up glue, hold it still and let it dry. Sort of like ironing a shirt, but without the heat. You can easily get the same effect by putting a piece of parchment or freezer paper under and another over a piece (card, small journal) placing it on a smooth, hard surface with no cracks or wrinkles, and piling books on top of it for weight. I have an real, old, manual book press from the 1880s. It has a bone-shaped handle that I turn down to apply pressure to two plates that raise and lower. I had it rebuilt when a piece broke, and that was expensive. I had to have the piece fabricated. But it should last a good long time.

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