DIY Leaf Print Mini Journal

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Following on from my trip to Cardinham Woods, I thought I'd share a quick DIY with you that puts the collection of leaves I gathered on my walk to good use.

This is a really quick and simple craft that you can adapt and alter as you please. For example, if you prefer, you can simply print onto an existing notebook or even (as I'm thinking of doing at Christmas) forego the journal craft altogether and keep your printed paper to use for wrapping gifts! The choice is yours!

All you need are a few basic items:

- Cereal box, cut into a rectangle roughly 10x8 inches
- Scissors
- Roll of brown paper
- Plain A4 paper
- Leaves, or other materials to print with
- Paintbrush + water
- Acrylic paint
- Glue
- Needle + thread
- Bull clips

Here are a few of the leaves I collected on our walk through Cardinham Woods. 
Be sure to wash and gently pat the leaves dry before you print with them- you don't want any leftover mud or grit to mess up the effect!  

First thing you want to do is to create your printed paper. I used a brush to gently cover each leaf with acrylic paint before placing it down on the paper and carefully flattening each section with my little finger. Depending on how neat you want the prints to be, you might even want to use a sponge to press the leaves down as this can be quite a fiddly task. Personally, however, I'm quite a fan of the messy and fingerprinty 'rustic' look!    

Once you've printed enough leaves to cover your cardboard cut-out (a sheet at least 12x10 inches), set the brown paper aside and allow the paint to dry fully.

This is roughly what your cereal box cut-out should look like, folded in half to create the hard cover for your journal. Don't worry about any slightly wobbly edges you might have at this stage! 

Cover the cardboard in an initial layer of plain brown paper to prevent the cereal box design from peeking through.

Then, once your printed paper is completely dry, glue it on top of the first layer. Try and smooth out any creases or air bubbles that might form at this point.

Fold the spare paper over the edges of the hard cardboard cover and stick them down with glue. This should create a neat, straight edge for your journal.

Once everything is glued down, allow the cover to dry before moving on to the next step. 

Take a wad of paper (not too thick or you won't be able to pierce through it!) and cut it into a rectangle roughly 9x7 inches in size. Fold this rectangle crisply in half and place it in the centre of your cover, as above.  

Next, using bull clips to keep everything together, punch a series of small holes down the crease in your journal. I used a pair of nail scissors to ensure each hole went all the way through but you could use a sharp needle or even (very carefully!) the tip of a small knife. After you have punched out all the holes, you need to sew everything together with a simple running stitch.  

Your stitched up journal should look something like this.

And your done! Easy peasy.

You can embellish your journal with anything you like: glitter (perfect for Christmas!), ribbon, button clasps, fancy ties, stickers...the list is endless! Or you could just stick to the simple and rustic look, like me, and fasten everything together with a bit of twine.

However you choose to jazz it up, I think this little homemade journal would make the perfect gift for any nature or doodle-lover. I'll definitely be making a few for my friends and family to scribble away in come Christmastime!

Do you have any DIY gifts you like to make for people? I'm in serious need of some top tips for Christmas, so I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

In the meantime,
All the love,

Sian x


  1. I love this idea! It's so cute!

  2. This is such a great idea and seems fairly straightforward too! The journal looks lovely, I love a good DIY project so I'll definitely be trying this out!

    Small, Brown & Stylish | Thrifty Fashion & DIY Blog

    1. Thank you! It was really quite straightforward to do, once I had grabbed all the things I needed! Let me know how it turns out if you do :) Thanks so much for reading, Sian x


Latest Instagrams

© The Freckled Fieldnotes. Design by Fearne.