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How to Make a Recycled Journal

Turn your recycle bin into a work of art! Rev. Jeniffer Hutchins shares her step by step process from raiding the recycle bin, adding color, and binding the project together. Recycling has never been so much fun!

  1. Gather up paper and cardboard from your recycle bin. Items with a bit of weight such as post cards, magazine pages and cereal boxes hold together well.
  2. Cut pages to desired size. I opted for a variety of rectangular and square shapes.
  3. Lay pages flat and coat with white Gesso. The opaque, paint-like artists’ substrate will even out your backgrounds while still leaving some of the original print visible. The Gesso also serves to bind paint onto your surfaces. Let Gesso dry completely before moving to the next step.
  4. Brush on a loose layer of acrylic paint in colors of your choosing. For this step, I laid all of the pages across a card table. Then I used a wide 1.5″ brush to quickly place color on the pages. Let initial layer of paint dry. Then turn your pages over and repeat the process.
  5. Add painted details and textures. You may make lines or dots with thinner brushes; dip bubble wrap in paint and press it on; or find items around your house to use as stamps – bottle tops work great!
  6. Let pages dry completely.
  7. Line up your pages and use a hole punch to create 2-3 holes on the left side of your pages. I chose to use a cereal box as my front and back cover.
  8. Tie your pages together using string or yarn. Using colored string, I wove between the three holes then tied a bow to hold it together.
  9. Decorate your Recycled Journal however you like! You may wish to create a collage or painting on your cover; fill your pages with daily writing; or create a themed book out of your design.

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