Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I thought that I would share how to make lunch bag journals.  
They are so simple to make!!!  
They make wonderful gifts and use materials that you probably 
already have around your house...that is 
if you pack lunches using paper lunch bags.

Materials used:
1 paper lunch bag.   5 1/8" X 10 5/8"
Art work 4 1/4" X 4 1/4"
Piece of fabric 5 1/4" X 5 1/4"
Washi tape, duct tape or any other decorative tape 11"
1 piece cardstock to insert in bag 5" X 10"
Cardstock, bristol, watercolor paper or graph paper (for pages) 5" X 10"
Waxed thread or dental floss (unflavored)  2 ft.
beads and buttons (2) for decoration

Tools used:
Awl or strong needle for punching holes
Heavy duty needle for stitching pages to cover
Sewing machine
paper cutter
Bone folder
metal straight edge
x-acto knife

To stiffen the bag (mine was thin) cut a piece of card stock 5 " X 10" and insert it into the bag.  Next, fold over the open end of the bag toward the side with the bag bottom and tape closed.  For decoration, I also added a piece of tape to the bag bottom.

Inside cover

Leave the right edge of the bag bottom open as it later forms a pocket for inserting things like your business card, bookmark, etc.

pocket on iside cover

Making the journal cover:  Fold the bag in half with the tape to the inside.  On the cover (back side of the bag bottom), place a piece of fabric, center the art work on the fabric and stitch by machine.  If you don't have a sewing machine, you could use glue or hand stitch.  Also stitch around the edge of the back cover.

Making the inside pages:  Cut the inside pages to size, 5" X 10", fold in half, burnish the fold with a bone folder and stack....one inside the other.  Once the pages are stacked, trim the right side of the stacked pages using a ruler and x-acto knife so that  they will be neat and even and not stick out from the cover.  The more pages that you have, the more necessary it is to trim the edge.  Depending on the weight of the paper you are using and the number of pages, it may not be necessary to trim.  You be the judge!

Stitching the journal pages to the cover:  Now you are ready to stitch the pages to the cover and add the beads and button to the thread tail.  I used a bookbinder awl to punch three holes through all the pages and cover at the spine (Fold).  I made one hole in the middle and a hole about 1/2" from each end.

Thread a large heavy duty needle with the waxed thread and starting at the outside top hole of the cover push the threaded needle to the inside and through all the pages.  Make sure that you leave a 4" min. tail of thread on the outside of the cover.  Next, go from the middle inside hole to the outside. Then to the outside bottom hole to the inside and then back to the inside middle hole to the outside. You should now have two threads on the outside of the journal cover.  Bring the thread at the middle hole to the top of the journal and tie it off with the thread from the first hole.  Add beads and button to the tail, knot off and whal--la!!!  You are finished!!

Do you like the little party dresses?  I learned how to make them in Joanne Sharpe's class "Doodle Art and Letters."  I think that this class is going to be one of my most favorite Joanne Sharpe classes.  I love to doodle but I never considered myself very good at it.  My doodling used to consist of drawing spirals and circles....over and over again!!!  Boring!!!

Anyway, if you are like me and want to expand you doodling horizons...you should consider this class.  Joanne has a way of teaching doodling that makes it where anyone can do it....and believe me, I struggled with doodling for a long time.  I struggled with being loose!!!  In this class, Joanne teaches you to make reference cards with doodles such as hearts, stars, lines, flowers, etc. and then shows you how to combine them to make these wonderful whimsical drawings.  Just like the little dresses!!!!

Come join the fun!!!

Until next time!


  1. Great tutorial - I like the addition of fabric and your drawings are fabulous!

    1. Thank you Carolyn! I had to retrieve the fabric from the GoodWill bag. I was going to throw it out! You never know when you are going to need it! lol!