I am calling this book a gum wrapper chain book because the technique
used is the same as that used for making gum wrapper chains. I have so
many old magazines that I have actually made several out of magazine
strips, which is a great way to upcycle or recycle items that you have
on hand. Plus I love how colorful it is. On the other hand, the benefit of using actual gum wrappers is that you would have a certain pattern and color scheme if you chose one or two gum types.
Cut pieces of magazines to 2 x 4-1/2". Use clear packing tape to coat
most of one side. It doesn't have to go all the way to the ends as the
ends will be folded up and won't show. Also, I choose the more colorful
side to make for a more colorful book. But I am also doing some black
and white ones that I think are interesting. I like to use old
scrapbooking magazines because they are so colorful. I also like using
National Geographic magazines for nature journals.
Fold and link your magazine strips as per the instructions at
Build them to the desired length of your journal.
To connect two rows of chains together, create a plastic needle from an old credit card. Cut it to about 2-1/2", creating a bit of a tip on one end and punching a hole in it on the other end. The Crop-A-Dile is the perfect tool for this job.
When laying out your rows make sure that you are getting a zig zag
pattern to where your needle will come in and out. In other words, it
shouldn't be two pieces straight in a row. You should have to jog over a
Go ahead and create a knot on one side of the row. This will be adhered down and will not show later.
Insert the needle into the top loop of the second row.
Pull snug. Insert needle into the next loop in the second row and so on
until the whole row has been connected, pulling snug between each
Flip over and continue in this same manner on the other side. This will bring everything together nice and snug. After you've done both sides, add another row until you have it the size of the gum wrapper chain book you want.
If you want your back cover to also be made with woven magazine strips or gum wrappers, create another cover in the same manner.
A word on your thread. I use embroidery floss because it is inexpensive and easy to use. You could use just about anything for your thread. Many people use fishing line.
Using some chipboard the same size as your rows of woven magazine strips, cover with decorative scrapbook paper or cardstock.
I like to use paper from my recycle box for the inside pages to keep
with the theme of upcycling and recycling. Cut these a bit smaller than
I used my
Bind It All
to bind my books together, but you can certainly use whatever type of book binding you prefer.
I bind my chipboard covers first and then adhere my woven magazine
covers to the chipboard using double-sided tape. This allows me to make
sure I am placing the cover appropriately to allow my spiral binding
to open properly.
I really enjoy these little books as sketch journals. I love the bulky
feel of them. They feel like they have some substance before I even put
something in them. I also use them as notebooks. When I am working in my transcription business, I keep a lot of notes, write daily goals, etc. I have filled a couple of these with these types of notes. There is just something special about writing in a pretty book rather than a plain notebook. Don't you agree?
You can also use gum wrappers (of course) and potato chip bags. Cut them open and wash the insides. Then cut them to the same size as the magazine strips. No packing tape coating is necessary with chip bags. There are all kinds of things you can use to make a gum wrapper chain book besides gum wrappers.