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Inspired by Shelly: Travel Journal

One of the conversations I have oft had with my crafty friends is how we all have our special gifts and talents. For example, I'm a pretty darn spiffy paper engineer, (yeah, I said it) and it does not diminish the value of my gift (paper engineering) if I pale in comparison when it comes to, say, making an embossed faux leather travel journal ala Shelly Hickox.


My travel journal isn't terrible. Yes, it's slightly tortured like a face in a metal pin board, but not totally unworthy. There's a kernel of beauty here. If I had it to do over again I'd use lighter-weight chipboard for the suitcase so the paper bag didn't have to bunch and climb mountains to encase it.

If you didn't look at Shelly's first you'd probably think this was pretty good, in fact!

Or maybe you'd stick a needle in it, grab some DNA and reconstruct a dinosaur. 

Potato, potahto.


I'll walk you through the construction steps of my Tortured Travel Travel Travel journal. (Because why put just one rub-on word Travel on the binding when there's room for three?!) I will then direct you to follow Shelly's steps for the actual faux leather part.

STEP 1: Die cut a Suitcase from chipboard (Tip: choose a lightweight chipboard instead of heavyweight) and assemble all the suitcase pieces as shown. Also die cut a Pop 'n Cuts Square Base card from black matboard and from patterned paper. I used the smaller Tim Holtz ring binder for my journal.


STEP 2: Put the matboard card into the trimmer and slide the blade ONE TIME through the matboard with light pressure 0.5" on one side of the centerline tick marks. Slide the matboard in the trimmer to do the same thing 0.5" on the other side of the centerline tick marks. This will create a 1" spine.



STEP 3: Measure the width of the journal's interior panels and decide how much of a black border you'd like on the decorative ends. Cut from either end of the patterned paper card to make panels for inside the journal. I did not bother to cut a paper panel for the center because the ring binder will cover that area.


STEP 4: Follow Shelly's instructions for creating the faux leather on the front of the journal.


Thanks, Shelly, for inspiring me to try something out of my comfort zone. I loved the technique and will definitely try it again and see if I can improve my results.

*NOTE* I see that the small Ring Binders are hard to find but the large ones are readily available. I would suggest increasing the spine width to 1.25" (so score at 5/8" from each side of the centerline tick marks) to be able to use the larger ring binder.

Here are the supply links for what I used. The patterned paper in my journal is from Teresa Collins Far & Away called "Postcards Paper" #FA1005. They don't have it at, though, so I'm linking a substitute paper that would look very similar: