Saturday, August 17, 2013

How to Create A Faux Leather Interactive Journal Cover From A Paper Bag

This school year my students and I are going in really deep with the interactive journals.  Last year it was an absolute blast!  Many people have asked me when I plan to release my Interactive Reading Journal product.  I am adding finishing touches to it.  In the meanwhile, I plan to give out free interactive journaling tips and freebies.

This fake leather journal is soooo easy to make.  I plan to have one for each student that I work with.

Step 1: Get a paper grocery bag.  We are going to use it inside out so don't worry about the label.

Step 2: Cut a 12 x 7 piece from the paper bag.  It does not have to be exact.  Fold 8-10 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 inch pieces of copy paper in half.  Place it over the cut piece of paper bag.  

Step 3: Gently tear the edges of the paper to give it an aged look.

Step 4:  Draw a nice doodle design on the paper with a permanent marker.

Step 5: Ball up the paper.  This will help it achieve an aged and worn look.

Step 6: You can either wet the paper and sprinkle ground coffee on the paper or you can keep it dry and rub the paper with a brown crayon.  I used the crayon technique.

Step 7: I then wet the paper and placed it onto a cookie tray for five minutes at 300 degrees.  I stayed in the kitchen just in case the paper dried even quicker.  The melted crayon helps give the journal an aged look.

Step 8: The paper was stapled.  Then one side of it was taped onto the paper bag with double-sided tape.

Step 9:  A piece of jute rope was wrapped around the outside of the journal.


  1. So easy, yet so effective! I will be using this when my class does their explorer journaling. Thank you!

  2. The 12" x 7" piece of paper bag doesn't work with just folding the white paper in half. I followed your directions in order to make 20 journals. However, now I will have to cut the white paper down for it to fit in the "journal".

  3. Hi Connie,

    Did you place the papers onto each bag when you sized them? I did not have to cut my white paper.