One of our family's big areas of focus during our Trash Reduction Challenge is to find other ways to use "garbage". For one thing, it reduces the amount of things we throw out, but for another, if we can make things we need out of things we already have, we don't need to buy as much.
This weekend, Bess wanted to create a nature journal where she could draw and collect leaves and flowers, so we made one ourselves out of things we otherwise would have thrown away - scrap office paper, cardboard, and packing paper.
There are several websites that show how to make fancy bound books at home. I can't vouch for any of them since I haven't used them, but if you're really interested in the official way to do it, a Google search will return more ideas than you know what to do with.
First, we cut two pieces of stiff cardboard slightly larger than a standard sheet of office paper, and a piece of packing paper slightly larger than the two pieces of cardboard with a small space left between them for the "spine" spine of the book. We glued the cardboard to the paper, and then wrapped and glued the edges.
Next, we took about thirty sheets of scrap office paper and punched holes in them using a three-hole punch. We used twine to tie the papers together so that they would lie flat.
We glued the first and last pages to the covers so that the edges of the paper were in line with the inside edges of the cardboard covers. We propped up the inside pages so that the covers could dry without the pages sticking together.
And - voila! Bess decorated the cover and we're ready to journal!