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Best of Photo Projects: A Simple and Quick Photo Journal

Welcome to Ella's new series featuring the best of photo projects brought to you by our amazing Ella friends.

Are you familiar with the site PhotoJojo? It's a great photography website with a store that sells photography supplies and gadgets, but also they post a variety of DIY projects using photos. Me and Lee Currie tackle one of my  favourites, the Photo Journal, which uses supplies you no doubt have on hand: two photos, scrap paper, and craft glue.

With two photos and paper cut to the same size as the photos, you use craft glue (any PVA glue like Elmer's will work) to make a "perfect bound" notebook. Add another piece of paper as a binding and you're ready to start journaling.

The video tutorial by Judy Lee, formerly of Five and a Half Journals, gives step by step instructions on how to make the journal. It should take you less than an hour from start to finish.

I used two 5x7 photos of this Ixora flower that I took while visiting my aunt in Grenada. Here's the back of the journal:


The photo is of the same flower as the front, but zoomed in some more. For my pages I cut up notebook pages from a larger notebook.

This would be a perfect project for photos that you have already scrapped, or that are similar to ones you have scrapped, landscape and macro shots, or those random portraits that you love and want to do something else with. You can use any kind of paper for the pages too, not just notebook paper. How about magazine and catalog pages, or old maps? The journals are a great gift idea too.

Now it's time for me to start filling those blank pages! For those of you that like to read the steps, Lee shares steps below.

1. Choose your photos: Every year I have the privilege of heading to Cape Cod for a couple of weeks. This year I’m heading there with a few friends and decided to take previous photos to make a journal to account for my stay and our adventures in 2011.
2. Cut scrap paper: In this case it was mostly leftover sheets from an almost full sketchpad. I added in some sheets of gridded paper and printed scrapbook paper. These were all cut to 5” x 7” to match the size of the photos chosen. About 50 sheets of paper make a good sized journal.
3. Square up: Tap the now-cut paper along with the photo front and photo back. Secure with the binder clips – one on either side. (I put scrap paper on the front and back photos to protect the finish from being harmed by the binder clips.)
We love photos here at Ella- below are the best offerings from us to you!

4. Sandwich: Between the two smaller books, in my case I used composition books, use the binder clips to help keep the journal steady to apply glue.
5. Apply Glue: Using my foam brush I spread a generous, but not drippy, amount of glue along the top.
6. Dry & Re-apply: This took a bit of time, about ½ hour for the glue to dry to the point of tacky. I then re-applied glue in order to make sure nothing was missed the first time. Again, I waited, this time about 10 minutes. Remove the binder clips and place the journal in wax paper sleeve.
7. Press: Lay flat on a table and put your Big Heavy Book on top. Do this until the glue is fully dried. (Because I was in no particular hurry, I let the glue cure overnight.)
8. Trim: Sometimes with the moisture of the glue paper will “grow”. With your scissors, trim off any excess before you finish off with the spine. I find, even with a paper trimmer, that the paper is not “perfect” so I am not too upset about some misalignment.
9. Add the spine: You pretty much need to saturate the printed-paper to add to the finishing touch to the journal, especially the edges so they don’t curl. I chose some coordinating American Crafts printed-paper in a fun summery stripe.
10. More drying: Once dry you’re all done! I added a quick title and voilà, my journal is all ready to record the memories that will be made in June.

Lee shares,

"If you’re like me, you won’t be able to stop with just one! Additional projects on the go include: Move More, Eat Better; Decorating Ideas; Gardening Plans; Christmas Plans; and, Quiet Moments.For the decorating, gardening and Christmas books I changed things up a bit: orientation, cardboard backing, gaffer tape spine. That was the most fun of the whole project – changing things up."

and don't forget all of Ella's photo offerings

Picture Perfect
Special Effects for Digital Photos
40 Top Tips for Photos

Retro Digital frames
On the Go photo tips

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