Create It! DIY Mini Art Journal in Minutes

Have you ever found something on the clearance aisle of your local craft or scrapbook store and bought it because a. it was a steal and b. you just knew you’d use it eventually.  The 7 Gypsies Binderie punch was one of those clearance aisle purchases for me.  I’m not sure, but I think it’s a tool that has been discontinued. At least, I’m not seeing it on the shelves anymore. I figure that’s probably why I got it for $7.99 about a year ago.  And then it sat in my craft ‘cutting’ draw unused. Until last weekend.  Which leaves me thinking it’s a real shame if this awesome little machine really has been discontinued.  Because it’s awesome.binderioe

In my last post I told you about creating a mini art journal for my granddaughter.  I couldn’t have done it quite so quickly and easily without the Binderie.  You see, it punches through chipboard, multiple sheets of cardstock, tin, plastic…you know, all those nifty materials that we crafters love so much.  And it does it perfectly in seconds.  So my 15 minute mini art journal project that I’m about to give step by steps for may take you a bit longer if you’re punching holes with something else.

Mini art journals aren’t just for little hands, by the way, they work for any age level.  And it wouldn’t have to be limited to art either. You could make yours into a scrapbook, traditional journal, a gift book or anything else your imagination might come up with for the cute little book.

Heading to Disney? Turn one into an autograph book so your little ones can get all the characters autographs, then pop pictures in when you get back home for long lasting magical memories.  Make a non-traditional guest book for a wedding or anniversary party with a page for each guest. Ask them to write a message to the bride & groom and then either snap a photo of them or have them take a selfie and hashtag it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.  Inserting a picture with the message on the guest book pages makes it much more memorable than simply have folks sign their names.

See?  That’s just two ideas in the millions that I’m sure all of you creative geniuses will come up with.  So without further ado, here’s the instructions for the DIY Mini Art

DIY Mini Art Journal

You’ll Need:



Two pieces of chipboard 6” H x 4 ½” W

Five pieces of 8 ½ “ x 11” white or cream colored cardstock ( you could also use watercolor paper, mixed media paper or any paper that has some weight to it  depending on what you are using the book for. You can also use larger paper.)


7 Gypsies Binderie punch, heavy duty three hole punch or any tool to punch holes in chipboard and cardstock

3 Binder rings (should be large enough to hold pages and chipboard covers with room for inserting bulkier items as well.  I used 2” binder rings for a 20 page book)

Paint, papers, stamps, ribbons or any embellishments you wish for the covers.[/su_column][/su_row]

I started out cutting a larger 12” x 12” piece of chipboard to the desired size on my Cricut Explore.  I’ve also cut chipboard with a metal ruler and exacto knife before I had my Cricut.  If you use the knife, please be careful.  The size of the chipboard pieces will be slightly larger than your page size.

If you’re working with 8 ½ “ x 11” cardstock you can fold it in half lengthwise and then again width wise. This will give you four sections 5 ½ “H x 4” W.  If you’re using larger paper, simply measure out to make your pages 5 ½” x 4”.  Cut 20 pages.line-up

Time to punch our holes to bind our book together.  If you’re using the Binderie, on the longer side of your first cover, mark the half point.  You’ll want to do this because although the Binderie punch only punches two holes at a time, it’s really easy to punch more, we’re going to make three holes, so you’ll need that center point to be sure you’re leaving room for a middle punch.   Line up the halfway point with the line on the front of the Binderie and press the button.  You’ll hear the awesome whirring noise and voila! Two perfect holes. armtool

Now pull the little arm on the right side of the Binderie out until you hear it click. Be sure it only clicks once.  Put the top hole you just punched over the tab on the arm and slide the cover back into the punch. Hit the button and there you have it, three perfectly spaced holes.   (I really, really love this little machine)drilledready

Repeat for the other cover and also for the cardstock pages. Note that you can put several pages in at once, which makes this part go faster.  Of course if you don’t have a Binderie machine, you can use the hole punch of your choice.

Once the holes are all punched, you can decorate your cover the way you wish and then put it all together by threading the binder rings through the holes.   If you prefer, you could tie it together with jute, ribbon or even leather lacing.  It’s such a versatile little book that is quick and easy to make while allowing for all kinds of personalization and uses. finished

Have fun!  Oh and if you happen to see a 7 Gypsies Binderie?  Grab it.  I’m glad I did. Have more ideas for these mini books?  Share them in the comments!

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