Rustic Christmas Hardcover Junk Journal Feat Joyful Rhapsody Papers

Hello there, dear people!

Hope all you craft enthusiasts are having a creative holiday season! I can’t say mine has yet been as craft-filled as I’d have liked, but this project did make for a wholesome dose of creative release. So here it is–yes, it is an absolute no-rules Junk Journal bursting at its seams with Holiday cheer!

This mini hardcover journal measures 4.5×6.5×1.75 inches. I wanted to keep it compact because it is a present for a non-crafter niece who is still in school and will probably be overwhelmed if landed with a full-blown 9 inch tall voluminous JJ with its layers of hidden tucks and fold-outs. This one has turned out pretty chunky itself but the size makes it easier to tote around…when it is not being stored in its box.

But before I get to the project, here’s a peek at the supplies that inspired it!

This paper pack is a vintage delight! It is heavyweight and takes distressing well–not to mention the delicious palette of warm reds and gold and glitter, and the absolutely stunning cut-apart sheet with vintage Christmas cards! (It can be used as a regular 12×12 inch sheet too–I sized it down so it would fit into my paper scrap caddy).

The Little Birdie Tassel Tool had a great deal to do with my choice of project too!  It is easy-to use and such fun to play with…it is addictive! You can see how I made way more tassels than I eventually used!

I did end up taking apart a few of the dangle charms and used the pieces separately.

I used a couple sheets from last year’s Christmas papers that I’d been hoarding.

And here are some coordinating embellishments from the store–a few of these I’ve had in my stash for a while.

My apologies for not having a step-by-step post on this project–the only times I was getting to work on it were when the lighting was far from photo-friendly. I have, however, managed to save a few work-in progress pics which I’ll share with you here.

I started with tea-dying a bunch of papers–100 gsm A4 sized copier paper and lower weight lined sheets.

Next up was deciding on a base page size–I went for 4×6.25 inches. I prepared stacks of dyed sheets and pattern papers cut to the page size…doilies too.

The music sheet printables I ended up folding into pockets, rather than leaving them as independent pages.

For the cover, I sized down two sheets from a  chipboard album. The outer cover is this pattern from the pack and a length of fabric to go over the spine.

Once the cover was pieced together, I added a bit of stitch detailing where the spine piece wrapped the pattern paper.

Once my cover was ready, it was time to sew my signatures in. Before sewing in the signatures, I did sew on pockets and tucks on a few of my pages (folded music sheet printables). I also added two pockets on the inside covers.

My binding technique is the age-old three-hole pamphlet stitch. There are numerous tutorials on the web on how to use this technique to bind signatures but the tutorial I used here is from my childhood. My father taught me how to sew booklets out of tall lined-paper bundles way back in school! I knew it to be the pamphlet stitch much later.

To make sure my signatures are aligned correctly on the spine and that the gusset sizes are uniform, I used a template which is really just a piece of cardstock the same size as my spine piece with score lines for each signature and three holes on each score line to align with the three holes on my signatures.

I used the same template to makes holes in my signatures–I just folded along one of the score lines so it forms a V, which then nests easily on the signature’s inner fold.

I typically make two holes one inch down and one inch up from the top and bottom of the signature, and the third in the centre.

All done! Now on to tucks and pockets and mats.

I was a wee bit iffy at first if the two paper packs were meant to work together –one being vintage and the other a primary palette. They seemed to do just fine once I got started! The plaid and tartan patterns from the Highland pack and this poinsettia sheet from the Joyful pack are my favourites!

Next up were my tabs and charms–the journal is to sit in a box so I was not particularly worried about the tabs making the journal unwieldy…you can see how enthusiastic I was about the tabs–all supplies featured here are from the store (gems, jump rings, silk thread, burlap trim, bead caps, faux pearls).

In the background, you can see I’ve started taking apart  the embellishments to sew them onto mats.

Here are a few of the on-the-page pockets and tucks. I had no idea this journal would be so difficult to photograph! It was nearly impossible .

Banner tucks–holding a mini fold-out journaling spot on one side and a large gatefold journaling spot on the reverse.

I love altering paper clips for journals but gave it a miss for this one because I did not want the paper clips to keep the journal from sitting in its box easily.

Skinny tags in top loading pockets

Doily pockets–I used the doily as a page and sewed it onto the next page (along the bottom) to form the pocket.

Corner flip up holding a tag with a doily tuck (which holds another tag!)

On the page music sheet pocket (you can see my newbie seamstress skills do not include sewing around the thumb notch.

Doily and banner tuck–I’ve left it empty for the person using it to slide a photo or a note underneath.

Side-loading pockets–I’ve layered doilies, music sheets, and sentiments from the Highland pack to embellish these pockets. All inserts, journaling spots, and tags in this journal have collaged embellishment on the edges–typically bits of scrap paper, fabric, and die cut shapes.

Another banner tuck page– this one holds a mini journaling card on one side and a large gatefold journaling spot on the reverse.

Front inside cover–aren’t the vintage Christmas card images precious? There are so many of them! I’ve used quite a few in this book already and yet have enough left for a journal of my own and maybe a few cards, even!

Second signature–the top-loading pocket will hold my note to the recipient.

Back inside cover–made a booklet out of lined paper, for making lists, etc.

Nearly done! I did take process pics of the altered box which is to house this journal but I had lost day light by that time and the pictures came out terrible! Here’s a glimpse:

And finally, the finished book.


I do not iron my dyed paper–preferring to keep them bumpy. This adds to the bulk of the pages and the book appears to have an alligator mouth. I do, however, take care that the pages are well within the scope of the spine…they just need use to smoothen out.

Thank you for staying with me on this rather long post! Love you guys! Do leave me your thoughts below.

Happy crafting!



Cardstock Paper Pack- Joyful Rhapsody
Tassel Tool
Silk Thread – Cherry
Silk Thread – Chartreuse
Silk Thread – Forest Green
Silk Thread – Gold



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