Tuesday To Do | DIY Smash Book | Summer Journal

Here is the tutorial for my  DIY Smash Book as I mentioned last week. I am calling it my “Whatnot Book”. Bear in mind that I’ve never actually seen a Smash book except online, so there’s a good chance mine bears little resemblance to the real thing!

Tuesday To Do - Smash Book - Callaloo Soup Crafts
How to make the DIY Smash Book

I used chipboard, which I upcycled from an old calendar, patterned papers, duct tape and my Bind-it-All.

I started with the cover first, cutting three pieces from chipboard: one each for the front and back, and a third for the spine

Smash Book Cover-1

I’ll be covering up the printed bit later.

Notice how there is a bit of space between the covers and the spine? This is how it will be taped up. I used this black duct tape that I had on hand, but I think bookbinding or gaffer tape would be perfect.

So, tape all three pieces together like so

Smash Book Cover-2
Then flip over

Smash Book Cover-3
and tape the other side. And ta da!

Smash Book Cover-4
The tape over the spaces acts like a “hinge” for the spine and covers.

Now for the body of the book:

Cut a nice stack of patterned paper pages roughly the same size as the covers.I used double sided papers.

The front of the first page and the back of the last page can be blank since we won’t be seeing them once the book is done

Smash Book Coonstruction-1
Smash Book Coonstruction-1
Bind the pages together with the Bind-it-All. You can find some tips for binding in this post. Here’s a look at some of my pages

Smash Book Coonstruction-3
Smash Book Coonstruction-3
Smash Book Coonstruction-3

Now to put it all together!

Cover up the inside of the covers with patterned paper (if there’s a design you don’t want to see)

Smash Book Coonstruction-6
Now insert the bound pages, and stick the blank sides of the first and last pages to the covers

Smash Book Coonstruction-8 Smash Book Coonstruction-8

And there she is!

Smash Book Coonstruction-9
I used a couple stamps to add a title to the cover

Smash Book Coonstruction-10
Then I remembered that the original books have the glue pen combo thingy. Well, I’m not that good so I came up with this instead on the inside front cover.

Smash Book Coonstruction-11
I’m really glad I held on to that orange elastic which came with a set of towels!

On the inside back cover I stuck a pocket and filled it with journaling bits and pieces.

Smash Book Coonstruction-13
I didn’t get a chance to take photos of the pages I’ve used so far, I really wanted to get the tutorial up today. So look for those later on in the month.

For the moment it’s just a mish mash of bits and pieces. I am thinking about using it for my Week in the Life project, since that was part of our summer, but I am not 100% sure yet.

Do you think you would make or use a book like this? If so what for? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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P.S. What are you putting in your smash books and journals? Get a wack load of printables every month with Printably

Make a DIY Smashbook Summer Journal





    AND ITS AFFORDABLE—-gotta make me one!!!

  • pennysfromheaven

    Okay…THAT was awesome! 🙂

  • GENIUS and oh, so pretty.

  • I LOVE your “smash” book!!!! Love the look, love the tutorial and LOVE the fact that it is all upcycled!!! I can’t wait to see some of the inside pages!

  • GREAT book idea! Love, love it.

  • Love this! Gotta make one too!

  • I share your love of making books. This book is awesome! Just curious as to whether the two adhered pages at the front and back will be enough to handle the weight of the pages, or if it will tear off because of the perforation?

  • Duckienz

    LOVE it. I am speechless and that is very rare for me, that is how much I love it! I however, like cinback, wonder if it is strong enough to hold together? Maybe sewing the edges would help as well?

  • Hi!!! I love your blog and your projects.
    Kisses from Brazil

  • Oh my! Found you on Craftgawker and just **LOVE** this! You did a great tutorial – clear, concise and pretty. Can’t wait to see more pages 🙂

  • Excellent! We should all share our own versions LOL
    Here’s mine: http://passionforpaper-passionforpaper.blogspot.com/2011/07/slab-book.html

  • Geeeenius! This is too perfect, and not least because Smash books are rarer than sunshine here in the UK. Thanks so much for sharing such a great tutorial – has jumped right to the front of my ‘must make soon’ queue. 🙂

  • Wonderful journal. Love all the little touches to it!

  • I love your blog and I love this tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

  • What makes this tutorial rocks? It is the fact that you don’t need to buy expensive scrapbook supplies to make one! Affordable yet very beautiful! Thanks for sharing! Please check my site too for more scrapbooking ideas. Thanks!

  • trumome

    LOL I save all that random stuff that comes from packaging other stuff, too. (your orange elastic, perfect!) My DH will see a length of grosgrain ribbon used to tie up a Target quilt or some such, and ask, “what’re you ever gonna use that for…?” and of course the only answer is, “I’ll know it when it jumps in my lap and says, ‘make me!'”
    LOVE your tutorial. I may actually get one made for “Fall 2011” which will force me to enjoy life more, as I’m required to SMASH in something of everything I do, so I’ll have to have some FUN!
    Also, I’m with you on the Smash-y glue pen dealies, hard to find and a bit spendy, I understand.


    perfect!!! Tkx a lot!

  • Oh I just love this! I am going to make one each for my girls – they’re really getting into journalling at the moment. Will have to rethink the BIA bit (had one, didn’t use it – sold it! Aaargh!)Great tutorial – thank you 🙂

  • kari

    Great!! We had a hard time with the zutter at first too! But we ended up making one that is so much fun! My favorite thing to do for junk journals, though is to take an old cook book (the kind that lays flat when open) and alter it! My boys even made their own.

  • Really great job on this! Thanks. If someone doesn’t have that spiral binding system, it can be done at a office supply store. I’ve just discovered the smash books and have played a bit with a DIY version. This is perfect. Can I link you on my blog?

  • This is wonderful and I will surely give it a go. well done. i’m in the process of making an art journal from last years Kelly Rae Roberts planner, cos i just hate the idea of throwing it away!!

  • Julie Luca

    Awesome idea! I followed from Diana Trout’s blog and will add you to my list. thanks for sharing.

  • wonderful tutorial! great photos and explanations…your book turned out just smashing!

  • deb

    would love to see your finished smashbook

  • Patti

    LOVE your journals, etc. i’m following you on pinterest now! where do you buy a binding machine?? i so want to make journals like your creations!!!!

  • Wow what a great job on the book. I’m new to the bind it all so how did you use the BIA and not have it show?

  • WOW! this is amazing! I am so doing this!! Thank you so much for sharing this awesome DIY :o) xoxo

  • cricket

    how do you make your spiral part stay in the cover? I am so making these for my boys to use this summer!! Thanks for the awesome ideas!!!!

  • cricket

    🙂 Nevermind!! I finally see that step!!! thanks again!! LOVE this smash book idea!!! awesome!

  • This is such a helpful tutorial! I plan on attempting to make my own BABY smash book, as in for my baby. I think it is such a creative way to document memories. I love being a DIYer so thank you for helping me DIY in this area. I am linking this tutorial on my blog so that other people can see my inspiration 🙂

  • Hi Francine, thanks for submitting this fabulous tutorial over at And Sew We Craft. I have just featured it on the blog today.
    You can find it here: http://www.andsewwecraft.com/2012/06/reader-tutorial-diy-smash-style-summer-journal/
    Amy x

  • I’m just now seeing this comment Patti. You can get the Bind-it-All at any craft store I should think.

  • Thanks for linking me Megan!

  • Thanks for the feature Amy!

  • Hey Francine! I’ve been following you on Pinterest. Love your Smash Book and the tutorial on making it. I too share your interest in making journals/books with recycled papers/cardboard, etc. I am excited to see the Bind It All being used for this! I’ll get to work on mine soon.
    PS. happy to find your blog! I’ll be your newest follower and hope you’ll come visit me on mine! xoox Suzy

  • Found a link to this post on Pinterest and started following you for more wonderfully creative ideas! 🙂

  • Muchas gracias por el tutorial, es muy bueno y muy bien explicado. Té visitaré en Pinterest. Saludos.

  • Great tutorial! Am now following you on Pinterest!!
    You can follow me here: http://pinterest.com/suesykes/
    Can’t wait to check out your other tutorials!

  • Chris

    I love this idea for a trip journal! Everything you need is all right there..paper, glue, pen! I’m going to use it for journaling our motorcycle trips. Love it!

  • Marcia Carvalho

    I loved it!!! I will try to do this smash for me!!

  • Hi Francine 🙂 I am now a follower of yours on Pinterest. I have lots of crafty ideas on my boards too if you want to follow me?
    Have a great day!

  • hi
    thank you very much for tuto
    it’s very beautifull,
    thank you
    good by

  • Amy B

    Really great tutorial! Just a couple of questions…1. is the scrapbook paper double-sided? Or did you adhere the pieces? Or did you just leave the “backs” blank? and 2. it says you stuck the first and last pages into the cover but the picture just shows they’re laid on top. How did they get into the cover? (from the picture it looks like the paper you put on the front and back is glued, so there wouldn’t be a pocket to slip the book into…)
    It’s great how accessible scrapbooking is becoming because let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got time to put together a million perfectly laid out 12×12 pages. “smashing” stuff in is just so authentic and doable! Thanks for this inspiration!

  • Hi Amy,
    Thanks for stopping by. Yes the paper I used for the pages was double sided. To assemble the book I just laid it on the cover, and then stuck the first and last pages down onto the cover. I know I used the word “insert” there, I should have said “place” 😉 Sorry for the confusion!

  • Mo Williamz

    This is a great tutorial. I bought a cheapy sketch journal for my current diy smashbook but I might have to try binding my own. You make it look so easy.

    • Francine

      Give it a try! It is pretty easy once you get the hang of the binding part.

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  • Susan Thomas

    Thanks for this tutorial. Have been considering purchasing a bind-it-all, seeing reasons to really get one.

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  • Great job, Francine. I really love how your Whatnot Book turned out. Very pretty, great use of what you have and so you. I got rid of my Bind-It-All as it wasn’t as useful a tool for me as I had thought it would be. But copy shops (like Kinkos or Office Depot in the US) will coil bind just about anything so there’s always that option too. I know this because when my boys were smaller I had the spines cut off of their school books and then coil bound so they would lie flat – made them easier to write in. Happy 2017! Thanks for continuing to create remarkable content.