Coffee Dyed Paper Signatures for a Junk Journal in a Travelers Notebook


If you are looking for a way to create your own Junk Journal but don’t want to hand sew the binding, try a traveler’s notebook.  These notebooks have elastic bands in the middle where you can slip signatures into them.  Signatures are just a bunch of papers bound together. Easiest way is to staple it together with one at the bottom and one at the top where the pages folds in the middle.  If that is too much effort, then just fold your pages together and loosely have them bound around the elastics.   You can also zip the pages through your sewing machine if you have one.

I like to use cheap thin copy paper and dye them brown with a bit of coffee.  I just use a heaping tablespoon of coffee in a mason jar then pour hot water over it.  Then I use a paintbrush to spread the mucky brown water over the paper.  Because my paper is thin, it automatically soaks through to the other side, so I only have to cover one side at a time.  I will let you know that the way I did it, did result in a bit of a mess since the coffee grinds were left on the page and when dried I just wiggled them off. I think from now on I will use instant coffee since the grounds truly disappear.

I know others will use a big tray, fill it with the coffee water and then soak the paper completely then dry.  I live in a condo, I don’t have that kind of space to dry a ton of soaking wet papers so I have to improvise.  I painted them which kept the paper in tact not like it would be when totally soaked. Therefore I was able to pile the papers on top of each other to dry.  Warning, the papers at the bottom of the stack were wrinkled.  That doesn’t bother me much and if it did I could just rewet it then heat dry with my heating gun.

This does mean that the coffee dye is not even and created a textured look on the page.  I love that! Imperfection is the best for a junk journal in my opinion.  Besides, I layer my junk journals up so much that really, no one is going to be paying attention to the uneven coffee dye.  lol.

I am often finding travelers notebooks at the thrift store for less then $5 so this is a cheap way to have a unique junk journal without all the work of binding a cover by hand.  For many years I used composition notebooks for my junk journals. They are cheap, have plenty of pages and are easy to find at dollar stores for cheap.  However, it’s nice sometimes to not have the lines running through the page and a more vintage vibe and feel.  I also love making junk journals with varied size of pages and a plethora of different page types, like notebook paper, music paper, book pages, coloring pages, etc.  That really is fun.  Something that you just can’t achieve with a bought book.  Well, I guess you could if you were willing to glue on each page the paper and cut it to a different size but oh my goodness how chunky it would get.  My composition notebooks are so thick and wide already when they are done!

I hope this video inspires you to think of new ways to create a junk journal.  Use #PaperMuse hashtag if you happen to share on Social Media. I would love to see your creations!

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Have a rainbows and lollipops day!