Our Autumn Easter Holiday project was to create a handmade, mixed media, nature journal. These journals are fun to make. They are beautiful keepsakes that you will be proud to display! The idea for them is not my own but a combination of ideas that I gathered scrolling instagram and pinterest. Check the end of this post for links to other gorgeous art/mixed media journals scattered over the web.
Here is how you can create these with your kids:
You will need some basic supplies. There is a lot of freedom with a mixed media project so just use the supplies that you have on hand, you don’t need to purchases expensive art materials. I do suggest that you start with a good strong paper, this will mean that you can apply whatever paint, glue or fabric without tearing your pages.
- Large sheet of watercolour paper – I used a full sheet, (56×76) of cheap cold pressed paper
- cardboard – any old box is fine
- old artwork, magazine pictures, coloured paper, scrap paper
- scissors, knife, glue, paintbrushes, mixing tray, ruler
- paint, pencils, crayons, charcoal, pens, markers, ink… anything you feel comfortable working with or have at hand
To start, lie your paper on a flat surface. The first step is to fold your paper to create the creases we will use as guides for cutting and creating our pages. When you are finished your sheet will be divided into 16 sections. Like this
You can download a folding instruction sheet PM Art Studio HERE. Do not cut your paper yet!
When you have finish folding the paper you will lie it flat and put the first stage of colours and marks on your page. Because our journals are season themed I chose colours to represent Autumn on one side and plain black charcoal on the other. These marks are just creating a background for your pages, you can leave them white if you prefer.
When the paint is dry it is time to cut your page. You will need to make three cuts. Use the guide below or follow the instructions in the PM Art Studio download.
Now fold accordion style from bottom left corner.
The cover is made from two piece of cardboard. I used a corrugated cardboard box, this gave our journals a solid but soft end result. You can use any old box as it will be covered. Just trace around the folded page to get the right size and cut. Because I used an old box, I used a knife to cut out the cover. Next the cardboard is covered in your choice of finish. You will need to decide how you want your journal to look. Old art work, pieces of paper, fabric, pictures… you can use anything you like to cover the cardboard completely on one side. When This is dry, glue the covers to the top and bottom of your folded journal.
Over the next few weeks we will be having fun creating the inside pages with our observations of Autumn. Once again, the materials and art media that you use to fill the pages is entirely your own choice. I hope to include photos, sketches, notes, poetry… all to show the incredible plants and animals that we observe in autumn.
I would love to see your projects! If you make these with your children send me a photo to add the gallery (email@example.com) or tag me on Instagram. I can’t wait to see what you create.
If you’d like to be inspired by other mixed media artists around the web, here are some of my favourite: