Create a Simplicity Journal

Create Your Own Art Journal Using Fabric

Do find yourself caught up in the world’s mundane troubles, struggling to keep up while also trying desperately to take a step back and let it all go? Want a chance to watch life fly by without guilt or regret, knowing that you are not wasting time but finding it? In this excerpt from Tammy Kushnir’s The Elemental Journal, you’ll learn how to create a simple fabric journal to use on your journey to focus on the simple pleasures.

(This tutorial was previously published in the book The Elemental Journal by Tammy Kushnir, copyright 2011; republished here courtesy of

I want to live a simple life. I have studied books, read blogs for helpful tips and done everything in between to seek simplicity, save an arduous spiritual journey—at least not yet. Still, I find myself caught up in the world’s mundane troubles. I still struggle with taking a step back and letting it all go. I want a chance to watch life fly by without guilt or regret, knowing that I am not wasting time but finding it.


  • Acrylic work plate
  • black fine-tip permanent marker
  • brads
  • canvas fabric
  • colored pastel pencils
  • dried flower
  • quilt batting
  • sewing thread
  • tea-stained cloth


  • Awl
  • craft glue
  • scissors
  • sewing needle

Step 1

Cut 2 pieces of canvas, each measuring 6″ × 15″ (15cm × 38cm). In the lower right corner of 1 piece of canvas, punch holes that correspond with the holes in an acrylic word plate using an awl. I used a word plate with the phrase Live Simply and glued a dried flower to it. With brads, attach the word plate to the canvas. This will be the outer part of the cover.



Step 2

Layer the outer part of the cover, a 6″ × 14½” (15cm × 37cm) piece of quilt batting, and the other piece of canvas fabric. Stitch the book cover together using sewing thread and a whipstitch, but leave the top of the cover open.




Step 3

Stitch a tea-stained cloth measuring approximately 121⁄2″ × 18″ (32cm × 46cm) to the inside layer of the canvas fabric with a running stitch. Fold the cloth into thirds so it rests within the cover.




Step 4

Stitch the top of the cover closed with a whipstitch.






Step 5

On the folded piece of tea-stained cloth, sketch a design with a black fine-tip marker. I sketched eyes on flower stems. Apply color to the sketch with pastel pencils.




Step 6

Unfold the tea-stained cloth. Journal on the cloth using a black fine-tip marker. Sketch designs along the edges of the cloth.





From The Elemental Journal by Tammy Kushnir, 2011; courtesy of

To learn more about or purchase The Elemental Journal by Tammy Kushnir, click here.

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