I can’t believe Father’s Day is just around the corner! In fact, it’s a little over 2 weeks away, so if you need some inspiration for that perfect Father’s Day gift, you’ve come to the right place! Today, we’re gonna talk all about a couple of very fun and creative ways to make those wonderful daddies feel special! First, I’ll show you how to make a gallery-wrapped canvas photo, and then we’ll talk about how to make a really cool, distressed-leather journal. Both of these ideas don’t cost much at all, AND they’re so easy to make! I’d say that’s a win/win! 😉 Also, we did a Facebook Live and shared all about these 2 project ideas. If you’d like to watch these items being made, click here.
Let’s get started!
DIY Gallery-Wrapped Canvas Photo
Here’s what you’ll need:
- wooden-handled sponge brush
- decoupage (I used the matte finish.)
- your favorite photo(s) (preferably a photo of that special daddy or hubby in your life) printed onto regular computer paper
First, print out your favorite picture, and let it completely dry for a few days. (I can testify that you definitely DO want to set the photo aside to “cure,” so that it won’t smear when you spread the decoupage over the paper. The smearing has definitely happened to me when I tried this project out before! However, my daughter decided to test this out on her own. Immediately after she printed out the photo she wanted to use, she went ahead and decoupaged the photo to the canvas. Surprisingly, she didn’t have any trouble with her photo smearing. So really, it’s up to you as to how long you want your pic to cure.) 😉
Second, trim the photo to your liking. Then, carefully pour the decoupage onto the canvas, and using your wooden sponge brush, spread a layer completely over the area that your photo will be on your canvas. Immediately place the photo on top, smoothing out any air bubbles as you go.
After you’ve finished that step, spread a thin layer of decoupage all over your picture to give it a sealed finish.
Let your canvas completely dry. That’s it!
DIY, Distressed-Leather Journal
Here’s what you’ll need:
- dental floss
- sewing needle (I used an embroidery needle, but I think a regular needle should work just fine.)
- about 20+ sheets of white cardstock paper, with each sheet folded in half
- optional embellishments: canvas fabric remnants, suede trim, decoupage, fun scrapbook paper for the inside of the journal, decorative stamp (such as a picture of a stag, or one that says “handmade” or “#1 Dad”) and black ink pad
Anyways, let’s get started on this project. I wanted to have some fun embellishments for this journal, and one thing I chose to do was to add some suede trim that you can wrap around the journal a few times to help keep the notebook shut. (Please note: If you choose to do this option, make sure you do this task BEFORE you stitch in the paper.) All you have to do for this project is measure out the desired length of your trim, and then cut. I made mine 3 times the entire length of my leather journal. Next, using an exacto knife (or you can use whatever’s sharp for this part), I made a tiny hole in the leather in the exact middle of the notebook. Then, after tying a knot on one end of the suede, I pushed the other end through the hole and pulled tight, like this…
You can totally choose to skip that step, but I thought it was a fun, rustic touch. (To see what the above completed journal looks like, keep reading below. 😉 (I made 2 separate journals to show you different ideas I had.)
Now, if you haven’t already done so, take your cardstock paper, and fold each sheet in half. I made 6 sets of 5 folded sheets. You could always add more or less paper, if you’d like!
Next, thread your needle with the floss, and set it aside. Take one set of your paper, and measure out the very middle (on the outside of the fold) and mark that spot with a pencil (as seen in the pic below).
I did 5 evenly-spaced, pencil marks, to ensure that I’d poke the needle in the right spots. 😉 It’s a little hard to see them, but if you closely in the pic below, you’ll see those pencil marks.
What you’ll want to do now is start on the outside-middle of this set of paper, and using your threaded needle, start to weave the floss in and out of those dots you made with your pencil. This step will help to hold the paper together.
Continue this step for the other 3 sets of paper. You now have 4 small “books” of paper! 😉
Place those “books” together and inside your uncut leather. Use those paper sets as sort of a pattern for cutting the leather to your desired size. Then, carefully measure out and cut the leather, which will be the outside cover of your journal. Also, if you can, try to leave about a 2-inch overlap on either end to ensure that you’ve got enough wiggle room. (You can trim it down once you’re completely done with your project.) As my dad would always say, “It’s better to have it and need it, than to need it and not have it!”
Now that you’ve sewn your paper “books” together, carefully sew the books into your leather. The floss will show up on the outside, which is what I was going for. But just make sure you line up your stitches, so they’re not here, there and yonder! 😉
Here is another optional idea that will add just a little more “oomph.” (This journal is different from the one above.) All you need is a scrap piece of canvas fabric, and tear it (as seen in this blog post and Facebook Live tutorial).
Next, find a cool stamp, like the stag stamp I used in the pic above. Be sure to put lots of black ink on your stamp and press down firmly onto the fabric for the best results.
After your fabric is dry, stitch it onto the leather journal using the same floss you’ve used for this project. 😉 I just made a small stitch in each corner.
That’s it for the stag journal, so now, let’s go back to the journal with the long, suede tie that was placed in the middle (as seen in the pic below).
Loosely wrap the suede tie around the journal a few times to help hold the journal together. 😉 Of course, there are other embellishments you could add to this gift, such as these “handmade with care” stickers.
Well, that’s it. Which one’s your fave? I hope this post has inspired you to make your own one-of-a-kind, leather journal! This project has been one of the most fun projects I’ve ever created to date! It’ll be a sweet gift for that very special dad in your life!
Something that my kiddos and I do is write in journals back and forth to each other. Sometimes we’ll write words of encouragement, scripture that stood out to us during our quiet time, or certain memories we made together earlier that week. It’s not a consistent habit, but we try to keep the notes coming to each other a couple times a month. 😉 It’s a fun little treat to do with your family, and you’ll be surprised at how much each of you enjoys this small act of kindness. 😉 (I’m sorry for that little dose of sappiness. I’ve shared with you our family secret, because you might want to begin a little something like this with your kiddos or hubby!) Also, here are some other ways your dad or husband could use this cool gift — for church notes, for his to-do lists, or even as a prayer journal!
What are some ways you think they’d use this cool, handmade notebook? I’d LOVE to hear about it! Comment below, or stop by and say hey on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It always makes my day to hear from my sweet readers! Again, if you’d like to see the live tutorial, please click here for the link. I hope to see you there!
Have a great day!
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