Make a Folded Travel Journal On-the-Go

Whenever I travel, I always return with a slew of brochures and maps from museums, amusement parks, and the like. I used to save them for future reference, but now I can get that information from the Internet.

folded travel journal
Turn a map into a travel journal
with minimal supplies.
Journal by Dea Fischer.

So what do you do with these graphic papers besides recycle them? Turn them into a travel journal! In fact, you don't even have to wait until you get home. Begin your handmade journal on the road using a map or brochure and fill it with found items from your trip.

All you need are the papers, a bone folder or similar (like the back of a spoon), and a glue stick.

In the Art Journaling Exposed eMag, book and journal artist Dea Fischer shows how to make a travel journal two ways, with minimal materials.

Here is one of two techniques she demonstrates on video.

Concertina Pocket Journal

1. Cut or tear your paper to about 30" x 10".  

2. Lengthwise, turn up ½" or so at the bottom edge. Crease it firmly and glue it down if you have a glue stick. 

3. Turn up the bottom edge again, approximately 2", with the previous turned-up section on the inside. Do not glue.

concertina fold travel journal
Dea shows how to fold the travel journal.

4. To create the concertina, fold the paper in half across the width, and then fold the top layer back towards the fold. Turn the paper over and repeat the previous step on the other side.

5. Fold the leading edge back toward the center fold again. Turn the paper over and repeat to create an 8-fold concertina.

6. Crease firmly on all folds, and then completely unfold it and refold it into a concertina. Use the completed pockets to hold ephemera or special objects.

Travel journaling tips from Dea:

  • Lots of great page material can be found for free. Try newspapers, restaurant place mats, or free maps and brochures. They make excellent backgrounds for further journaling activities and can add layers to the memory value of your journal.
  • Consider ironing the paper with a warm iron if it is too creased.

Creating a travel journal out of papers you find on your trip also solves one of the classic art journaling problems: where to start. The graphics on your found papers give you an automatic background onto which you can apply art journaling techniques.

You can find many of these techniques, plus art journaling tips, ideas, and inspiration in Art Journaling Exposed. You can download it to your PC, Mac or iPad right now.

P.S. What's your favorite travel journal tip or technique? Please share!


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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