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Judy Hayes

Smile is the Key Journal

Hello friends!  It’s Judy here today.  I’ve created this Smile is the Key Journal by completely transforming a dollar store journal.  I like to dress up inexpensive books to use as gifts.


First, I covered the book with paper using white glue so it wasn’t black. I considered painting it but didn’t want to wait for it to dry! I brushed glue on the cover and placed cheesecloth over it. I used inks to add color and added a subtle stenciled design. A piece of burlap ribbon was stamped with permanent ink and colored with ink. I stitched the key to it before gluing it to the journal with glue.


Can you believe the key was silver? I mixed Brown and Gold pigment powders with white glue and painted it (paint also works here). I love how it turned out! The little tags are pieces of canvas ribbons stamped and glued to cardstock. The string is twine colored with ink.

Lace ribbon has twine stitched through the edges.  Each one has been inked as well.  Seam binding, colored with inks, is threaded through loops.  Tiny beads are stitched to flowers on other lace.  Both are fastened to the journal with white glue. It works great as a glue!


I used twine with some beads to dangle from the spine. I added beads to seam binding for a book mark. Both were wrapped with a piece of Extreme Double-Sided Tape ½ʺ and tucked between spine and pages.

For inside the book covers, I stamped and inked 2 pieces of text weight cream paper. These were fastened with E-Z  Dots® Permanent. The verse was stamped on card stock and fastened to inside front cover. I added a tiny 3D Foam Heart covered with brown and gold pigment powder.


Quite a transformation! I hope you’ve enjoyed this journal! Thanks for visiting!

Happy creating!


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