May Arts Ribbon Blog

Ribbon Bound Travel Journal

Day 4 of May Arts / Creative Imaginations Blog Week!

Ribbon Bound Travel Journal


Summertime means yard sales and road trips and I recently combined both when I travelled across my home state of Kentucky following the trail of the annual 400 Mile Yard Sale! My daughter and my aunt joined me in a four day quest for bargains, vintage junk, and pretty little historic towns. We found all those things and more! To record the highlights of our trip, I created a fun travel journal using the Inspired Traveler collection from Creative Imaginations and versatile silk ribbon from May Arts. I used a simple 3-hole pamphlet stitch to create a 6 x 9 book with pockets to store all those bits and pieces gathered along the way. This is a very basic technique and a great way to start binding your own books!



To create a 6 X 9 journal you will need 4 pieces of 12 x 12 cardstock. Score each piece of cardstock at 6” vertically and at 9” horizontally.



Fold up each scored piece of cardstock at the bottom to create a 3” pocket in each. This will give you 4 folios.



Fold a piece of clear shipping tape over the edges of each folio to seal up the pockets. Use a craft knife to cut the tape and reopen the pockets. The shipping tape will also make the journal sturdier and help protect the edges.



Arrange the folios in the order you prefer and use paper clips to secure them together. Create a punching guide by cutting a piece of paper to 4 x 9, folding it in half, and marking the holes at 1” from the top, 4 1/2 “ from the top, and at 1” from the bottom.



Use a bookbinding needle or any needle with a large eye to punch the three holes as marked. Measure a length of ribbon at least 3 times the length of the journal and use the needle to thread it through the holes. Begin from the outside of the book and pull the ribbon through Hole 2 leaving about a 3” tail on the outside.  Thread the ribbon through Hole 1 then through Hole 3. Go back through Hole 2 and tighten the ribbon ends. Make sure a piece of ribbon is on each side of the spine ribbon then tie a square knot to secure the binding. If you would like a visual reference, I found a wonderful website called that has downloadable diagrams for bookbinding including the 3-hole pamphlet stitch



Did you notice that the silk ribbon I used is no longer white? I colorized it with Peeled Paint, Broken China, and Antique Linen Distress Stains! A spritz of Ranger’s Perfect Pearl Mists in Heirloom Gold added a bit of shimmer and sparkle. You may want to start with this step and set the ribbon aside to dry while you work on binding the journal, or you can use a heat tool to speed up the process. Just measure the amount of ribbon you need, including any extra for embellishment. This can be a bit messy, so use wax paper to protect your work surface. It’s so fun to dab the colors on and watch the ribbon magically change color! I used 3 colors that coordinated with my papers for a variegated effect. Just experiment and have fun creating your own unique ribbon!



I also used the Distress Stains to colorize some library pockets and added those to my journal pages. They are perfect for holding shipping tags, receipts, business cards, and all the other bits and pieces you collect on your travels. Embellish your journal with stickers, ribbons, and die cuts. Fill it with pictures, journaling, brochures, maps, or postcards and you’ll have a cherished memento of a special journey!

I’ll be posting more pictures of my filled journal on my blog Serendipity Vintage Studio so be sure to stop by and check it out! Thanks to May Arts and Creative Imaginations for sponsoring this tutorial. Enjoy the summer!



  • Ranger Distress Stains: Peeled Paint, Broken China, Antique Linen
  • Ranger Perfect Pears Mist Heirloom Gold
  • Bookbinding needle {or other large needle}
  • Library Pockets & Shipping Tags

Blog Post By: Kimberly Jones


Two chances to win: Leave your comments on any post this week for a chance to win these goodies & we also have our Facebook Giveaway here!

  1. Elsa Tolman

    I love Jennifers little treasures.

  2. jean marmo

    This is just amazing!

  3. DeniseB

    Nice tutorial! I love the simple binding idea.

  4. Latrice Murphy

    Talk about a great trip to take. It sounds like so much fun. this journal is perfect for keeping pictures and notes about it. NIce work!

  5. Renee J.

    Wow, this looks like so much fun! Thanks for the chance to win these awesome goodies!

  6. Sue D

    Clever idea and thanks for the tutorial

  7. Becky Dunham

    Oh Kimberley! this is fabulous! I am definitely going to try this! thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  8. Debbie Painter

    What a Great idea & great journal!!

  9. Helen LeBrett

    I absolutely LOVE this travel book! What a great idea, and your tutorial is very clear and easy to understand. I’m going to make one soon: thanks for the great idea. Shoppping list: I’m going to have to get a spool of that silk ribbon that I can die to any color I need 🙂

  10. jen shears

    What a great project! enjoy filling it up!

  11. f lynn rush

    nice tutorial, especially showing where to punch the holes and the order in which to send the ribbon. thank you for sharing.

  12. {vicki}

    This is the coolest travel journal!

  13. Kristie Maynard

    What a wonderful little journal. Love it!

  14. Kathy P

    This is the COOLEST travel album! I am going to use your tutorial to make several of these for our weekend get-away journeys and treks around our home state! Thanks for an amazing idea that I can actually create~!!!!!

  15. renee griff

    wow what a neat idea!

  16. Naomi A. of Colorado

    Love it!

  17. Anita A

    What a cool idea and great way to use up maps.

  18. ellen s

    oh this is SO cool!

  19. Chris Dring

    How cool is this idea!!! Thanks for sharing!

  20. B. Poteraj

    What a great idea. We are going up to Oregon in Sept.–if I win the prize I’ll make one, too!

  21. Sharon Gullikson

    I LOVE the journal that you made. LOVE LOVE LOVE

  22. Natasha G.P.

    Oh my gosh I’d love to win!!! I’m going on 2 trips this summer!

  23. Katherine

    The book is lovely but I’m more envious of you traveling the 400 mile sale–I’ve always wanted to go!

  24. jengd

    What a great way to record what had to be an amazing and fun few days!

  25. Melinda Wilson

    This is a cute idea and I love how it this project came together!

  26. Lucy

    I love how you make it look so easy! I might have to try this. Great project 🙂

  27. Leonie Castro

    Fantastic idea. Love it. I may immitate this soon. I can’t wait to use ribbon for binding on my mini as well. tyfs Kim

  28. Charlene

    Not sure which I envy more…this cool travel folio or the fact you got to go to the Great Yard Sale…Love this idea, Kimberly!!


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