At a recent meeting of the Burke County Democratic Party Environmental Committee, we were discussing the recycling of plastic bags. Just about every grocery store now has bins for taking your grocery bags to have them recycled. Which is awesome. I rarely use the grocery store bags, I take my own reusable bags. But occasionally I forget or I am out and need to stop at the store and don't have a bag with me, so I do build up a little supply of the plastic and paper grocery bags. I use them in the tiny bathroom trash cans and I had mentioned that I use them to crochet with occasionally, although that is harder than it looks. I also used them as covers for my art journals. I enjoy painting but much of the time I just don't have enough time for large projects so I keep an art journal and try to take 15-120 minutes a day to do something in it. Nothing specific or planned out, just spontaneous random art that makes me happy.
Anyway, back to the cover, I use the plastic grocery bags and kind of fuse them together for a cover. I start with an iron set at a medium setting, and I generally adjust the heat as I go along. Cut the bags and layer three bags between two sheets of parchment paper, lightly move the iron over the sheets until they are fused together. I then add different colors of bags and more bags as I go along to get the thickness I want and the size I need. Cut it down to the size you are looking for and it is great. I think it adds to the recycled style of the journal as I use paper grocery bags, cut down, for the paper inside and I use bits and pieces of junk mail and magazines in my work. So it all feels very recycled and loved.
I use an easy 5 hole pamphlet stitch for the binding, and here is a great video for that, if you are interested.
So here are pictures of my art journal, inside and out. Sorry for the glare, I took these quick pics with my phone: