DIY Quarantine Memory Journal
I originally found this DIY journal idea from Amy Lou Hawthorne on Instagram. I love the idea of using a DIY journal to capture memories from these weird times and it’s so easy to do with items you already have in your house which means no unnecessary trips to the store. Obviously the more crafting supplies you have the cuter your journal is going to look but I didn’t want to run out to the store just so it looked more aesthetically pleasing.
If you’re like me you’ve been doing a lot of online shopping so take this opportunity to repurpose some of those cardboard boxes I know you’ve got lying around. I simply took two pieces of cardboard and cut them down to the size I wanted based on the sheet protectors I was going to be using to collect stuff. This is a great activity if you have older kiddos too because you can cut their cardboard and have them decorate it as much as they want! I took some acrylic paint and painted the cardboard on the outside and once that was dry I punched holes with a box cutter using the sheet protectors as a guide. The ribbon I used is actually a belt cut up from a dress that I thrifted a while back and the stars I stole from an old card I had lying around. You can use any type of yarn/string/ribbon and pretty much anything to hold the two pieces of cardboard together. Get creative with your decorations if you don’t have a large craft stash! I loved getting creative and repurposing items around the house that weren’t being used for this project.
You can use any type of envelope or folder for this project but we have a ton of extra sheet protectors stashed away in our PCS binder so I just grabbed those for collecting things. The stickers I had lying around from when I would make cards for my husband while he was at West Point. I didn’t have enough to label all of the sheet protectors but I thought labeling the photos one was a cute idea. I may do the others if I get more of these when I stock up our craft boxes.
One of the most important things I wanted to capture from this time is photos. Since we’re stuck in the house and my husband is deployed, I knew to have photographs from this time was going to be especially important to show him when he returns. I love the journal so much that I think we’re going to make it a deployment tradition from now on, especially as Jasper gets older. I used our Instax Mini to take a lot of photos. If you don’t already have one of these I highly recommend having one on hand. They’re a great way to capture memories that aren’t just going to live on your phone. I also ordered some prints of photos on my phone from Artifact Uprising. These are a little pricey but I love the look and quality of them. We already have a lot of photos so this journal is probably going to need something around the outside to keep it closed.
A few more things I’ve included in the journal are Jasper’s hospital bracelet from his first ER trip that just happened to be during this time, birthday cards that he received that mentioned something about coronavirus, and a few bits we received in the mail about the pandemic and the census. You could also include any newspaper clippings you have or print outs from articles you’ve read online. If you have older kids you could also add journaling pages and any activities they’ve done while staying at home.
If we ever get to a point where we don’t need to use them I plan on putting our masks in there as well. I also think I’m going to print off my quarantine specific blog posts and any short stories and journal entries I’ve written in there as well.
Anything you have to document this time is going to be really cool to look back on, especially as your kids (or yourself) grow older! If you give this a go I would love it if you would tag me on Instagram @darrianchamblee so I can see your creations!