We often use journaling to make a note of the special events reflected in our layouts. However, sometimes, you may want to use hidden journaling instead. For instance, when you have a personal message which is not meant for everyone’s eyes, or you can use it to save space on a layout, especially if, like me, you like to use lots of embellishments on a layout but at the same time want to note down all the details of the layout or of the photos contained in the layout. Hidden journaling can also make the layout more interesting, with all the little hidden messages. This tutorial will show you some of the ways in which you can incorporate hidden journaling into your layout.
One method is to take a piece of cardstock or sturdy patterned paper and fold it in half, to form a mini card. I’ve used a cardstock for my layout.
You can then decorate the cover of the card with any embellishment you wish, to complement the layout.
On the inside of my card, I did some stamping and used journal rub-ons.
The card can then be pasted onto the layout and the cover held down using photo turns, or paper clips. Here’s a look at the finished layout using this method of hidden journaling. The four squares without the photos are the journaling cards, held down by photo turns.
Apart from these mini cards, you can also make little envelopes or pockets instead, and slide your journal card or even little mementoes into them.
Another almost similar method is to cut a large shape out of cardstock or patterned paper, and attach one side of it to your background paper. In this layout, I punched matching holes down one side of the “flap” and cardstock, and tied them together with ribbons.
I then attached my photos to the top piece (the “flap”) and embellished accordingly. I flipped open this top piece to include my journaling and more embellishments, and then held the open side down to the layout using two pieces of ribbons, one threaded through a punched hole at the open side of the “flap”, and another threaded through the backing cardstock next to this. Just make sure the punched holes are at the same levels. These two ribbons can then be tied together into a little bow.
Finally, there is the more popular method of just inserting a journal card (either bought or handmade) behind the photo. I would usually mat the photo to give it a firmer backing. When using this form of hidden journaling, you must remember to tape down only three sides of the photo or photo mat, leaving the centre portion unglued and leaving one side open to insert the journal card into.
Make sure the journal card is smaller than the photo or photo mat, giving allowance also to the three glued down sides, so it can slide in and out easily. Instead of taping down the photo or photo mat, you can also prop up the photo or photo mat with 3D glue dots for dimension if you like (again, remember to place the 3D dots only along three sides of the back of the photo or photo mat).
For the journal card, I would usually attach a “handle” by which you can easily pull the card out from behind the picture, although this need not be a must. When attaching a “handle” to the journaling card, make sure it is securely fastened to the card. I usually use strong glue dots, or for ribbons, you can also staple it to the edge of the card. Be mindful if you intend to use liquid craft glue to attach ribbons as it can sometimes be seen through the front of the card.
If using chipboards or flowers, make sure that you attach only the centre portion of the embellishment to the edge of the card, so that it can overlap over the photo when the card is slid in behind it.
Try sliding the card behind the photo first, and then place the embellishment over it to gauge where you should place your glue dots.
Below, I’ve actually extended my homemade card behind the chipboard piece, cutting it according to the shape of the chipboard, for a more secure hold.
There are many items of embellishments you can use for your “handle”, and you can even use a combination of embellishments. The following are some examples.
Using a ribbon or lace as the “handle”:
Using a piece of embellished chipboard:
Using a paper clip:
Using a piece of patterned paper cut-out:
Or, you can just slide the journaling tag behind another piece of card:
Notice there are no “handles” attached to the journaling tag in this last one, and I’ve also taped down only two sides of the front card, as both cards are almost similar in size.
Whichever method you use for your hidden journaling, or whichever embellishment you choose to use as your “handle”, the trick is for it to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the layout. As you can see from my layouts, I often create my own journaling cards, using the same patterned papers and embellishments as the layout.
So there you go! I hope this has given you some ideas on incorporating hidden journaling into your layouts. I’d love to see what you come up with!