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Vintage Handkerchief and Fabric Junk Journal

My inspiration

My love of vintage handkerchiefs has led me to quite a collection. What to do? Create a vintage handkerchief and fabric junk journal of course!

I cannot pass up a thrift store, flea market or consignment shop. Every one I visit, I make a point to scour the bins, racks and shelves for these treasures. Consistently, I am amazed at the intricacy of the stitching. The love that went into making these always makes me smile. It is so much fun to think about a bygone era where women had these at the ready. Either in their pocketbook or maybe up a sleeve!

Looking at the rather large assortment I have gathered, I thought, what am I saving these for? They are not doing anything in my stash and their beauty needed to be featured!

Here is a picture of my latest haul from a thrift store. Many of these were used in this journal.

A large collections of vintage hankies

Page and cover construction

Starting with a group of handkerchiefs that were similar in color and pattern, I formed the foundation for the journal. I knew I wanted a soft sided journal. After “shopping my closet”, I found a gray sweatshirt that I could cut up and used it for the base. To form my base layers and cover, I cut the sweatshirt into 5 strips, each measuring 8″ x 14″ for the pages and cut one strip 8″ x 16″ for the cover.

This vintage handkerchief and fabric journal definitely had the floral theme going on. The theme was dictated by the cover in which I used a large napkin.

I positioned each of the handkerchiefs to a strip of sweatshirt. Next, once happy with their position, I tacked them down with a bit of glue to hold them in place. Where ever the sweatshirt was showing, I added fabric that coordinated to cover the blank spaces. To finish the pages, it was off to my sewing machine to sew a zig zag stitch around the borders.

Interior pages and embellishments

Here are a few pictures of the interior pages. Each folded page makes up a signature. There are a total of 5 in this journal.

Each signature is equivalent to an individual little book in itself. Every page has either pockets or tuck spots that hold journaling booklets, ephemera and tags.

The photos below show many additional journaling booklets tucked into pockets created by the shape of the handkerchiefs. Each booklet has additional scrap lace and fabric pieces from the coordinating handkerchiefs. There are even tags made from handkerchiefs!

Finishing touches

I focused on embellishing the front after each signature was sewn into the cover. Since the all over floral pattern was bold, a fabric cluster with left over material was just the right amount of decoration. I chose just a few flower embellishments along with pearls and blue glittered leaves to finish off the cluster. Securely holding the journal is a blue stretch lace tie that is attached under the cluster. Bright pink trim brings out the color of the flowers. A crocheted doily runs along the spine and is trimmed in the same blue as the tie closure.

I have completed a create with me series of tutorials on YouTube with step by step instructions on how I made this vintage handkerchief and fabric journal. A flip through is also on my channel. Hopefully it inspires you to create one of your own!

Glitter on my friends,

I am a self proclaimed junk journal fanatic and creative crafter. If it is vintage, I am in! I recently retired from the corporate world and now have more time to devote to my love of creating one of a kind treasures. Besides junk journals my hobbies include thrifting, flea market outings, fashion, cooking, hanging with my girlfriends and daughter and golf with my husband. I currently live in the mountains of beautiful Colorado.