As my first project for Recycled Journal week I picked an old, clean, colorful box that once held peanut brittle. Mom left it behind after one of her visits, and I saved it because it was pretty and made of laminated card stock, and it reminded me of her (she is a nut for peanut brittle).
Along with the box I pulled a stack of old paper from my recycling bin to use for the pages. I decided to use all different types of paper for the pages to add interest:
I then unfolded the box to how much material I had to work with:
If you want to recycle a food box, the best kind for journals are those that are clean (anything that held a plastic bag inside, like a cereal box, is generally reusable) and match or could be cut down to the book size you want. You also want something that is reasonably sturdy.
For this journal I simply trimmed off the end flaps and folded my paper into pages to fit the dimensions of the box, using the left side panel as the spine. I then stacked four sets of pages (aka my signatures), perforated the folds with an big embroidery needle to create sixteen evenly-spaced holes, and sewed seven sets to the spine area with three strands of embroidery thread in a simple running stitch (which I did in dark green thread so you can see it; normally I'd use thread to match the paper color):
The final result still looks like the original object from the outside:
But when you open the cover, it looks like this:
Any trimmings you create while working can also be recycled; I used the two big end flaps I trimmed off the box to make a bookmark for the journal by gluing them together with a piece of ribbon. Total project time: two hours.