10 Journaling Ideas and Crafts to Do This Summer
Today marks the summer solstice also known as midsummer, the longest day of the year and the astronomical first day of summer! I’ve rounded up some of my favourite summery activities, journaling ideas and paper crafts to keep you and/or the kids entertained all summer long. Whether you’re looking for something to do on holiday, seeking a little creativity on your staycation or trying to occupy the little ones during the school break, grab your notebook and pens, and let’s dive in…
This first one is a great exercise to warm up before a drawing session or a good way to fit a daily illustration exercise into your schedule. Contour drawing involves sketching your subject in one continuous line, without removing your pen from the page.
You can go still-life style with the subject in front of you, draw from memory or my personal favourite: Draw with your eyes closed! The latter would make an excellent game for the whole family, or a drinking game if you’re that way inclined. You could either do a Pictionary-style game with cue cards and teams, or take it in turns to draw an object for everyone to guess.
This is one of my personal favourites - can you tell what it’s supposed to be?
If you’re taking a trip this summer, why not start a travel journal? I wrote a whole blog post last year chock-full of inspiration, ideas and FAQs. Read all about it here. Nikki is the queen of travel journals and creates so many lovely spreads in her Royal Talens square hardback sketchbook. You can see more on her YouTube channel here.
Plein Air Drawing & Painting
Not travelling anywhere? As I said in my travel journal blog post, small adventures are just as worthy of documentation as big adventures!. I love taking my mini sketchbook along on an evening stroll or picnic to sketch the scene or my favourite, flowers and berries! You can see me in action here.
I tend to sketch in pencil or fine liner, but if you fancy doing a bit of painting plein air, the Sakura Koi Watercolour Sketch Boxes are the perfect compact tool. They even contain a water brush so you don’t need to take a separate pot of water with you!
Protecting Your Journal
If you’re taking your travel journal or sketchbook out and about with you, keep it protected and looking tip top with our handy guide to Decorating and Protecting Your Journal blog post.
I can confirm that my Posca Penned and varnished sketchbook is holding up nicely despite being carted around in my handbag!
If you’re starting a new hobby this summer or hoping to reinvigorate an old one, tracking your progress in a journal is great way to stay motivated. I love using my craft journal to keep track of my fabric stash, sewing plans, and keep detailed notes while I’m sewing so I remember which alterations I made the next time I come to make a pattern.
If you’re of the green fingered variety - or aiming to be - why not track your house plants or vegetable patch in a journal?
Brighten Your Home with Washi Tape
Another fun one if you’re staying at home this summer: Why not give your home a budget-friendly colourful makeover with washi tape? I rounded up 7 Fun Ways to Use Washi Tape in your home décor last summer, and our Biggest Ever Washi Sale continues, with washi tapes from just 80p a roll!
This washi tape drawer was one of my favourite projects from the blog. It’s a great way to add a splash of colour to plain furniture, especially if you’re far too fickle in your colour preferences to actually paint anything like I am!
I saw someone on Instagram had used metallic gold washi tape on the edges of cupboard doors to give them a luxe finish but I can’t find the photo or remember who it was so you’ll just have to try it out for yourself!
Washi Tape Art
You all seemed to love the washi tape fashion illustration I created for my last blog post, so naturally I had to include one in this post too. Nothing says summer to me like ice cream!
I draw out my design in pencil and go over it with a bold fine liner - my current favourite is a 0.3 Uni Pin. Next, I layer my design up with washi tape, section by section, and carefully cut around the pen outlines with a craft knife. I like to keep the pen lines visible for a cute cartoon effect.
My top tips for creating washi art are:
- Use a sharp craft knife and replace it when it starts to dull
- Don’t press too hard or you risk cutting straight through the page - you only need a feather light touch to cut through washi tape
- Avoid black, metallic and other opaque washi tapes, as you won’t be able to see your lines through them
- If you mess up a section, you can easily peel it off and start again, although I find that it doesn’t need to be super neat to look good!
Washi Tape Art for Kids
If you want to create washi tape art with kids or anyone else or can’t wield a craft knife, why not cut out some ice lolly shapes for them to decorate with tape?
Just layer it up in strips, and trim around the edge!
How cute would this look as bunting for a birthday or garden party? Just use mini pegs to attach it to a line of string, or make holes through the top of each lolly with a hole punch.
I’ve used brown card stock but that does mean some of the paler washis look a little darker. You may want to use white card and either colour the sticks in, or use Kraft paper parcel tape to cover them.
Most of the washi tapes featured in this post are currently reduced to clear in our Biggest Ever Washi Sale so make sure you grab your favourites before they’re gone!
Making Paper Palm Leaves
If origami is more your speed, how about whipping up a set of colourful dot grid palm leaves? The dot grid is super handy for keeping those folds evenly spaced, and there’s now even more colours of our A5 Dot Grid Pads to choose from!
I used this tutorial from Ohoh Deco, and printed the templates at 50% to ensure they fitted on the A5 papers. You could always glue or tape two or more sheets together if you wanted to make them bigger.
Decorating Flower Pots with Posca Pens
…and finally, how about jazzing up some old plant pots with Posca paint pens? They’re much easier to control than a paint brush in my humble and clumsy opinion!
Once your pen is dry, your design should be smudge-proof. If you want to switch it out later for another design, you can leave it as it is, or to preserve your artwork, just give it a coat of varnish.
I hope that’s given you a little inspiration for some seasonal craft activities to do this summer! Why not bookmark this page so you can come back to it? If you’ve been inspired by any of the ideas in this post, we’d love to see! Please tag @nikkissupplystore and #NikkisSupplyStore on Instagram, where you can find heaps more journaling and stationery inspiration. You can also follow me, @joy.margot, for craft and bookish content and pictures of my cat, Juniper.