I have a constant battle between keeping things simple and allowing for fun and variety. So, I'll present the most basic types of journals we are going to make ... but I may add more later!
4.25 x 5.5 This is simply an 8.5 x 11 size piece of cardstock quartered. Thickness should not be too thick; the thicker the pages, the fewer we can include!
Boys: Landscape. While there are always plenty of exceptions that we know of, generally speaking, we can expect a boy to be more interested in drawing than in journaling his deepest thoughts and feelings! So, for the boys we will be doing a landscape orientation, and plain white cardstock. I would love to have some donations of cardstock that is meant for drawing/sketching ... I am not an artist, so I have not looked into pricing for this. Feel free to put great deals of where and what to get in the comment sections! Because we are focusing on drawing, we'll want to make sure that those who choose to include boy journals in their boxes will be purchasing art/drawing tools for those journals.
Girls: Portrait orientation
By having different orientations for gender, it will also be easier to sort
For the girls, we will have a couple of styles. One style will include stamped images to color in on every or every other page (opinions welcome!). As with the boys' journals, those choosing this style will need to purchase pens/pencils/markers to include in box. The second style will be to include very light printed patterned cardstock, plain cardstock with stamped images that are complete in themselves, and other creative ideas to provide decorative pages. No need to add coloring implements to the shoe boxes, but of course pen/pencils to write with! IMPORTANT: When decorating pages, you'll want to keep in mind a 3/8 of an inch margin for punching the sides.
WHAT TO AVOID
It is important to be culturally sensitve, which to some extent is impossible due to the sheer number of countries the shoeboxes go to! But, here are some guidelines:
Do not include any military/weapon images. Avoid American symbols such as flags, secular holiday symbols, Disney images. Very few children will speak or read English; please do not use word stamps. In general, if you are not sure, just ask yourself if a child in Vietnam, Niger, or wherever, would appreciate the symbol you are concerned about.
Remember, please, that these are going to older children, so while I included a few "cute" images in my sample of images to be colored, I focused on less childish images.
Please do not use stickers; we're looking for a more "personal" touch for these journals. Obviously you are more than welcome to add stickers to your OCC box.
I encourage making multiple pages with the same image, but I would limit it to 6 or 7 (no need to make same number of each design). Notice I have almost exclusively small designs ... I think it's great to have a few larger, but with limited number of pages, I'd like there to be plenty of room for writing. When you are ready to send me pages, please have them in piles where each pile has one each of a unique design. This way, rather than having to sort ourselves, we will just lay each pile onto another set of unique images.
I haven't made any pages yet for "non coloring" journals. Patterned cardstock light enough to write on is great, or solid light colors. Any stamped image colored in would be great, or silhouette images on colored paper, etc. Here are a few samples of other options from an old journal I made. I will replace with a more useful pic when I get the chance. I used to use thicker cardstock then, so I would use die cut cardstock panels and corners, but with thinner cardstock, that could cause bumps when writing on the previous pages, so please only use paper if attaching something to a page. Likewise, if applying washi tape, please use very thin tapes only.
1. Make a strip of patterned paper about a half inch or so and glue down the edge to be punched
2. Make a panel (keeping in mind the 3/8 inch loss from punched side) of any shape large enough to cover most of the writing space (use post it note paper or temporary glue/tape), and sponge around it, or stamp all around with small patterned stamp, then remove shape for a framed writing page.
3. Using a very, very light ink color, cover an entire page with a design that can be written over.
Whether we do every page decorated, or every other, etc, will depend on how many covers we end up with in proportion to pages that we have. I am also not going to be picky about how people put together the journals in terms of ratio of plain to designed. What I will be picky about is quality. Let's not use torn, stained, or dented cardstock, but create keepsakes to be treasured forever! :-)
At the workshop, we will focus entirely on making and/or decorating covers, so pages need to be complete. I am targeting mid September for the date, early October at the latest. This way, if we need more cardstock pages made/decorated, there is still time.
I am looking for:
Cardstock with stamped images for the recipient to color
Cardstock creatively decorated with original artwork, stamped images that are complete in themselves, (paper) die cuts, panels, etc.
Cardstock specifically meant for artwork, cut into quarters
Light colored or patterned cardstock, cut into quarters
IMPORTANT: Please use a cutter, not free hand cutting, for quartering the cardstock, and measure carefully (panels should be 5.5 x 4.25).
Note: I've been asked about lined paper. First, it's extremely expensive to have printed. But more importantly, we do not know what countries these books are going to, and many countries have more pictoral written communication, so lined journals would be inappropriate.