Alright, it’s the end of January. How are you doing on those resolutions? Or was your resolution to stop making resolutions and make changes for the better any darn time you want? That’s more my speed and when I found this idea for a recipe box journal I thought it was the perfect, low pressure way to start recording my family’s memories.
This journal is a recipe box filled with note cards, one for each day, with dividers for each month. On each note card there is enough space to write just a couple lines for each day over five years- basically like the 5 year journals or one-line-a-day journals you may have heard of. That also means that you can start any day of the year you want, and also end any day you want, and skip any day you want. Just make a note of which year it is you’re writing for that day.
To create mine, I used one of the beautiful, laser cut wooden recipes boxes we carry at Homespun from Richwood Creations. These are beautiful keepsakes that will last a lifetime, perfect for saving family recipes or memories. Not only do you get a unique and high quality box, but part of your purchase is donated to youth programs in Applachia. This box fits 4×6″ note cards, and for the dividers I cut 12 sheets of 8.5 x 11″ cardstock into 4.5 x 6″ rectangles. Depending on how the lid of your box fits on, you may need to experiment with sizes for these. Since I was working on this at the beginning of the new year, I found an old 2017 calendar with beautiful illustrations by Amy Rice Art and decided to use those to decorate my divider cards. I added some color with my son’s crayola watercolors (honestly it’s just as important for me to have washable paints) and cut the names of the months from another wall calendar we had left at the shop.
For some of the dividers I also used pages from a vintage book I had lying around, and I love the change from color to black and white as you shuffle through the cards. Since I was cutting from some really large images, I laid the divider card down on the part of the image I liked best, then traced it with a pencil and cut it out with my paper cutter. I glued the two together, added the cut month title, and smashed them in a press (a big dictionary works just as well).
Count out the amount of note cards to correspond with the number of days in each month, then label the top of each note card with the date. Add years as necessary and you’re ready to go! Keep it anywhere around the house you think you’ll be most likely to take out a card and jot down a note. And just a tip from a lifelong journaler, ANY detail about your day is worth recording. You’d be surprised how entertaining your everyday details are 20 years from now. All of those little details change and become a memory and any recording of the day’s vibes is relevant. If you have children or other members of the family they can pitch in, too, and write something they did or remembered from that day.
I hope you will take the time to make this project, it really pays off- especially the second year you’re writing and reflecting on that same day from the year before. Tag @homespunindy on social media if you make this so we can see your work!