Now that the lion’s share of the work has been completed in creating your very own DIY TN (Traveler’s Notebook), it is time to fill that TN with beautiful, functional things! Read on to see how I create my laminated dashboards- this part is quick and easy!
The first time I made laminated dashboards was 100% by the seat of my pants, but it actually worked out ok. So I have recreated some of the scenarios I learned from in my first dashboard adventure in order to share them with you here.
Supplies for Laminated Dashboard for Your DIY TN
These supplies were included in my overall cost breakdown from the end of my previous post, Make Your Own Traveler’s Notebook for Just $40.
Sheets of scrapbook paper (I used 3)
Rotary cutter and cutting mat
Lamination pouches and laminator
Notebooks, inserts, whatever YOU want to put in your TN
Pro Tip: You do not need to use double sided scrapbook paper for these dashboards unless you really want to. I recommend, however, making sure the BACK of your scrapbook paper does not have lame things like logos or price tags. I made an early dashboard without checking the back of the paper, and the logos bugged me so much every time I opened that insert that I ended up throwing it away. Just saying.
Deciding on Dashboard Size for Your DIY TN
As mentioned in the previous blog, the TNs I am creating are A5 size; these same steps will work for any size TN, just be sure to modify your measurements!
The finished dashboard dimensions I have found to work best are 8.5” x 12”. This is wide and tall enough to cover an entire TN insert, but not so oversized as to be bulky or in the way. In order to leave a small, laminated margin around the entire dashboard, I cut my chosen pieces of scrapbook paper to 8.25” x 11.75”. I know, you are rolling your eyes right now. “But Faith!” You’d say. “Scrapbook paper is already 12” x 12”. Do I really need to cut off .25”?” I say yes, you do. But if that just seems too silly, you do you. This is a judgment free zone.
First Laminated Dashboard: Regular Scrapbook Paper, No Fold
My first dashboard attempt was with these darling, sleepy little clouds. I cut the paper to the appropriate size then placed it straight in my lamination pouch.
Now nicely laminated and trimmed to 8.5” x 12”, it just needed to be folded in half.
So I lined up my edges, applied pressure, and… wound up with a funky little crease in the folded edge. Not super noticeable (practically invisible once it is inside the TN, to be honest) but it still bugged me a bit.
Second Laminated Dashboard: Regular Scrapbook Paper, Folded
For the second dashboard attempt I was determined to avoid the funky crease, so prior to placing my paper in the lamination pouch I folded it, like so:
Once laminated, the fold was very faint. Hardly there at all.
When I folded the laminated sheet, it was not any easier than the first dashboard but I did not end up with the funky crease either. So, win? I guess?
Third Laminated Dashboard: Cardstock-esque Scrapbook Paper, Folded
My last piece of scrapbook paper was much thicker, more like cardstock, so I went ahead and folded this one prior to lamination, just like dashboard #2.
The funny thing? When I went to fold the laminated sheet, this one folded like a dream! It was just like fold, flatten, done. Bam. So quick, so nice. No funky creases, nothing. 10/10, would recommend.
Your Completed DIY TN
Now all that is left is to fill the DIY TN with these great dashboards and inserts, as well as the hardbound notebook and a really cool pen. Here’s the finished and filled TN, all closed up and ready for adventuring!
All the dashboards came out great, too.
And the Bullet Journalist in me could not resist tucking in a dot-grid Leuchtturm 1917 notebook. Plus, a matching Pengems pen for style points.
So here are all three of my DIY TNs. Each one is similar, but unique.
This project, which I would give a medium overall difficulty level to, has a really satisfying result: your own completely perfect, totally customized Traveler’s Notebook. How cool is that?!? I hope you will give this a go, and please tag me on Instagram @WashiTapeWarrior so I can see how creative you are!