Life Lessons Learned: Freebies, Coupons, and One Journal Makeover

While I was pregnant with my daughter, I started a habit of “gathering” and searching for free samples and coupons online. Becoming a mom for the first time,  I was in full on thrift mode. There are many of these sites online and many of them make you jump through hoops and often times do not deliver on there promises.  One of the best sites I came across and still follow today is Sample Stuff.Com.  It takes the best offers on the web and shares them with you first, so you have the best chance at getting free samples, coupons and sweepstakes.  They also post updates when items are no longer available.  I have gotten dozens of free items including yearly magazine subscriptions to Rolling Stone, Town and Country, Family Circle, and Better Homes and Gardens, just to name a few! So why am I sharing this?  It ties into this upcycle, a freebie I picked up from Oprah (yes, I said Oprah)

A while back, Oprah was  giving out free Journals to go with an upcoming “Lifeclass” a self-enrichment course that required keeping a journal.  I had heard of this promotion through the Sample Stuff Site.  I actually was interested in taking the class, but then life got in the way of Lifeclass, (Ironic I know) and there sat an empty journal.  The journal was nicely made with a strap and built-in book mark ribbon.  I have wanted to carry a journal and write for sometime, and this would be perfect; However a restyle was in order…


Inside the cover and front page


I picked out some nicely patterned scrapbook paper and gathered the materials needed:


I traced the front and back covers.  I decided to leave the book spine free of paper. I cut out the tracings and placed them aside.  I applied Mod Podge with a foam craft brush to the front cover and gently applied the cut scrapbook paper smoothing it out with my hands.  I then repeated the same for the back cover.  I cut a small piece to cover the inside cover and carefully and neatly removed the 1st page.


Once the outside of the book was dry, I applied Mod Podge to the covers to add some durability when taking this journal on the go.  Now I have a great recycled life journal to take with me and the best part was.. it was free!