Photo-A-Day Handkerchief Journal

Photo-A-Day book DIYI always stumble upon beautiful handkerchiefs at antique malls, but with no practical use for them I usually pass them by. But today I will be sharing how to turn those pretty hankies into a photo-a-day journal. This is a great project to commemorate the last of your summer days! You could an instant camera or print off Instagram photos!

Supplies NeededYou'll Need: Vintage handkerchief, sewing machine, book pages or other paper, embroidery thread, letter stickers, Instant photos or other printed photographs. 

Photo Book Steps1. Begin by folding the hanky in half, with the open half facing toward you. Cut book pages, or other paper, to size by measuring the right-half of the hanky. Place the paper on the right half of the hanky and fold over the left half to make a book. 2. Feed the hanky's "binded" edge threw a sewing machine over the hanky and paper inside. You could also hand-stitch this if you don't have a sewing machine. 3. Choose some letter stickers to make a title on the front of the hanky journal. 4. With embroidery thread, hand stitch over the sticker letters to keep the letters secure. I also glued and stitched over an Instax photo and a handmade "inverted" Instax border that I made from a vintage magazine.

Photo-A-Day inside pages Now fill up your pages with a photo-a-day project. You could use an instant camera + film like I did (I use the Fuji Instax 210) OR you could print off Instagram photos or regular photos you take. 

Photo-A-Day book DIY I decided to keep my book simple and date each photo with a White Dymo pen underneath each photo. Happy Labor Day! Kara

  • This is so beautiful! I am fond of your blog and reading it for hours and hours… So many things and hints that inspire me!

  • Very crafty way of using vintage handkerchieves! 🙂


  • Creative idea. I’ve never seen a handkerchief journal craft before.

  • what a wonderful idea. i want to put together a scrapbook from this summer (in which i got engaged and married!) and will turn to yall for inspiration!

  • Such a good idea as much like you I collect pretty fabrics, tea towels and hankies. Would be great for a gift to someone using their Facebook photos too.


  • sweet idea, its got my mind ticking with allsorts of pretty hankie ideas. clever girls!

  • well, i’m also creative but not come across like this ideas.
    that’s wonderful.

  • Clever. I’m always on the hunt for vintage hankies to put in my bunting, but this is a sweet project, to keep in mind for the spare that doesn’t quite fit in with the color scheme.

  • I squeeled when I saw this on my bloglovin this morning! I’m smitten for hankies. Your journal turned out just adorable, love it! Your blog is so lovely! I just love repurposed hankies! In fact the DIY on my blog today is going to be hanky bracelets. Stop by and say “Hi” sometime if you get the chance!

  • This is so adorable! Can I just say I recently finished the horse pillows and felt totally empowered after doing so, haha, plus they’re amazing. And now I’ve just finished Emma’s dreamcatchers. I always leave ABM feeling so much more positive & creative. Thanks guys!

  • I have a completely random request!

    I have been following A Beautiful Mess for over a year now and I love keeping up with you ladies! Very inspiring.

    I just wanted to know how you accomplish vintage looking makeup, especially eyes! I noticed that Elsie usually wears the “cat eye” or liquid liner often. I read your makeup tutorials but it was vague about tips on eye makeup. Liquid liner is especially hard for me but I love the look. Eyes are my favorite to apply makeup to and I just wanted to know your tricks.


  • this is so awesome! i picked up an instax 100 this afternoon off ebay for cheap! hoping that its in perfect working order and then i can start an awesome little coffee book!

  • I’m a fan of handmade books and your idea is great, but really, let’s BRING BACK THE HANKIE! Say no to disposable diapers, disposable grocery bags, AND disposable Kleenex. It’s a much more stylish anyway!

  • i don’t find this attractive at all. i would also like to see a diy photo book which actually stays together in the long term. i struggle with the idea of doing something like this when it looks like it would fall apart within weeks, if not days.

    do you have any tips for actually making a photo book which would be cute, stay together and not ruin my photos?

  • Nice idea. I too feel drawn to their beauty but never seemed to use them. But I recently decided to actually use them as they were intended. I dot them with essential oil of lavender or peppermint for a little aroma therapy throughout the day. Plus, my car and purse smell lovely.

  • I love vintage hankies and have a lovely collection of them, always keeping a clean one in my purse. Not to do the obvious with, but rather to daub my face …. perspiration in the summer, rain in the spring and fall, and wet snow and tears from the cold in the winter! They work perfectly and leave skin with a nice matte finish. They work way better for this purpose than paper tissue because they don’t leave bits stuck to your face! And it feels so classy pulling a cute hanky out of my purse.

    So once you’ve used a hanky for this project, consider using some for your face!

  • What a fantastic idea, I will certainly be giving this a go 🙂 Thankyouuuuu!
    love from Australia! xxoo

  • That’s so adorable! You’ve got me thinking about making my own journal now 🙂

    Turquoise Flamingo

  • This would be a lovely gift for a wedding/ christening/ anniversary etc.Rx

  • Pretty DIY! Would look great on the coffee table – fab for visitors to flip through 🙂

  • What a gorgeous idea, I love vintage hankies – I made the sweetest little bonnet out of a vintage hankie for my littlest kiddo when she was born – she doesn’t fit it anymore, they grow up too fast :o(

  • This is a really neat idea.
    Rachel Nicole @ Summer Breeze

    ps- giveaway at my blog soon, take a look?

  • I love this idea! I just passed up a stack of cute vintage handkerchiefs at the flea market, and now I wish I had bought them! Now I know what to do next time I find some.

  • Love this idea! I too see handkerchiefs like this and gush how cute they are, and think “well, they are too cute to put my snot in, but I don’t really have another reason for them.” Now, I do!

    Thanks for the idea!


  • That is SUCH a good idea. Love it! You never run out of ideas 🙂

  • aww this is lovely! i really regret not doing a photo a day this year.. will definitely have to remember for next year


  • This is such a brilliant idea! I love the idea of using fabric as a journal cover!

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