Published on March 11th, 2013 | by Julie Finn


How-to: Make a DIY Restaurant Review Log Using the Eco-Friendly Materials from Full Circle Crafts (and a Giveaway!)

The recycled chipboard takes watercolor like a champ!

The recycled chipboard takes watercolor like a champ!

3. Create labels. I used my mad lettering skillz (NOT!) to label each category on the recycled chipboard with a Sharpie, then gave the chipboard to my kids to decorate with liquid watercolors and eyedroppers. The kiddos were thrilled to discover that this recycled chipboard works amazingly well with watercolors; if you’ve ever used watercolors on a coffee filter, you’ll recognize the effect that they were able to achieve here.

Tear the hemp watercolor paper with a metal ruler as a guide.

Tear the hemp watercolor paper with a metal ruler as a guide.

For the cover labels, the kids painted on their hemp watercolor paper, which, when dried, was plenty sturdy enough for me to tear into strips, write the title on, and glue to the snap book’s cover.

restaurant info cards glued to the back of old playing cards

restaurant info cards glued to the back of old playing cards

4. Write the cards. Using InDesign, my partner created a playing card-sized restaurant info template, on which I recorded each restaurant’s name, the mealtimes that it serves, its address, and its hours. I created spaces to record the date that we ate at each restaurant, what each person had, and our overall verdict, all ready to be written in at the restaurant or later at home. I made 30 cards, to match the number of playing cards in the incomplete deck that I used, but most playing cards are a standard size, so I can easily create more cards later.

I printed the cards out on my laser printer, then cut them out and used the natural glue to adhere each card to one of the playing cards. This made them really sturdy, so they can be handled a lot, shoved into and pulled out of their pockets, and perhaps even shuffled, if we’re having exceptional trouble making a pick.

restaurant review log tutorial (10 of 13)5. More decoration? Yes, please!  We glued extra painted chipboard and watercolor paper randomly across the pages just to add a little more happy chaos, and yep, some of that watercolor had glitter in it!

Our restaurant book is making it really easy to try new local restaurants. With all the restaurant’s info on its card, we don’t have to wonder if a particular restaurant that we want to try is open yet, or if it serves lunch. The cardboard pages of the board book stand up to a lot of abuse, and the fact that it snaps shut lets me easily bring it along on outings, so that we can try a new ice cream place on the fly, if we wish.

And I CANNOT emphasize enough how important a fun, interactive book is, especially one that the kids helped make, in convincing them that yes, some place other than the Chinese buffet is an acceptable restaurant choice, too. Strangely enough, there aren’t any Chinese buffets listed on these particular cards. Hmmm…..

Come back tomorrow, because not only did Full Circle Crafts give US some fun, eco-friendly supplies to craft with, but they’re going to give two of YOU some fun, eco-friendly supplies, too!

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

3 Responses to How-to: Make a DIY Restaurant Review Log Using the Eco-Friendly Materials from Full Circle Crafts (and a Giveaway!)

  1. This looks phenomenal, Julie! What a great idea…
    Thank you,

  2. Tina says:

    That’s a great idea! We have 2 or 3 restaurants that we go to regularly, all are pretty local, but we need to branch out a bit. This would probably help with that.


    • Julie Finn says:

      It’s made a world of difference for us. For some reason, the cards are really encouraging my kiddos to pick new restaurants, although they do still want to order the same kind of thing at every restaurant. I guess they’re going to compare the beef nachos at every Mexican restaurant in town!

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