Make a F*cking Look Book!: YourSpace #2 (DIY Culture)

Let’s Make Something!

Look Books for Your Space

Look books are so easy and fun and personal — they’re the perfect weekend/lifetime project! Putting one together is a lot like journaling, but with wishes instead of actual events, and pictures instead of words and glue instead of pencils and you don’t have to label every entry with a date, which means you never have to feel guilty if/when you miss two+ weeks! They’re really great to have around because sometimes you forget what it is that you like, you know?

look book 1

o hi townie euro. u r beautiful

Last year, while flipping through an IKEA catalog for the gazillionth time, trying to find a bookcase that refused to be found, I decided maybe I’d make a look book so I could avoid this problem in the future. Only I didn’t call it a look book. I called it my Trapper Keeper because that, my friend, is where I put it. Incidentally, Trapper Keepers are perfectly suited for this kind of project, thanks to the fact that they are giant and highly customizable.

We happened to have a surplus of those clear page protectors, so that’s what I used. I think they make my book fancy and slick, which I appreciate, but I must tell you — they’re completely unnecessary. You don’t need fancy stuff to make a look book, kids. Save your moneys to spend on your actual look!


radishes equal epic love

You Will Need:

* A binder, Moleskine, spiral notebook, whatever
* Glue/tape/stapler/bubblegum
* Pictures of stuff that you love/want
* Paper
* Your imagination
* Special Look-Book-Making playlist (optional)

Clear your schedule for a couple of hours. Turn on some appropriate music. How’s your lighting? Good? Settle in with a stack of magazines and catalogs. I recommend you just start tearing things out left and right. Don’t stop to think about why you like something or if it fits or what else is in the picture.
Just rip it out, nerds!

look book 2

hello, i am obsessed with picture frames and electric tape

It’s also fun to look through discount book bins for inspirational images. I picked up two copies of David Carson’s Trek from a clearance bin at giant book store for $1 each! One is intact and the other has had pages cut out to create all kinds of lovely things. Pretty pictures can be found in all sorts of places, so keep your eyes peeled! I hate that expression!

After you’ve collected a bunch of pictures, attach them to sheets of paper. You can put things in order by room, color, feelings, animal sounds — whatever. Make notes in the margins. Label things. Cover the whole page with glitter. Do whatever you want! You’re free like a bird!

they say you can't go home again ...

they say you can't go home again ...

Other Things You Could Use:

* Actual photographs — Remember 35 mm film? It’s still fun! Take some pictures and have them developed! You’re so alt, I bet you’ve got a Lomo! Holler!

* Fabric scraps — Are you aware that most fabric stores will supply you with free samples if you ask nicely? True story!

* Found objects — Is it weird to tape rocks to the paper in your look book? No. What about a leaf or a feather? Totally not weird!

* Anything, really — Seriously.


“Last week I invited you to submit pictures
of where you sit and GUESS WHAT YOU DID.”

Also: Stimuli [exciting links], Your Moment of Zen,
and What’s Coming Next Week

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. ohh this is all very yum. i forgot to send pictures of where i sit! is it too late? a lot of time went into placing things on my noticeboard to look like i spent no time on it at all. anyway – love this column!

    • this is like one of my favorite parts of “the science of sleep” and is vair vair true. “randomness is very difficult to achieve… organization always merges back if you don’t pay attention.”

  2. DIY rules!

    I am working on something like this… but using a 100+ year old minute book that I bought at an awesome thrift store for 12 bucks! less than the cost of a moleskine!!! and it is OLD & AWESOME and has leather binding and the pages are edged with marble-ly-ness

    I am going to go work on it some right now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I used to have a lookbook like that. But it was more a diary then a vintage tumblr. I glued in more then magazine pictures. It also were the doodles I made in class when I was bored, or the drawing the kids I babysat made me, or even “macaronie art” (you know, like in the old preschool days).

    • all my old diaries are sort of look books too. I was one of those kids who thought people would want to read my diary one day (we grow up and become bloggers, obvs) and so I illustrated everything — magazine pictures, photos, drawings, charts/graphs of feelings/people, lists, ticket stubs, everything. I still feel proud of them, though most of the content is at this point embarrassing.

      • I had a journal thingy in jr high that I kept weird lists in, painted in, glued magazine pictures in, etc. I also glued one of my allergy pills in it because it had TAYLOR (the med co.) stamped in the side and I was ‘in love’ with a boy called Adam Taylor and I was convinced we were meant to be together because then I would be Elizabeth Taylor… good times.

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