In the drawing and painting classes I teach, all students get to make visual journals. We use simple materials to construct the books since we are on a budget, but the end results are quite nice. Out of mat board, heavy papers, fabrics, adhesives, cording, acrylic paints and whatever else we care to add to the mix, students create this basic form and then embellish and fill it in their own way. Each semester I make one along with the students. Pictured here is one embellished with copper stars.
Pictured below is another journal showing a different treatment of the spine. On this one, threads were woven into the exposed binding.
Here is a view of the pages in the journal above. You can see more of this journal in the post below. It's almost full, so time to start on the new one!
I would encourage anyone who is interested to begin a visual journal. There are many great resources on the internet to get you started and inspire your creativity. Just have fun with it, there are no rules.