making a homemade journal.

I created another journal, this one slightly different than the last one, and this time, I thought I'd write up a quick tutorial on how I made it.

What you'll need:

a board book (I found this one at a thrift store for less than a dollar)
scrapbook paper for the cover and dividers
solid-colored paper for the journal pages
coordinating ribbon
book rings (also called binder rings) (you'll need 2)

How to make it:

1. Take the board book apart.

I just cut each "page" off using scissors, then trim it straight if necessary. You can easily get several make several journals out of one book.

2. Decorate the cover and any dividers with scrapbook paper.

You can make this as simple or as fancy as you like. I like using packs of patterned papers because that way, they come already coordinated, then I use a couple of solid pieces as mats.

You could trace the board book page onto the paper, cut it out, then attach it with Modge Podge, but I find it easier to trim the paper after its already been glued down. Once both sides are dry and trimmed, I touch of the edges where I need to.

I'm a huge fan of quotes, so this journal is full of them. I use Microsoft Publisher for laying out things like this - I can figure out how big I want the quote page to be, create a text box in the size I need, then adjust the font and font size as I see fit.

For this journal, I actually did something a little different. I wanted to attach pieces of ribbon so the book could be tied shut.  For each cover piece, I cut a piece of ribbon, placed it under the quote on the inside page, then wrapped it around to the cover. You'll want the trailing edge of the ribbon to be on the outside edge of the journal (the side that will open). Its kind of hard to explain, so it might not make sense at first - but it comes together in the end!

3. Create the journal pages.

This is the most tedious part of the process, but it also doesn't take much brain power once you figure out the dimensions, so I just go it while I watch TV. Depending on the size of your journal, you might be able to find pre-cut pages in the right size. After the pages are cut, I use a three-hole punch so I can make sure everything is spaced exactly the same. This is also where you can make the journal as thick as you want.

4. Punch holes in the covers and dividers.

Once the pages are cut to size with the holes punched in them, I use one sheet as a template for the where the holes need to be placed in the covers and dividers. I use a Martha Stewart screw punch (found here). The pages are thick, so it usually takes a few punches from both sides cover to get the holes punched completely through.

5. Assemble the journal.

Then, just put everything together! I've used ribbon to bind these in the past, but because I was using ribbon to tie the journal shut, I decided to use book rings instead. I bought mine at Office Max, but I would guess that they're available at almost any office supply store. They're not cheap, especially considering that I only needed two, but I'm sure I'll be able to use the rest in other projects.

So, here's the finished result again - I love the way it turned out!

Linking up to:

Handmade Holidays at Just A Girl
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints On The Fridge
Crazy Christmas Crafter at I Heart Naptime with Chocolate Sundaes
Get Your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog


  1. This is such a great idea! I love that you used an upcycled board book!!
    Amie @

  2. @Anonymous - thanks for the question! I'm answering you here because I don't have another way to contact you. You can also use chipboard albums for the same thing - I think they're available anyplace where you can find scrapbooking supplies. I've never purchased one - but here's an idea of what one would look like:,r:20,s:0&tx=26&ty=69

    Hope that helps!


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