When it comes to journals, I am SUPER PICKY! There are soooo many beautiful ones sold at stores. However, I often find them too thick (to carry around in my bag), too small/short (I run out of page room quickly), and too expensive (this costs WHAT?!). So, what’s a economical solutionist to do? Create my own, personalizing it . And, you can too using items that you most likely already have at home.
I found the standard school spiral notebook to be perfect. It’s thin enough to carry around so it’s not heavy, and the 70 pages are large enough that I can fit in a lot of writing and sketching before having to turn to the next page. And the best part (wait for it ….) these 70 page notebooks costs less than $1.00. Wohoooo!
In my journals I usually write my feelings, my gratitudes for the day, and a few practice sketches of how I am feeling at the moment. All of which I NEVER go back to read again. Mainly because it is in the past and I love living in the present. My journals are meant to dump current spiraling thoughts and fears, to remember the beauty I saw that day, and to have a little fun sketching objects since I am trying to improve my drawing skills without judgement. And because it is without judgement, I don’t like looking back at the sketches. I find it very therapeutic releasing my thoughts from my mind onto paper. You too? If yes, then check out how EASY and ECONOMICAL it is to create and customize your very own JOURNAL in 6 steps.
Economical notebook (the one shown cost me $0.79), (standard size: 8” x 10.5”
Decorative scrapbook paper (the one shown cost $0.59, (standard size: 12” x12”)
Pencil (to outline the paper to match the notebook)
Scissors (to cut the paper)
Hole-punch (for the bigger holes)
Glue (to adhere the decorative paper onto the notebook)
Paint brush or foam brush (to add glue)
Marker (to TITLE the front cover of your journal)
There’s a HUGE variety of decorative scraper that can be used for your journal’s cover. Below are just a few I taped to the wall and as T-rex (our huge kitten) jumped into my arms to see the decorative paper up close. He loves to inspect e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in our office.
Have FUN choosing a decorative scrapbook paper. Do you like the fun design I choose for my journal? If you have seen my office (here’s a look at my home office) you know that the colorful POLKA DOTS are perfect for me (I love sprinkles and splish-splashes of color!).
With a pencil OUTLINE the edge of the book and any (binder) holes that it may have.
Use a hole-punch to karate-chop-cut the outlined holes on the decorative paper
With a marker (color of your choice) write (or draw) the TITLE for your journal
6 Steps to Create a Personal DIY Journal
1. Place notebook cover onto the back of the decorative paper
2. With a pencil outline the edge of the notebook (and any holes it may have) onto the decorative paper
3. With scissors cut the outline drawn on the decorative paper
4. If your notebook has binder holes, then use a hole-punch to cut them out
5. Have FUN gluing the front cover of the notebook then attaching the paper to it. I used a small paintbrush to add a thin layer of Mod Podge glue onto the front of the paper to make it even more durable. The paint brush I used left streak lines, so I think a foam brush would be better to use; unless you don’t have a foam brush at home and you don’t mind the streak lines (like me). Especially, since the intent of these DIY JOURNALS is to be easy disposable yet fashionable to you enough to inspire you to write … sketch … etc fun etc. Let it dry overnight.
6. With a marker write or draw the TITLE of your journal Below are some fun titles to inspire you to personalize your journal.
I hope this DIY inspires you not just to have a journal where you can dump and tame all your swirling thoughts but to create one that is customized by what you find beautiful, because YOU are beautiful! For more economical DIY ideas, to see my current interior decorating projects, and to check out photos of our T-Rex follow us here at instagram .