DIY Journal from Composition Notebook

I’ve been writing in journals since I was 11 years old.  That’s almost 20 years.  It’s why I have had several blogs over the years.  Some for personal reasons and others for fun.  And while I don’t write in them like I used to (I’ve had my current one for two years) I still use them as a way to express myself without fear of judgement. TIP: write people letters as if you’re talking directly to them, everything you wish you could say but are too afraid to or know you shouldn’t or as in some cases with me in the past, can’t.


The only thing in that picture I wound up not using is the water.  I’ve seen on several DIYs that misting water to relax the paper helps but I don’t know if it was the adhesive I chose to use, the paper, or a mixture of both but it just wouldn’t stick once it was wet.  Everything else though.

Supplies: scrapbook paper, composition notebook, paper cutter, x-acto knife, stickers, embroidery thread, 3D paint/adhesive, acid free tape, gems. Not pictured: tape measure, sharpie marker, ruler.


Apply the acid free tape to the inside cover of the composition notebook.  The most important part is to get as close to the edge as possible so that the paper you’re applying doesn’t roll up.  Then put a few lines in the middle.  Once you have the inner cover paper stuck, use the x-acto knife to trim around the edges.  Do this for both inner covers.


I thought the original spine was too thin so I used a tape measure to gauge how wide to cut a new one.  I settled on 2 3/4 inches.


Measure and cut.  Fold in half gently to mark the middle.


I placed the spine cover where I wanted then used a sharpie to mark a small dot at each end on the front cover.  Use a ruler to draw a line between the dots.  Once you are satisfied with its placement, apply the acid free tape along the line and adhere the paper.  Don’t worry if you go over your line with your tape.  It will be covered soon.  Repeat on the back cover and trim away excess.


Repeat the process for the inner covers for the outer covers.  Try to have as little a gap in between the spine as possible.


You can skip this step but I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes.  I’m not pleased that the outline can be seen.  If I had to do it again I’d pick one and outline it with the 3D paint/glue you’re about to see.


Cut 6 pieces of embroidery thread about the length and a half of your notebook.  Tie them in a knot at the top then separate them into three sections.  Braid.  I did this the first time with 3 pieces of thread but the braid was way too small.  You could even do 9 pieces in three sections to make it even bigger, but by this time I was running out of thread and still needed to do the back cover.  lol


I glued down the back cover first and let it dry for about 15 minutes, then the front cover.  I used the 3D paint/adhesive but if you have some E6000 or any clear glue with a precision tip that would be best.  While the front braid was drying I placed my monogram sticker in the bottom right corner.


Now this is the fun part.  I’ve seen this glue circulating for a while so when my local craft store began to carry it I knew I had to find a reason to use it.  I decided to get colors that coordinated with the flowers.  Doing the foliage seemed a bit much.  Once you are satisfied with the outlines, glue on your gems.  I think a clear glue with a precision tip would have been better here also.  Let dry at least overnight before handling, but a couple days is best.


Isn’t it pretty!  Please send me pictures of your creations and tag me on Instagram and Twitter @EmeraldLilyCS.

Watch the video here!


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