How to make your own unique journal in 10 easy steps- an educational guide for children of all ages

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Journaling is a rewarding hobby. Regular journaling helps us stay creative, reduces stress and also acts like a memory bank. A journal can also help us with being organised and helps us to manage our feelings, emotions, experiences and thoughts. One can journal about any thing; nature, travel, food, books, bible studies, art, science and so much more.

Some people only write in their journals, others add drawings and create art in their journals. A journal is very individual. How one uses a journal, is personal preference. A journal is a good place to write down thoughts or to experiment with art- a journal is a place one can be oneself without the pressure of being judged by others. Journals are mostly private, but some people don’t mind sharing their journals with friends and family.

Journals come in a range of different shapes and sizes. Thick art paper is used for art journals, while soft, smooth creamy paper is used for journals for writing.

In this blog we will have a go at making our own unique journal, with supplies which most of us may already have at home.

1. Materials you will need

  • Patterned paper or card for the outer cover

  • Card - coloured or plain (cereal box can also be used) for inner cover

  • 5 sheets of plain paper or add a mixture of different papers such as- graph paper, lined paper and tracing paper

  • Ribbon, knitting yarn, large rubber band or embroidery thread

  • Envelope (decorated or plain)

  • 2 paper clips

2. Fold the card and paper in half

Make a crisp crease in the middle, where the fold is. Stack the papers in the following order: patterned paper, cardboard, 5 sheets of drawing/ writing paper.

3. Binding your journal together

Cut a good length of your thread, cord or ribbon and twist it around the middle of your book around where the fold/ crease is. Tie a knot at the top or bottom of your journal. It is up to you if you want to leave long dangly yarn, or to cut them short. Long yarn can be used as a place holder.

4. Securing your journal pages

If you have a long reach stapler, you can staple your journal in the middle of the spine to make it even more secure. If you have a sewing machine, you can stitch the spine of your journal, please ask for help from an adult. Otherwise, just leave your journal as it is, the string will hold it together.

5. Envelope for storing ephemera

A storage envelope is handy to have for keeping together all the loose things which one collects- tickets, stickers, interesting magazine or newspaper cut-outs. Glue an envelope to the back cover, on the card side, with the flap facing in towards the spine, a handy place to store loose items.

6. Decorated paperclips

Paper clips are handy for keeping pages in place while working, so they don’t flap about in the wind, if journaling outside. Paperclips tend to get lost, so if one attaches a piece of ribbon or yarn to the top of the paper clip, the clip will be easier to find if it gets misplaced. It also looks cute!

Take a paperclip and tie a short length of yarn to the top of it- it’s as simple as that!

7. Decorating your journal

Add decorative touches to your journal cover- a charm, decoupage/ collage, rubberstamping or other embellishments- but nothing too bulky, otherwise it will get in the way when you are working in your journal.

8. Attaching two journals together

You can make 2 journals and attach them to each other with a rubber band or ribbon to hold them together. Open two journals and put them cover to cover with the spines facing each other. Feed a large rubber band to the middle or tie a length of yarn around the journals to attach them to each other.

9. Personalising your journal

Personalise your journal further by putting “this journal belongs to………” and the date on the front page. The back page is usually reserved for important notes and ideas.

10. Enjoy journaling!

Your journal is now ready to use and enjoy. Lara keeps all of her journaling supplies on a small tray which she keeps under her desk. Whenever Lara is in the mood for some journaling, she gets the tray out from under her desk and it saves her looking for all of her journaling supplies. Stay organised by creating your own journaling tray.

Note: Homemade journals also make lovely gifts for friends. Make one for your best friend with their favourite colours and watch their face light up with a huge smile, when you present them a journal you have made!

Lara also keeps her journal in a small rucksack which she takes with her where ever she goes. Her portable journaling kit is always ready to go! Lara uses her journal for

travel journaling, nature journaling, writing quotes, poems, short stories, she also keeps letters from her pen pals in her journal.

Hope you will be able to have a go at making your own journal- it is easier than you think!

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