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DIY @ Home Craft: Handmade Journal

two handmade journals

November 17, 2020

As winter approaches and the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many folks are focusing on mental health. Journaling has been shown to have really positive mental health benefits, and can be a positive outlet for getting out your thoughts and feelings. Plus, with a new year approaching, it’s also a great time to get organized and think about goals going forward.

Here are two options to make your own homemade journal or notebook, using common household materials:


Basic Homemade Journal:


Plain paper or cardstock
Patterned scrapbook paper or cardstock
Scissors or paper cutter
Hole punch
Twine, string, or yarn


1. Cut pieces of regular printer paper or cardstock to any size you would like. Cut all the sheets so that they are uniform, keeping in mind that you’ll be folding the sheets in half to create your notebook. Cut as many sheets as you like.paper being cut by paper cutter

2. Select a piece of heavier scrapbook or construction paper for your cover. Use the plain pages you just cut to see how big you want your cover to be. Ideally, you should have a border of approximately 1/2-inch around the edge so that the pages are fully covered when your notebook is folded. Trim your cover accordingly.creating a handmade journal

3. Fold your notebook in half so you create a crease on the spine. Add two hole punches to the spine - one hole near the top of the spine and one near the bottom.hole punching handmade journal

4. Thread twine, string, or yarn through the holes to affix the pages to the spine. Feel free to decorate your cover however you’d like. Your journal is now ready for use!completed handmade journal

Are you looking for a more unique journal that you can tie closed? Try this DIY notebook using a cereal box (or any other similar recycled box)!


1 cardboard food packaging box (i.e. cereal box, cracker box, etc.)
Plain paper or cardstock
Patterned scrapbook paper or cardstock
Scissors or paper cutter
Thread or embroidery floss


1. Take apart your box so it can lie flat. Cut the box down to the size that you want.paper cutting a box to make a handmade journal

2. Fold your cut piece in half so that the printed side is inside and the plain side is on the outside.folding cardboard box for handmade journal

3. Sew a button onto the front/cover of the journal with thread or embroidery floss. Leave about 20” of thread hanging (or wrap twine around the button after you’re done attaching it with thin thread), so that you can wrap it around the book to close it.sewing a button on a handmade journal

4. Glue decorative or construction paper to the side of the cardboard with with branded/printed images on it; the blank side will be your cover. Trim the decorative paper to fit the inside of your journal.

gluing decorative paper onto outside of handmade journal

5. Cut plain paper to be the pages inside your journal. Attach the pages to the spine using your needle and thread, or use a hole punch and thread the spine together using any string or twine you have available.sewing pages to handmade journal

6. Decorate the front cover of your journal however you’d like! Helpful hint: if you cover up the spine of your notebook, it will hide all of your thread marks.completed handmade journal


Your notebook is now ready to use! Happy writing!

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image credit: MCPL