How do I make a journal?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

Hey there,

I'm excited that you're interested in making a journal. Trust me, you will love it. But, I have to admit, it's a bit overwhelming at might ask yourself, "where do I start?"

That's the main point of this do I start a journal? Well, no worries, I am here to give some ideas and pointers.

Let's think about this...

What is the purpose of this journal? Is it a travel journal? Maybe you're going on a trip and you would like to record your adventure. Is it a memory journal? Will it be full of pockets to put photos and mementos? Or is it an art journal? Will you be drawing and/or painting in your journal?

Travel Journals

All of these great ideas have specific elements that you might want in your journal. A travel journal might have a more rustic "rugged" feel to it. You might want to add maps and travel-type papers. You also might like to have a lot of papers to write on for all of the things you do on your vacation. Do you have a favorite type or color of writing paper? Maybe a certain texture? What about adding envelopes and tags to your journal. You can find old receipts and other interesting clipart on that you can download and add to your journal.

Memory Journals

If your journal is all about memories, what do you want it to look like? How it looks will convey the person the memories are about or the person with the memories. Do you want your journal to have a Victorian feel? Maybe certain colors? Flowers or car themed papers? Or maybe you would like an old, aged feel to the journal? Then you might like to use brown paper; cutting brown paper grocery bags into the size you want works great!Or parchment?

Art Journals

If you're making an art journal the paper is critical. You will need nice thick paper; I prefer card stock. In fact I use card stock in all of my journals. Regular papers just aren't sturdy and tend to rip. Do you want to add some watercolor papers to your journal?


What are you making your journal covers out of?

Are you using chipboard for the front and back covers, with metal binder rings to hold it together? Or do you want to use an old book that has been damaged and isn't good anymore?

I really like using old books...sometimes I take out all of the pages in one shot, and then just use the hardback front and back with the spine intact. If I use a book with a spine I usually end up using waxed thread (book binding kit on and sewing my pages in. If the book doesn't have its original spine, then I will use metal binder rings. I have a couple of 3-hole punches that I use; it pays to have a heavy duty one. Then use reinforced hole stickers; that will help so your papers don't rip through the punched holes.

If it's an art journal I might leave all the pages inside the book, and then paint gesso on the pages and, once dry, paint away.

Get it together ( supplies, that is)

Hope that helped a bit and maybe gave you some things to think about. I know how fun it is to make your own journal. But don't rush in; think about it, gather supplies, but don't worry. It takes a long time to accumulate all the supplies. Maybe you plus a friend have a ton of supplies together. Really ponder how you see your journal, and how it feels to you. You'll love it. And keep creating!

Marsallai Quick

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