Everyone could benefit from writing things down, and a homemade journal is a great home for your thoughts.
Whether you use it to record important information or just to vent, having the ability to open up your own personal journal and write is a calming experience for all.
There are hundreds and thousands of different journals and notebooks available you could use, but your thoughts are personal and the best way to store and represent them is with a custom journal.
Thankfully, you can make your own journal at home with some arts & crafts supplies and creativity! In the following steps, we’ll outline what you’ll need to create a journal and how you can make one.
Decide On a Design & Size
Your journal will be made out of paper, and thankfully paper comes in many shapes, sizes and designs. If you’re looking to keep small notes and little bits of information, a small journal can be great without taking up much paper or space.
If you’re looking to write or doodle in your journal, you can use larger pieces of paper to give yourself more room. The choice is entirely up to you, just remember that you will be folding it in half so account for that in your size expectations!
Once you know how large a journal you want, you can start looking for the perfect paper for you. For the pages, you’re going to want paper that is light in color and durable. This is because the pages will need to last when turned and attached to the cover with thread. You also want to be able to write or draw on the paper with any pen or pencil, making white or off-white colored paper best.
For the cover, you have a few options. You could use a single piece of very sturdy paper to protect the pages inside without adding anything else for the design. You could also create a plain cover and then use wrapping paper and other decorative pieces to customize the outside. Basically, you can customize the cover however you want as long as it is large enough to cover the pages, so get creative!
Gather Your Materials
Once you decide on the design of your journal, it’s time to get the supplies to make it. When it comes to binding the pages and cover together you will need to know how to sew. If you aren’t familiar with sewing, a little research will go a long way! To begin making the journal, you will need:
- The paper for the pages and cover, as well as any decorations for the cover
- A needle and thick thread/string for binding the pages and cover together
- A ruler and pencil for marking and measuring
- Scissors to cut the thread and cut out the cover
Create the Pages
Now that you have the materials for your journal, you can start creating it from the inside. To make the pages, take the paper that you chose in step one and stack it a few pieces at a time (depending on how many pages you want in the journal). Then, fold it in half to reach the size of your choosing and repeat this on all your stacks of paper. Be sure to make the crease sturdy so that the next step is easier!
Once you have the paper stacks creased together, you will need to poke holes through for the binding. Choose a distance and number of holes that allows you to make holes with equal spacing between them, and then mark the areas for the holes at each increment through all the pieces and stacks of paper on the fold. With your needle, poke holes for the string to fit through. Be sure it is directly on the fold to ensure the paper flips seamlessly!
Create the Cover
Once you create your pages you will have a better idea of how large your cover should be. You can choose to make it the same size or larger depending on your preference, but you should use the pages you created to measure how much cover material you will need.
Open the pages fully and then mark on your cover paper where you want the margin to be. Cut out the cover and then center the pages on the cover to line up the binding holes. For each of your holes in the pages, make a hole on the cover to match. Afterwards, you can design it to your liking before you begin binding.
Bind Your Journal
Now you have the pages and the cover, it’s time to bind together. This is where the sewing materials will come in handy!
Starting inside the pages, knot the string and pull it through the top or bottom hole. Then, pull the string through the outside and through the next hole, returning to the interior pages. Repeat this process until you have no more holes to fill, and then knot the string. Be sure to pull it tight on each stitch for a tight bind!
That’s it! Now you have your own handmade journal that reflects your style. Keep in mind, this is just one way to make a bullet journal notebook, and if you want to try something new you can use a sewing machine, glue or other binding methods to customize it even more. Enjoy!