Tuesday, January 19, 2010

journal tutorial

I love journaling. I have kept a journal sincen I was about eight years old. There were times when I would go months without writing, and other times where I wrote every single day. I find it therapeutic to jot down my thoughts and feelings at the end of the day. As I have quite a collection of filled journals, all catalogues of different periods of my life, choosing a journal is important to me. I always try and choose something that is a reflection of what I'm into at that point in my life. Some have been vintage, others puppies, and some older ones were movie/tv show ones.

As my current pink doggie journal has only five pages left, it was time for a new one. I searched for a month at all my favourite places, Chapters & Winners, Wal-Mart and even dollar stores. I could not find a journal that spoke to me. Finally one day I saw a plain notebook at Superstore. I looked at it and saw potential! I decorated it myself and am so pleased! Here's the tutorial on what I did.

Here's the chipboard notebook. It has a cute cut-out heart on the cover but is otherwise boring.

I chose these gorgeous scrapbook papers, they've got newsprint with green and pink swirls and patterns. I measured the cover and used a rotary cutter to trim the paper to the right size.

Make certain the pages fit as best as possible. I didn't want to touch the coils which would keep it from turning nicely.

I didn't like the neon pink page inside, so I tore it out, and cut a pretty piece of cream & pink polka-dot paper.

I used double-sided photo mounts in the corners of this page, and then glued it really well all around. Then stick it to the first page.

Now, to stick the paper on the covers, I used clear decoupage finish. It works as both a glue and a glaze.

Using a foam brush (these apply the finish more evenly than a paintbrush) apply a thin layer of decoupage finish. I say thin, because you don't want to get your paper soggy. Put the finish directly onto the cover, not the back of the paper.

Line up the paper and smooth it out. You don't want any bubbles.

Now when I did the front cover, remember the cut-out heart? Once I had glued the paper on with the decoupage finish, I allowed it to dry and then used a knife to carefully cut out the heart. it was a little jagged, but I think it gives it character.

On a small piece of the polka-dot paper, I stamped a pretty monogram. I bought this stamp for $1.50 at Michael's. Afterwards, I mounted this square, onto a green square with glue, so it would stand out, and yet the colours would still be cohesive with the other paper.

On the first page, I stamped a pretty bordered box. I like to write down the date and details when I start a new journal. Plus I just love stamping and embellishing.

Speaking of embellishments, I added two types of ribbon, using a hot glue gun to apply them. But first, you need to use your decoupage finish to paint a thin layer over the top of each page. So for mine it was front & back covers, and inside of each. Leave it for ten minutes, and glaze it again. Then it will be shiny & won't budge. So then add your ribbons. I then glued down the squares with the monogram, and on top of that, hot glued on some pretty coordinating buttons.

And that's it, my pretty journal is personalized and waiting to hold my deepest secrets. Hopefully this tutorial has been helpful to you, and inspired you to add your own pesonal touch to things. I promise its easy, despite how long this tutorial seemed.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! It really makes me happy to feel part of an online community. All of your thoughts are welcome and appreciated and you can leave a comment below, or email me. Also, be sure to follow my blog, and vote in the poll.


  1. Fabulous tutorial! Can't wait to make one! Thank you for pointing me toward your blog. I love your resolution to live by your own lights and really dive into creating a life around what you enjoy! So inspiring!

  2. I love what you did with that otherwise plain journal... you're absolutely right, haunting places like Winners, Chapters and Wal Mart lead to pretty fabulous discoveries!

  3. Cupcake Goddess; thank you so much! Glad I could inspire.

    Saucy; glad you agree. Those are always the first places I tend toward when shopping.

    Monika & Danielle; Thank you both, you're so sweet!


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