Learn how to turn any book into a beautiful homemade journal! DIY journals are fun to make and can even be a great handmade gift idea.
Like I have said before, I am a huge book nerd. I mostly like to read them, but every once in a while, they end up as crafting materials for me. I’m always on the lookout for pretty hardback covers at thrift stores or garage sales. Here are three of them now!
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How To Make DIY Journals
Along with loving to read, I also love to write. It’s a great combination, right? So, I have started making notebooks out of these old hardback books. You can make them too! Here’s how:
Gather Your Supplies
You only need a few simple items to get started making your own DIY journal:
- some old hardback books
- craft paper
- glue or double-sided tape
- scissors or paper trimmer
Cut Your Paper
Start by cutting your paper. You want to measure the book pages and cut your paper to about 1/2″ smaller, both length and width-wise.
For example, if your book has pages that are 4″x6″, you’ll want to cut your paper to 3.5″x5.5″. I recommend using a paper trimmer unless you are great at cutting super straight with scissors!
Glue Craft Paper Onto Book Pages
Cover the back of your paper with a light coat of glue or double-sided tape.
Carefully place the page on the book, and smooth it down onto the page.
Repeat the step to cover as many pages of the book as you want.
I make most of mine with plain brown craft paper.
However, every once in a while I use patterned paper, if I know I want to use the book for photos or scrapbooking. Just follow the same process as above by cutting and gluing your paper on.
So, that’s it! Just complete these easy steps and you’ve got a DIY journal made out of a super cute hardback book.
Helpful Tips For Making A Handmade Journal
Since the added paper will make the book quite thick, I remove some pages (I just rip them out). And I also leave others in without covering them.
Sometimes I find meaningful (or fun) phrases in the pages to highlight, like the one below.
I added engagement photos and other wedding mementos to this book. If you know you will be adding photos – make sure to use acid free paper!
I ordered some blank library cards and have been creating pockets for my DIY journals out of coordinating scrap paper and adding them to label my books.
My favorite one I’ve made is the book that hosts quotes from books that I love. I’ve been on an Anne of Green Gables kick lately – so many great quotes!
Create A DIY Journal Cover (Optional)
You can leave the books as is, or embellish the cover by adding a ribbon, or even some fun washi tape!
How do you repurpose an old book into a journal?
The easiest, most simple thing to do is to cover the pages on the inside of the book with paper or possibly even fabric to create a blank canvas for your new DIY journal.
How do you use old books creatively?
There are so many things you can do with old books. You can use them in endless projects or even show off their covers as decor. Old books make great gifts by themselves, but when you use them in projects that transform them in some way, they’re bound to impress.
How do you make a homemade journal?
There are plenty of other tutorials showing different ways to make handmade journals using old books. I just happen to find this method to be the most time-friendly.
What can you do with old vintage books?
In addition to making a journal with an old vintage book, you could use the pages in art projects, wrap the books in fabric as decor, turn them into a keepsake box, and more. And remember, there are all kinds of journals to experiment with making (ex: art journal, travel journal, photo journal, etc).
A Lovely Handmade Gift Idea
A notebook like this also makes a great gift and is a fun way to give new life to an old book. Handmade journals can be used as photo albums or to hold your favorite recipes.
Who doesn’t love upcycling? Making handmade journals is so much fun – and simple to do. Find an old, unique hardback book and try out this DIY journal project for yourself!
More Fun With Books
- Decorative Books – How To Find And Use Decorative Books
- My Favorite Decorating Books
- Make Your Own Book With A Chipboard Scrapbook Kit
- How To Style A Bookshelf
- old books
- craft paper
- glue or double-sided tape
- Measure your book pages. Then cut your paper to be ½" smaller both width-wise and length-wise.
- Add glue or double-sided tape to the back of your paper.
- Place your paper (with the adhesive side down) carefully over the wording in your book. Smooth out the page.
- Repeat the process as many times as you like until your DIY journal turns out the way you want it.
- (optional) Create a cover for your journal.