A few months ago, I saw a little journal like this in a store and of course, my first thought was “I could probably make one of those myself” so I decided to give it a try. I use journals like this all the time for my morning journaling, or for taking notes on projects or for just about anything I want to keep track of. I especially love the size of these super inexpensive composition books. They are big enough to write a lot in and they are casual enough that you don’t feel intimidated by them. Some journals are so fancy that I don’t even want to write in them. I’ll show you the easy steps to make one of these journals for yourself.
All you really need is a composition book, some acrylic medium (or mod podge) and a selection of paper items. I used wrapping paper, an old paperback book, an Italian newspaper and a fashion magazine.
My friends and family know how much I love paper and use it in all my artwork, so people are always giving me really fun paper items or newspapers from when they travel. One of my best friends sent me a collection of this funky graphic wrapping paper for my birthday and told me she knew I would love it for my art. She was right, I chose this pattern for the front of my journal.
Taking a paint brush, I painted on the acrylic medium evenly and attached the paper to the front cover.
Then I flipped it over and using a straight edge and an Xacto blade, I cut away the excess.
The corners on these composition books are rounded so you can go in and trim that part by hand.
Here’s what it looked like at that point.
I chose another pattern of wrapping paper and did the same for the back cover.
Then I used the Italian newspaper for the inside front cover.
And I used a glossy fashiony image from a magazine for the inside back cover.
Then I started to cut shapes out of the old paperback novel. I knew I wanted a daisy shape.
After experimenting with the composition on the front cover, I realized that the daisy was not going to stand out enough on the patterned paper I had chosen.
So I decided to add a little bit of gold glaze to my medium and covered the paper with it.
Then I attached my daisy to the glaze and let it dry. I trimmed the edges and added the word “bold” to the middle of the daisy. Just for visual interest.
I decided to add some detail with the book pages to the back cover as well. I wanted to tie it in with the front. After everything was dry, I added a final coat of the acrylic medium varnish to the front and back covers so that everything was sealed (side note: don’t add varnish to the inside front and back covers because it will just make all your inner pages sticky).
And there you have it. A fun and graphic journal. It’s a very inexpensive project and would make a great gift! Hope you try it! Let me know if you do!