Homemade Journals




Next up in my series of guest posters is Teea. She is one of my sorority sisters (Chi-O til I Die-O) from back in the day. She has also been one of my biggest supporters with my blog over the past year. She always offers feedback, likes, and shares. Best of all is her words of encouragement! I love knowing that I am inspiring someone to try new things and I was THRILLED when she wanted to write a post for me. She doesn’t even have a blog to promote 😉 Enjoy the AWESOME post that she has put together and make sure to follow her on twitter @TeeaShook
Thank you

Hello. My name is Teea. (in unison “Hello Teea”) And I am a project addict. Yes. It’s true. I love projects…cooking projects, craft projects, house projects…you get the idea. I like the whole process:  finding a project, researching all the info, and finally getting my hands dirty. I’ll be honest, most of the time (ok ok almost all the time) whatever I’m working on doesn’t turn out the way I planned. Some projects flat out fail…and I may lose my temper…and say inappropriate words.

Through the “you’re crazy” looks and eye rolls I get from my ever patient husband I know I’m not the only one out there. I know you’re out there project doers. So when my Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated friend asked for guests on her blog, I thought “Sure!”

My current obsession/project is making journals. I’m not really sure where the idea started. Maybe I heard that keeping a gratitude journal will change your life.

I have two monstrous little boys and I should write down more of their adventures. Especially my three year old…his imagination and the things he says…unreal. Somehow the seed was planted in my brain and I couldn’t get it out. Besides, who wants to go to the dollar store and pick up a journal to write in when you can make one yourself (insert “you’re crazy” look from my husband).

So off I went with the idea and here is what I came up with…

There are many different ways to make a journals, notebooks, and books. When I looked at bookbinding there were several different ways to go about making it yourself: staples, glue, sewing, etc. Bookbinding really is an interesting craft (yes. I am a dork. I make no apologies for it. I came to terms with my dorkiness in high school.)

I decided to start with sewing a journal together. I found some wonderful tutorials on YouTube by Sea Lemon. I decided on saddle stitch with thread to create my journal.

Here is a list of supplies that I used

  •         Cardstock
  •         White paper
  •         Thread
  •         Awl
  •         Ruler
  •         Needle
  •         Scissors
  •         Binder clips
  •         Heavy book(s)
  •         Utility Knife (box opener)
  •         Cutting board
  •         Paint/paint brushes, markers, crayons, etc. (to decorate the journal)

Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

I used cardstock for the outside or cover of my journal. The inside (the pages I will be writing and doodling on) is plain white computer paper. You can really use any paper you want.

Use your imagination! My son is really into maps so for my next journal I want find large road map and cut it up to create a journal/treasure map book for him.

Once you have all your paper together you want put a couple binder clips on all the papers to keep them in place.

Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

Then use your ruler to find the center of the paper and make a small dot with a pencil or pen. You will then measure and mark two more dots to the right and two dots to the left of the original mark in the center. These are the holes that you will be sewing to create the spine of your journal. Once you have your five marks on your paper take your awl and put holes where the marks are.

Sidenote: Just about everything I used to make the journals I had around the house, except for the awl. Had to go buy one. Not expensive, but when I asked the store clerk if they had awls I got a very confused look from her. Basically an awl is a pointy stick to poke holes in paper.

Thread your needle and start at the middle hole on the inside of the journal. When you pull the thread through the first hole make sure you leave some thread so that you can tie off the thread when you are done.

Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

Pull the thread through the first hole and continue sewing, weaving from the outside to the inside of the journal. I start by going to the right, then all the way to the left, and back to the center. Once you are back to the center (you will be at the center hole and on the outside of the journal) tie a knot and push the needle through the center hole one last time.

Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

Pull the knot you just tied through the hole too. Tie one more knot using the thread attached to the needle and the extra thread you left at the beginning.

Teea 5Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

Trim the two pieces thread and tuck them under the tread you just sewed.

Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

Ok. Hard part over. I tried to explain the process the best I could, but if you are like me you need more of a visual. If that is the case, then head on over to YouTube and take a peek.

Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

Take off the binder clips and fold your journal in half. If you are anxious you can start decorating your journal, by all means let the creative process begin! If you need a break then put the folded journal under some heavy books and go have a drink…or two…of some wine.

Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

Next step: decorate your journal. When you are decorating journal it is really up to you. You can draw, paint, cut, glue, add stickers…or leave it the way it is.

Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

I put some fun water paper in my blue journal to break up all the white pages and to match my fish on the front cover.

Since it is October I had to do a fun and festive Halloween journal too!

I used the utility knife to trim up the side of the journal. If you start with paper that is all the same size, then when you fold the paper in half to create the journal it will not have a straight edge.

A word of caution to the OCD/perfectionists out there: when I am trimming the paper with the utility knife I tend to cut and then cut again because the paper isn’t perfectly straight…so I cut it again and again. You get the point.

Making Journals - Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated - www.crunchycrafty.com

That’s it! All done. All that is left is to write in your journal. Enjoy.

A big thank you to CCHC for letting me take over. It was fun!



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  1. Mandy

    These are so cute and simple. I’m definitely going to try it!

    • mrsdmeeks

      Isn’t Teea AMAZING!?I never would have thought to do this! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    Oooooh, I love this and I definitely want to give this a try *seeing Christmas gifts here*.

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    • mrsdmeeks

      Aren’t these so cool!? I really need to buckle down and try them 🙂

      Have an amazing weekend!

  3. Vicky

    Love this! I’m definitely bookmarking this and will be making one (or more!) soon! I recently bought a Midori Travelers Notebook and this is PERFECT for making my own notebook inserts! Yay!

    • mrsdmeeks

      YAY!! I can’t wait to try my hand at making them too! I think they will be perfect for my kiddos!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

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