DIY Journal Out of Composition Notebook

DIY Journal flyer

I’ve had so much fun making these adorable journals!  I am using them for everything from Primary Journals, to my book store, to recipe books and more!  You name it, having a cute notebook is almost always better!  So here are my instructions and measurements to make your own cute journals!    *I got these measurements from my mother who made about 3 dozen journals for the young women in her church.  If the same measurements are found on another tutorial elsewhere, please know it’s not intentional 🙂

what you'll needWhat you’ll need:

Paper Cutter
Composition notebook
-3 pieces of 12X12 Scrapbook Paper in coordinating colors
Scrapbook Adhesive (you can try other sticky substances to make this work, but they must be STRONG, glue sticks won’t cut it!)
-Any other embellishments to decorate journal after it’s made. ie: buttons, washi tape, lace, stickers…


Step 1:

Cut your paper to these dimensions:

  • Front and back cover: 12″x8″  Both sides will needs their own paper cut to this size, save scraps for later
  • Inside: 6″x8.5″  Again, you’ll need 2 of these for both the front and back insides, these can come from the same piece of 12×12 paper
  • Inside strip: 1″x9 3/4″  Again, 2 of these.  I use the scraps from the front and back cover to make these strips

Step 2: Place glue strips along entire border of front cover of journal, leaving out the black strip on the side.  *note, you don”t need a solid line of the glue strips, you can space them out every 1-1/5 inches to save on supplies.

glue strips

Step 3: Place one of your cut out cover pieces over the top of the journal, leaving as close the same amount hanging off the top and bottom as you can.  The paper will be wider than the journal as well.


Step 4:  Open journal up and fold in corners.  After making crease, open back up, place more glue strips in corners, then stick them back down. (*note  It really helps if you make the crease on ALL folds before gluing them down!)

fold corners

Step 5: Fold and glue in the top and bottom edges first, the fold and glue the side edge in.

fold top and bottomfold sideStep 6: Put Glue strips along border of inside paper (measuring 6×8.5) and place inside of journal.  *note, if you want to round the corners of this piece, it actually looks better, I just didn’t have one on hand!)

inside pageStep 7: Glue inside strip next to crease in journal.  Do NOT put it too close to the crease or it will fold when you close the journal, if you line it up with the black line printed on the journal cover it works out great! inside stripStep 9: Repeat steps 2-8 on the back!

backback inside

And there you have it!  You’re very own adorable journals, all ready to fill with whatever thoughts you’d like!  If you appreciate these fun ideas and free handouts please let me know in a comment below! You can like me on Facebook, follow me on Pinterest, and sign up for my newsletter for more updates!





  1. Such a cute idea! I love it. Thanks for sharing. Pinned!

  2. Thank you for your cute ideas on David and Bathsheba. What a hard lesson. I actually get to teach it this Sunday.

  3. Kelly Bigelow says:


    I have been giving my kids journals for the past 3 years . But, love the decorating idea. They look forward to the end of class to write in them. One other thing that i do, is have vocabulary words each week. And, they also receive a scripture’vocabulary workbook to at the end of the year to go along wit the journal/ Will love to see your future ideas.

    • says:

      What a great idea, Kelly, to do the vocabulary words each week! I know I spend a lot of time explaining what certain words we hear mean and that would probably help a lot with my own class. Thanks for your kind words about the handouts, I’m so glad they’ve worked well for you. Thank for you all you do for the sweet primary children!

  4. Deonna Bloomfield says:

    I just came across your site today and have to say I am so happy that I did! I love all of the great ideas you have and I’m going to make these journal. I think my class will love them! I appreciate creative people like you helping non-creative people like me. My class is a challenging class and it’s sometimes hard to keep their attention. They really like to talk! Thanks again!! :0)

    • says:

      Thanks Deonna! I know how you feel with a class that likes to talk 🙂 I hope they journals work well for you, they’ve made a big difference for me!

  5. Thank you for posting this tutorial. I pinned it a few days ago. I was going to post a picture, but I can’t figure out how to do it. I actually used your tutorial to cover a planner.
    Thanks again,

  6. Rachael,

    I am doing this journal as a prayer book for vacation Bible school this year. Thanks so much for excellent instructions. I am making my sample today.

    • says:

      You’re welcome, Maggie! I’m so glad you like it! The journals have been great for our kids!

  7. Jamie Hatch says:

    Is there a certain “scrapbook adhesive” you use? I am not a scrapbooker, but I’d love to make these for my yw girls for camp.

Speak Your Mind