Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Handmade for Kids: How to Make a Journal

by Bev Feldman of Linkouture

I remember in elementary school "publishing" a handmade book. The story was written and illustrated on a booklet I had made sewing the pages of the story together and then constructing the cover using cardboard, wallpaper scraps and colorful tape. I could not tell you what the story was about, but obviously the project itself made quite an impression on me. Over 20 years later I can still envision the light blue wallpaper and yellow tape and the pride that I took in constructing that book. 

Whether your child wants to write a book or just have something to draw or write in, you don't necessarily need to have wallpaper scraps on hand to make this handmade journal. At a minimum you need some cardboard and some scrap paper and a few other key materials. Older children will enjoy making the journal themselves with some guidance from you; younger children will need assistance with the construction process. 

For this craft you will need the following:
  • A piece of cardboard (in this case I used a cereal box)
  • Scrap paper with at least one blank side
  • Thread that matches the paper
  • A needle
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue
  • Some sort of tape (I used some decorative duct tape)

1. Cut two rectangles out of the cereal box. Make sure they are each a little bigger than the scrap paper folded in half (or cut down the scrap paper if needed).

2. Fold the scrap paper in half. Take a piece of thread at least twice the width of the paper. Thread it onto the needle and double up the thread and knot at the end. Starting at one edge of the crease, sew the thread down the crease so that the papers are secured together into a booklet.

3. Cut a piece of decorative tape the height of the two pieces of cardboard. Connect the two pieces with the tape, leaving a small gap between them. These pieces will be the outside cover of the journal.

4. Take the sewn booklet and place it in the inside of the cardboard pieces, sticky side of the tape touching the booklet.

5. Glue the outer edges of one the pieces of the cardboard cover. Take the outer piece of paper from the booklet and firmly press it onto the cover. Repeat the same on the back cover. This will help secure the paper booklet to the front and back covers.

6. Let the glue dry and it is done! Your child can decorate the front of the cover, or leave it blank.


  1. Awesome tutorial. My daughter was just asking if I could buy her a notebook so she could start writing. Now I just make her one!

  2. And we have that same (almost empty) box of Island Vanilla cereal! I love this idea. I remember my first journal. I'd love for my daughter to make her first one.

  3. So cool! Biz makes his own books all the time. I think he'd love to make one that's a bit more sturdy. This is perfect!


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