How to Make a Customized Journal With a Composition Book

Introduction: How to Make a Customized Journal With a Composition Book

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Why buy expensive generic journals at the bookstore?. Composition books are the cornerstone of inventors,  scientists, and school kids, however they are ugly and boring. Now you can customize the cheap workhorse composition book into a beautiful personalized journal using   abundant and diverse scrapbook paper you get at the craft store. Spend an hour crafting something you will be proud to carry around for months or years.
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Step 1: Materials List

Composition book
2 sheets of travel related scrapbook paper ( this is for a travel journal)
2 sheets solid color card stock ( paper can be used also but the card stock gives it extra strength)
Glue stick
Paper cutter (or scissors)
Embellishments  ( ribbon, stickers, tickets, etc)

Step 2: Step 1 Attach Cover

Measure the width  of the composition book and add an extra inch or so, so that the extra can be wrapped around the composition book cover.  Cut with a paper cutter.  Spread the glue stick on the book cover, making  sure to go the edge and just to the edge of the book binding. Cover fully and place the front paper  on the book. Smooth with your hands.

Step 3: Step 2 Fold and Glue Inside Cover

Open the book and carefully fold the scrapbook paper along the edge of the composition book. Fold all 3 sides. Trim the corners by cutting out a square just inside fold marks.  Fold the side piece at a slight angle so that when it is glued, it looks neat and doesn’t extend over the top and bottom. ( kind of like wrapping a package in gift wrap.)  Glue all 3 tabs thoroughly and press down securely. Repeat entire procedure for the back cover.

Step 4: Step 3 Attach Ribbon If Desired

Cut a piece of ribbon  3/4” longer than length of book.  Glue thoroughly on the back of the ribbon with the glue stick. Place the ribbon wherever desired on the outside of the book. For this book I placed on the binding but it can also be used anywhere on the front or back.  Fold over the excess and press into place inside the cover. Repeat for back if desired.

Step 5: Step 4 Attach Inside Card Stock to Front and Back

Measure the inside cover and cut card stock to desired size. Make sure to leave a little room near the binding as it will not close fully if the stock is too close.  Glue the card stock making sure to extend fully to the edges and attach to the inside of the book.

Step 6: Step 5 Weight Book and Allow to Dry Thoroughly

Place  book under a phonebook or other slightly heavy book to dry so that it does not curl.

Step 7: Step 6 Glue Embellishments

Attach any stickers,  tickets, or use a glitter pen to outline any objects to add interest to the outside.  There is no limit to the possibilities. You might want to think about putting a map or a calendar on the inside.

Step 8: Step 7 Final Result

Here is the finished travel  journal and another example of a diifferent writing journal.

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    6 years ago

    Very nice. I've found that double-stick scrapbooking tape on the edges is the best thing for longevity. Be sure to get a strong, permanent adhesive. I use stick glue in the center (sometimes; sometimes I just use more double stick tape). I put all my embellies on with glue gun, e-6000, or UHU glue. UHU glue is also a good all around glue and tends to help keep covers intact. I really like the paper you've used for the covers - it makes me want to take a long journey! :-D


    7 years ago on Introduction

    White glue works better in the long term than the stick glue. Also if you want the card stock to stall in place over time its better to add it under the flaps of the cover and then put a cover sheet of nicer paper over that to secure those edges. if you get a nice one of the right size you can fold it over and have the sort of nicer end papers that hard bound books have. Just make sure the end papers butt up against the pages. And if you want the embellishments like ribbons or even bling to stay on the cover securely... glue gun for the ribbons, buttons, pins medallions even old jewelry (that one earing you have and can't find the mate to) and (it's a bit of a cheet, but...) krazzy glue for the bling or other really small stuff. Apply it with a tooth pick. A little goes a long way.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice detailed instructable. How have your covers held up over time? Does the stick glue hold? I tried this with composition books where I used spray adhesive to stick on the decorative paper. After a few months, it was lifting and looked awful.
    I like your idea of folding over the edges to inside cover. I will try it out.