Journal With 3D Window

Introduction: Journal With 3D Window

Make a journal/diary with a clear window where you can add 3D objects. The window has a door in the back so you can add/remove objects and change image as you see fit making it a very versatile journal.


Step 1: Materials


Decoupage glue + brush



Double sided tape

Plastic container (like those that screws, brads or other products come in)

Sanding paper

A piece of thin cardboard


Anchors (optional)



Cheap notebook (preferably in similar color as the patterned paper)

Pretty paper (wrapping/scrapbook paper or similar, not too thick)

Photo/quote/drawing to put inside the window

Embellishments to put inside the window

Step 2: Prepare the Container

Start by preparing your plastic container. You can buy specific ones made for this use in the craftshops, but this is a much more economical version. When you buy screws or brads or any small objects they often come in these containers. This way you can choose exactly what shape and how big you want your window to be.

Tip: If you have an old pricetag stuck on your container (like I have) put on some oil on it and let it soak and it will come right off. Sometimes it will need to soak for several hours or during the night, but it always comes off. Any cooking oil or babyoil will do.

Cut around the raised part. Make sure you save an edge around the raised part! This is what you will use to attach the container to the notebook so don't cut it away! (see image 2)

Use a piece of scrap paper to measure the container. It's better to make it a bit too small than too big.

Step 3: Cut an Aperture in the Notebook

Decide where you want the window to be.

Trace around the scrap paper you had from the previous step.

Use a scalpel to cut out. It takes a while to cut through and you will need to do it gradually. When you are done check that the plastic container fits. If it fits well or is too big, sand the edges on the cutout with sanding paper. The reason is that the edges will look much neater when you attach the pretty paper in the next step.

Step 4: Gluing Time

Put the opened notebook on the pretty paper you want to use. Cut leaving about 5cm (2") around.

Start by gluing the back of the notebook. Brush generously with glue on the back of the notebook itself and then put it on the patterned paper. Turn around and rub the paper to remove any airbubbles. You might want to use like an old credit card or similar to rub the bubbles out. Just make sure it's smooth so it doesn't scrape the paper. When you're done cut the corners at an angle.

Continue gluing the spine wrapping the paper to fit and then go on gluing the front.

When you're done cut down the paper on the edges to about 1.5cm (just over 1/2") and glue the remaining paper around the edges of the notebook. Start with the longest sides (the top and bottom of the notebook)

The spine is the trickiest part to glue. You will need to cut in small "V" shapes (see picture) This is why it's best to have a somewhat coordinating paper/notebook when it comes to color because it's tricky to get it perfect here.

Step 5: Do the Aperture

Cut with the scalpel from the edges in to the middle. Cut down the flaps so they aren't so long and glue to the inside of the cover. Make sure the paper lays snug around the edges and that it looks good from the front.

(Optional: Cover the whole notebook with decoupage glue. This protects it better, but can also leave brushmarks and makes it shinier. I wanted my paper to look exactly the way it was so I skipped covering it with decoupage glue)

Step 6: Finish the Aperture

Put a thin strip of double sided tape on the edges of the aperture (on the inside of the notebook). Attach the plastic container.

Step 7: Add Pretty Paper on the Inside Cover

Cut out a piece of paper that fits the inside of the cover. Roughly cut out so you can see the window and glue the paper on. Use a scalpel to fix up anything uneven.

Step 8: Attach Anchors for the Window

Cut two pieces of cardboard slightly shorter than the sides of your window. Punch holes on the edges and attach anchors with brads.

Cut a piece of the same cardboard so it covers the window. When you have adjusted everything, glue the two strips with anchors on. The big cardboard is now removable and attached with the anchors.

Tip: If you want the cardboard to be even more secure you can add strips with anchors to the top and bottom too.

Step 9: Decide What to Put in the 3D Window

Now for the fun (and maybe most difficult part): Decide what you want to show through in the window.

It can be a photo, pretty picture, a quote, ticket etc.

You can also add objects in there like 3D flowers, gears, brooches, beads or whatever you can come up with.

Here are some ideas:

Travel journal: Use a map as the paper for the journal. Add 3D objects during your trip.

Wedding planner: Use a bigger plastic container and add any ribbons, beads etc. that you find during your planning.

Baby shower: Use an ultrasound image and add cute buttons, beads etc.

Step 10: Put It All Together

Glue your picture on the cardboard you cut out earlier.

I decided on a pretty pair of birds sitting on their nest. I added some pearly beads, a gold bead and some heart confetti. When you've filled the window secure it with the anchors, close the front of the journal and admire your work!

Hope you enjoyed my tutorial. If you did, please consider me for the "paper craft contest".

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