NotebooksAny time I pop into a boutique store, I love admiring all the beautiful bound artisan journals that I always tend to see. Taking inspiration from this, of course we had to figure out how to make our own DIY version! Our talented designer Krista showed us this beautiful Japanese bookbinding technique using pretty embroidery floss. Use this technique to make your own handmade journal. I love projects that are both functional and stylish!    

To begin your handmade journal project, start by downloading the journal cover templates below. Because we wanted to use this project as a little something we could take with us on the go, we wanted to make them conveniently pocket-sized. The covers measure just over 4 inches wide and just under 6 inches high. There are two covers included in the PDF below, one with a light blue marbling and one with a rose pink marbling. We also added some trendy copper accents to these covers. The blue cover features a pretty copper frame with a blank space to write in your own title, and the pink cover reads “NOTES” in capitalized copper letters. Simply print these marble covers onto regular 8.5 x 11 white card stock and cut them out. There will be two cover pieces for each handmade journal, one for the front and one for the back. You can try resizing the covers if you are interested in making smaller, pint-sized notepads, but the design will become distorted if you make the size any larger. 

After your covers are ready, gather a stack of regular copy paper and cut it to fit the size of your journal. To bind our handmade journal we used a special tool called an awl that we picked up our local art supply store. Awls are often used for poking holes in leather, but are also great for bookbinding! Line all your pages up and use an awl to make holes along the edge of the journal’s spine. Our holes are about 1 inch apart. Next, choose your binding material. We used copper embroidery floss to match the copper accents, but you could also use twine, leather cording, or special bookbinding thread. Follow the step-by-step photo tutorial below to bind your pages together. This step is what truly makes this a handmade journal! 

Use this handmade journal to stick into your purse, to keep in your kitchen for grocery lists, or to give as small gifts or party favors! I could see these being perfect for bridal party favors, or as stocking stuffers on Christmas. One thing that is for sure is that whenever you use your pocket notebook, you will be reminded of your wonderful hard work! Enjoy 🙂 ~ Lia

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