Handmade Journal

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  • Paper
  • 1 sheet of cover stock for a cover
  • Bone folder
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler or straight edge
  • Awl
  • Pencil
  • Large needle
  • Thread: wax thread, twine, embroidery floss, etc. Use what is best for your aesthetic and your needs, but it should be strong enough to withstand the wear-and-tear of everyday use.


  1. Decide how big you want your journal to be and collect your papers (a good start is 8-1/2- x 11-inch) computer paper or notebook paper, since it is already cut to size). Finished journal size will be the size of your paper folded in half.
    1. TIP: A good travel journal could hold about 20 to 30 pages, or 10-15 pieces of paper folded in half. Examine your needs and make a journal to suit!
  2. Fold paper in half. For a clean fold on all paper, only fold a few pages at a time. Match outer edges together and press fold from center to top and bottom for a perfect fold. Crease with a bone folder to for a crisp edge.
  3. You will need to punch three evenly-spaced holes down folded center of papers to stitch them together.
    1. Separate papers into sections of 3 to 4 pages each, depending on the thickness of your paper.
    2. Create a punching guide with a piece of cardstock that is cut the same length of your booklet by about 3 inches in width. Fold in half lengthwise, and mark 3 small horizontal lines on your guide with a pencil: at center and 1 inch away from both top and bottom.
    3. Place guide paper into folded crease of one set of papers. Punch through all layers at marked holes with an awl. Repeat for all sections of folded paper.
  4. Create a cover for your booklet out of a contrast paper; our sample uses decorative scrapbooking cardstock. Cut cover paper to size about 1/8-inch beyond inside pages. Fold in half and use punching guide to punch stitching holes into folded edge as instructed in step 3.
  5. Prepare needle and thread and, working from inside to outside, insert your needle through the center hole, leaving about 1 inch of thread inside for tying off. Bring needle up and through top hole; then, take a long stitch down to bottom hole and push needle out. Bring needle back in at the center hole and tie ends of thread to secure. Trim if needed.

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