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DIY Personal Journal from a Composition Notebook

DIY Personal Journal from a Composition Notebook

Do you remember the composition notebooks (know more) you used in school? They used to have a black and white cover with neatly lined pages. As a matter of fact, the composition notebook cover looked like marbles. Well, you can now alter these marble-covered notebooks into a DIY personal journal. The process of making a DIY notebook journal into a composition notebook.

You can transform your composition notebook into something people will compliment. The steps in this article will guide you.

Materials You Will Need

The materials listed here may not be the only options for making your DIY notebook journal. You can switch some of them depending on the materials that are readily available for you. It will also be super cool to use colors that reflect your personality.

The materials needed for making a DIY personal journal are:

  • A composition notebook
  • A craft knife
  • A cutting mat or cutting board
  • A pair of scissors
  • Colored duct tape
  • Flat paintbrush
  • Mod Podge
  • Printer paper
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Sponge brush
DIY Personal Journal from a Composition Notebook

Steps to Make a Journal from a Composition Notebook 

Step 1:

  • First, you have to use an adhesive like Mod Podge or any glue you like to cover the composition notebook cover. Do this step quickly so that the adhesive does not get dry before you move on to the next step.
  • Pay close attention to the edges of your composition notebook to make sure glue does not touch the pages. To prevent this from happening, hold the notebook’s cover away from the other pages. Then use the glue to coat all the edges.
  • Afterward, use a sponge brush to smooth everything out.
  • If you chose a lightweight decorative paper or one that has a light color, get a separate white paper. This white layer will help to hide the black and white marble pattern of the notebook. You can skip the next step if your decorative paper is thick enough or has a color that can hide the marble pattern.

Step 2:

  • Place a sheet of printer paper on the wet glue at the front of your composition notebook cover. To apply the white printer paper, begin at the spine then smooth it outward. Pay attention to the edges and avoid having air bubbles after application. Ensure that you adhere to every inch of the printer paper in a firm manner to avoid some parts coming off later.
  • Repeat this process on the back cover.
  • Leave everything to dry completely for 2 hours or more before you move on to the next step.

Step 3:

  • Use a craft knife to trim the area around the notebook’s front cover. You can trim as close to the cover as possible. This will help to take off excess paper and give you a neater edge.
  • Repeat the trimming on the back cover. The result, after trimming the front and back covers, should be neatly trimmed edges.
DIY Personal Journal from a Composition Notebook

Step 4:

  • Apply an even, thin layer of your Mod Podge or any glue you chose earlier over the white layer of printer paper. You will have to work fast so that the glue does not dry up before you finish applying it.
  • Do not forget to use your sponge brush to smooth the glue over the paper layer.

Step 5:

This next step is the best part. You may have to trim your paper down to size if you choose to use gift wrap. A Fiskars paper trimmer will give you a nice, even cut. You can use any pattern or color you want for the gift wrap.

  • Place your decorative sheet of paper on your glue that is still even, thin, and wet. Make sure your glue is still wet so that your paper can adhere firmly. 
  • Start applying your decorative sheet of paper from the spine, then work your way outward.
  • Repeat this process for the back cover of your notebook.
  • When you are through with both sides of your notebook, leave it for 2 hours to dry.
  • If, while the notebook is drying, you notice that it is warping, place another heavy book on it. This will help to remove the warping and set it right.

Step 6:

  • After the entire notebook has dried, take your craft knife and trim off excess paper around the edges. Ensure you do this so you have a nice and neat notebook.
DIY Personal Journal from a Composition Notebook

Step 7:

This step is optional.

  • Use another thin layer of Mod Podge or any other glue you are using to coat the entire notebook. Be sure to pay rapt attention to all the edges because that is the part that is more likely to lift first. Coating the notebook again increases its durability especially if you are usually rough.

Step 8:

Now that you have your notebook covered, the next step is to work on the spine. You most likely spilled some glue all over your notebook’s spine while working on the front and back. It is important that you have a neat spine.

  • Get any color of duct tape that will match your decorative paper. You may need to use more than one strip of colored duct tape on an entire notebook spine.
  • Make sure there are no air bubbles and smooth out anyone you find.
  • Use a pair of scissors to trim the edges at both the top and bottom of the notebook.


That’s it! You now have a beautiful DIY personal journal. You can use these new journals for other purposes apart from journaling. Your DIY notebook journal can serve as your notepad, planning book, or doodling book. They can also serve as lovely gift items to friends, colleagues, or family members. Also, try swapping the materials used here. The results may be as fantastic as this one is.

There are so many creative ways you can transform your composition notebook cover. This DIY personal journal project can breathe life into your boring composition notebook. You will also save some money you would have used to go and buy a new journal. Making your DIY notebook journal is a fun and inspiring project. If you have any demand for custom notebooks, welcome to inquire us at Zigpac.


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