How To Make A Journal From A Composition Book

How to Make a Journal from a Composition Book


Hi there! It’s Ali from Home Crafts by Ali, here to share with you how you can take a plain composition book and make it into a cute journal. Follow this easy tutorial to make a personalized journal that is great for your use or as a gift!

Grab your supplies, get crafting, and in 30 minutes or less you will have a journal ready for you to use.

Supplies Needed

Composition Book
Scrapbook papers
Mod Podge
Foam Brush
Embellishments ~ stickers, ribbon, washi tape
Paper Trimmer
Craft Mat

Supplies to make a journal


Note: To adhere the paper to the notebook, I use a light layer of Mod Podge. I have tried using glue sticks and spray adhesive too. When using glue sticks the paper peeled off within about two weeks. When using the spray adhesive, you have to quickly position the paper with no mistakes and the paper peels off after 2-3 months. When using Mod Podge, I have had no trouble with paper peeling off the notebook even after 3 years of use.

InstructionsTutorial photos how to make a journal from a composition book

  1. Trace your notebook on the back side of your paper. Use your paper trimmer to trim to the size you want. Repeat with the paper for the back side of your journal.
  2. Spread out your craft mat to protect your work surface. I use a Mode Podge Silicone Craft Mat. You can see my full review of the mat here.
  3. Place your paper on the mat, with the blank side facing toward you. Use your foam brush to spread a thin layer across the paper. If you make your layer too thick, it will soak into the cover of the composition book and warp the cover.
  4. Carefully line up your paper with the edges of your notebook. Start at one side and slowly smooth the paper onto the cover. Do this slowly so you make sure there aren’t any air bubbles.
  5. I like to cut a piece of plain cardstock and use Mod Podge it to the inside cover of the notebook. It covers up the math tables and writing that the composition book has.

You will need to let the glue dry for about 15 minutes or so before decorating your journal.

decorate your journal

You can use ribbon, stickers, die cuts, washi tape, different papers, and stamps to decorate your notebooks. For this journal I decided to keep it kind of plain and just use a border sticker along the front edge of my paper and an elephant sticker on the front cover. The nice part about this is you can use as much or as little as you would like. You can see how I made different ones here and here.

That’s it! You now have a cute decorated journal you can use to write down your thoughts, keep track of lists, sketch, or take notes during class. These are easy and fun to make. You could make these for a girls’ night, a kids birthday party, at a youth activity or as a gift. These are great to give as birthday gifts, add to a teacher appreciation basket, summer camp care packages, and back-to-school kits for kids.

Finished Journal

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and have fun making journals of your own. Pick your pretty papers, your fun embellishments and have fun!

I’ll see you again next month, until then….

Signature for Happy Crafting

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Ali grew up in lush, green Western Washington and now lives among the mountains in Utah. She has two daughters that keep her busy, but while they are at school she takes the time to get out her craft supplies and create new projects. She enjoys DIY projects that are thrifty and loves making a new wreath for each season or holiday. She loves being creative, whether it's in her craft room, the kitchen, or behind her camera. On her blog, Home Crafts by Ali, she likes to share her sewing, painting, recipes, decor projects, and landscape photography.

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  1. Thanks for the tips! That makes sense why my paper covered mini composition notebooks had the paper come off of them. I use a glue stick! I will use Mod Podge next time. Great idea and so cute!

  2. That’s a great transformation! It made a plain book very pretty! I need to use Mod Podge more, we always grab he glue sticks.