All Women's Talk

53 Ideas for DIY Journals Diaries Smash Books and All the Extras ...

By Neecey

I'm lazy and I buy mine off the shelf but if you are inspired by crafting as well as journaling, there are plenty of ideas for DIY journals. Big or small, DIY journals are perfect for you or for gifts. If you're into smash books (a recent trend I hadn't heard of) or planners, the ideas for DIY journals are transferable to those too. Make a journal or smash book you'll treasure for many years.

Table of contents:

  1. One line per day
  2. Travel album/journal
  3. Vintage envelopes journal
  4. Rolodex scrapbook
  5. Diy envelope book
  6. 10 minute leather hand-bound journal
  7. Cute idea
  8. Ribbon & button bookmarks
  9. Homemade travel journal
  10. Wreck this journal
  11. Felt journal
  12. Fabric covered journal books
  13. Watchband notebook
  14. Fabric journal
  15. Collage technique
  16. Journal pen holder
  17. Journal pen holder
  18. Journal pen holder
  19. Make a journal out of used grocery bags
  20. Dress up a plain journal
  21. Memory jar
  22. Diy book
  23. Hand woven ribbon covered journal
  24. Transparent book
  25. Diy book binding
  26. Diy journal tabs
  27. Quotes on paint tabs
  28. Burlap journal
  29. Perfect for teens
  30. Book binding tutorial
  31. Woven map travel journal
  32. Diy journal cover
  33. Ticket page
  34. Diy journal
  35. Mini notebook from a cereal box
  36. Write on anything, and then bind it into a book
  37. Notebook covered with pieces of photos
  38. Up cycled pants
  39. Case for a smash book
  40. Spiral notebook transformation
  41. Notebook dangles
  42. Diy ombre journals
  43. Colored pencil holder for the art journal
  44. Simple keepsake
  45. Ribbon-embellished notebooks
  46. Sketchbook cover for the crafty artist
  47. Washi tape edges
  48. Recycle old books
  49. Game board journal
  50. Embroidered name journal
  51. Travel album made from a cardboard box!
  52. Transfer any print or photocopy into the pages of your journal
  53. Cover for book using a bigger bound book

1 One Line per Day

There's no reason why DIY journals have to be in book format. I love the idea of just writing one line every day for a few years (actually a lot of years 'cos there's the reverse of each card too).

2 Travel Album/Journal

Make a travel journal for each trip and decorate it according to your destination.

3 Vintage Envelopes Journal

To make this you'll need to find a tutorial on how to "bind" - there are tons!

4 Rolodex Scrapbook

What a clever idea.

5 DIY Envelope Book

To store your little treasures. I would include the envelope pages with normal writing pages.

6 10 Minute Leather Hand-bound Journal

You can spend lots of dollars on store bought leather journals. Maybe make your own?

7 Cute Idea

Go to town!

8 Ribbon & Button Bookmarks

You can use these on your novels and textbooks too.

9 Homemade Travel Journal

Old maps are always great for travel journals.

10 Wreck This Journal

Wreck it how you like!

11 Felt Journal

Felt covers will keep your journal in tip-top condition.

12 Fabric Covered Journal Books

Such an easy yet inexpensive idea for great gifts.

13 Watchband Notebook

Keep your secrets safe.

14 Fabric Journal


Make this from fabrics of clothes that have meant something to you.

15 Collage Technique

Am loving this. Use transparent tape to pick up words.

16 Journal Pen Holder

You know how you can never find your pen? Not now!

17 Journal Pen Holder

Or here's another version.

18 Journal Pen Holder

And here's another. What a great way to recycle some old jeans.

19 Make a Journal out of Used Grocery Bags

Ok, my green and eco-conscious friends, this one is for you. Tutorials available online.

20 Dress up a Plain Journal

Buttons and ribbons don't need a lot of skill or imagination but are very effective.

21 Memory Jar

Fill the jar with thoughts on all the good things that happen through the year. Next time you're felling down or need a smile - open the jar and take out a thought.

22 DIY Book

This is called Japanese binding and you can find lots of tutorials for it.

23 Hand Woven Ribbon Covered Journal

Source: Tridiagonal

What a lovely idea.

24 Transparent Book

This is such a neat idea and a great way to keep your precious treasures safe. It's made from pieces of vinyl sewn together.

25 DIY Book Binding

Follow the link to the tutorial by Elvie Studio.

26 DIY Journal Tabs

Get your journal organized.

27 Quotes on Paint Tabs

Now that's clever. Cut them up and stick them in your journal.

28 Burlap Journal

Even plain can become beautiful.

29 Perfect for Teens

Another way to recycle old jeans.

30 Book Binding Tutorial

Source: HOW TO make a Leather ...

Just to give you a flavor of what to expect with a binding tutorial.

31 Woven Map Travel Journal

Source: How-To: Woven Map Notebook - ...

This is a different way to repurpose old maps for travel albums.

32 DIY Journal Cover

Use strips of fabric or even ribbons.

33 Ticket Page

Now that's how to create a ticket page for your smash book.

34 DIY Journal

Source: DIY Libreta Anthropologie | el ...

Want to create something that looks like you bought it from Anthropologie?

35 Mini Notebook from a Cereal Box

Don't throw your old cereal boxes in the recycling.

36 Write on Anything, and then Bind It into a Book

It will be such fun reading back over old journals in future years.

37 Notebook Covered with Pieces of Photos

This is an excellent way to use those photos that “go wrong" - no heads, over exposure, etc...

38 Up Cycled Pants

It doesn't have to be jeans as seen previously. Other pants will do just as well.

39 Case for a Smash Book

Rather than decorate your smash book, journal or diary, get on the sewing machine and run up a nifty cover.

40 Spiral Notebook Transformation

Something cheap becomes a thing of beauty.

41 Notebook Dangles

The equivalent of phone charms (they died a hasty death didn't they?)

42 DIY Ombre Journals

Source: DIY Ombre Journals - Damask ...

Get with the ombre trend.

43 Colored Pencil Holder for the Art Journal

Source: crafts

Just what you need if you're an artist on the go.

44 Simple Keepsake

You can bind together greetings cards, invitations, programs, notes and all sorts of paraphernalia from special events.

45 Ribbon-Embellished Notebooks

Tie a ribbon or two, or three, or four...

46 Sketchbook Cover for the Crafty Artist

Source: Le lapin dans la lune ...

Just follow the steps/ And it doesn't just have to be for sketchbooks.

47 Washi Tape Edges

Organize your journal sections with Washi tape.

48 Recycle Old Books

Source: VolumeVII

I like the idea of recycling old books. Stick your mementoes to the old pages and affix paper sheets in for writing on. Remove sections of the old pages with a craft knife to make room. Embellish the cover too.

49 Game Board Journal

Source: Monopoly Game Board Journal with ...

Keep your scores in it or use it as a general journal.

50 Embroidered Name Journal

Nice straight forward DIY journal project.

51 Travel Album Made from a Cardboard Box!

Oh the possibilities!

52 Transfer Any Print or Photocopy into the Pages of Your Journal


Cute idea.

53 Cover for Book Using a Bigger Bound Book

Source: Artsy Lady Book

Put old board game boards to good use.

The only limit to DIY journals is your imagination – oh, and maybe your crafting skills. I might just be inspired to buy a plain journal next time and DIY it. Do you buy or make your journals?

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