In my experience, having a beautiful and unique journal adds to the bliss of writing and expressing experience. And to add more of my personality to my journals, I prefer to make the journal with my own hands. Here is how to make homemade journals according to your personality.
Journaling is… a lot of things! It’s fun, relaxing, and a way to express yourself in a way you don’t always get to do. It is cultured, engages the mind, and requires meditation and deep thoughts. It is only fitting to make the journal as much you as possible since everything that gets written on it is all you.
How to Make Homemade Journals According to Your Personality
There are tons of guides on how to make homemade journals. And while some of the guides are very easy to follow and some of the homemade journals are easy to create, they are not personalized.
Choosing the Right Materials
The first step in making a homemade journal is choosing the right materials for the following:
- Binder (what holds the pages and cover of the journal together)
Because we are talking about how to make personalized journals, it is entirely up to you what materials you will use. Just to help you, here are my recommended materials for each of those journal parts:
For the cover, I like using leather. I know, leather is quite expensive. But I’d rather spend more on something I will use all the time. High-quality leather lasts, especially the highest grain leather – pure or real leather. Genuine or bonded leather might work, but they are not as durable as pure leather. Plus, pure leather becomes more beautiful as time passes by; it attains a vintage look.
You can use a personalized leather piece – one that has text embossed on it. It can even have a pen holder.
But if leather is not you, you may want to use faux leather, thick paper, oil cloth, or any other sturdy material suitable for a journal.
For the pages, I prefer to use plain copy paper. The paper should be at least 70 gsm – firm enough to feel great but not too firm that it is hard to fold for the journal pages.
Again, the material you use for the pages is entirely up to you. You may prefer paper with dotted lines, regular lines, or paper with a tint. Or if you’re this kind of person, you might prefer using recycled paper for the pages of your journal.
Twine is my preferred binding material. But you can use leather cording, a bookbinding thread, or a string of embroidery floss. You can even use a spring to hold your journal together – it will look something like a school notebook. But using a spring means making more holes on the pieces of paper and the cover material.
I strongly discourage using glue or just any adhesive to hold your journal together – it’s unbecoming.
Assembling the Materials
Whatever your chosen materials are, the best tool you can use to assemble them together is an awl. An awl is a pointed tool used to puncture holes, especially in leather. But even if you are not using leather for your journal cover, the awl still works wonderfully as a bookbinding tool. But if an awl is somehow inaccessible to you, you can use a hole punching tool.
Here’s how you use an awl to assemble your journal materials.
Stack up a few pages of the paper. You can either build your journal without cutting the copy paper in half – you would have to sew them through their centers. Or you can cut the pieces of paper in half and sew them near one edge.
But I strongly suggest not cutting them. Sewing them through their centers allows you to open the pages of the journal flat, instead of having a lump around the middle.
Measure where you want to puncture the holes. The measurement must be the same in all the pieces of paper and the cover. If you are using a twine, leather cord, or embroidery cord, I suggest measuring out at least three holes. One hole should be dead center, the other two at least two inches from both the outer edges of the journal.
The bigger the journal is, the more holes you might have to make. But if you fold a regular A4 copy paper in half horizontally, it should be around 5 ½ inches by 8 inches. You will make the holes along the folded line, which is around 8 inches long.
If you are using a spring as your binding material, make sure the measurements for the holes match the spring.
Use the awl to puncture the holes on the pieces of paper. Make sure that the stack of paper is not too thick for you to puncture through. If the stack of paper is too thick, it will be hard for you to get the awl through and you might make the holes messy. Keep the punctures clean; poke holes through thin stacks of paper at a time.
After poking the holes through the pages of your journal, poke the holes through the cover. If you are using leather, it will be quite hard; leather is sturdy. Be careful so you will not damage your covering material.
Sew the pages and the cover together. If you have a stitching awl, it will make the sewing process so much easier. If you don’t, you will have to manually sew the parts of the journal together.
Make sure that your sewing is tight enough to firmly hold the journal materials together. If it is loose, the pages will move around as you are writing. But if it’s too tight, it can tear through the pages and damage them.
You’re done! There are a lot of avenues to go about how to make homemade journals, especially if you want the journal personalized. This guide will help you follow a pattern that will result in a journal that is all you. Choose the materials you want, then assemble them together using a puncturing tool and a binding material. The assembling process differs from case to case, depending on the type of materials used. But my suggestions regarding using twine and an awl is the easiest way, in my opinion.