This craft was created by my youngest teen daughter, who combined several journal book tutorials to create her own DIY Journal Book for Summer.

DIY Journal Book for Summer Memories

Since my daughter loves to doodle and draw, keeping a journal is the perfect way for her to express her creativity and keep a record of her summer activities. And for those going on vacation, use it as a way to journal all the day’s adventures while winding down in your hotel room.

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DIY Journal Book for Summer


DIY Journal Book for Summer Supplies
Not all supplies shown
  • cardboard box – use a sturdy cracker or cereal box.
  • 2 sheets of self-adhesive decorative sheets (Choose sheets that are darker, as light colors will show any images printed on the box)
  • scissors
  • paper cutter
  • pencil/pen
  • ruler
  • paper – plain white and decorative
  • washi tape
  • twine – hemp rope works well (do not use baker’s twine)
  • clips

How to:

Before we get started, don’t be afraid at all the steps. It does take some time and it it’s your first time making a journal, it can get a bit frustrating. Just stick with it and the results will be awesome!

Creating the Cardboard Cover

DIY Journal Book for Summer cardboard box cut open

  • Open the bottom of the box and cut down the side to create a flat piece for the cover of the journal.

DIY Journal Book for Summer cover

  • Take an 8.5″ x 11″ paper and fold it in half to create an 8.5″ x 5.5″ sheet.
  • Place the 8.5″ x 5.5″ sheet of paper on the crease of the spine, making sure to center it within the top of bottom crease of the cardboard box.

Measuring the DIY Journal Book Cover

  • Using the paper as a guide, mark the top and bottom of the page. Do not leave any extra space along the top/bottom edges.
  • Next, take a ruler and draw a line 1/4″ away from the side edge of the paper.
  • Repeat the above steps for the opposite side of the journal book cover.

DIY Journal Book Covered marked and measured

Cut DIY Journal for Summer Memories bookcover

  • Use a ruler and pen/pencil to connect the book cover top/bottom edges through the spine.
  • Cut along the drawn lines to create the journal cover base.

Applying Sticker Paper

Cut sticker paper

  • Place the journal cover base onto the back of the stick paper sheet and mark lines 3/4″ to 1″ all around the cover edge.
  • Cut along the marks. Remove the sticker sheet backing, leaving the sticker side facing up.

Putting on the sticker paper to the journal book

  • Take the journal cover base and place the spine onto the sticker paper. Then, carefully place one side of the cover down and press/smooth down. Repeat this with the other side of the cover.

Applying sticker paper to cover

  • Cut off the corners of the sticker paper into slight angles.
  • Fold sticker paper onto the inside of the journal cover.

Inside cover of the diy journal book for summer memories cover

  • Measure and cut another sticker paper sheet to fit inside the cover. Mine measured about 8.25″ x 13.5″.
  • Make a corner mark on the inside of the cover where the inside cover sticker paper will start. Remove the sticker paper backing and place the inside cover sticker paper down, using the markings as a guide.

DIY Journal Book Page Bindings

DIY Journal Book for Summer Memories spine binding

  • Clip the twine to the top edge of the journal spine, leaving at least 12″ of extra length at the end.
  • Start to wrap the twine around the entire spine until the spine is completely covered. Do not let the twine overlap onto each other, but keep the twine neatly stacked next to each other.
  • When you reach the other edge of the spine, clip the twine at the bottom edge of it. Do not cut the twine as you may not need to use all of it.

DIY Journal Book Pages

Cutting paper

  • To make the pages, stack together 3 – 8.5″ x 11″ printer paper and fold in half to make 8.5″ x 5.5″ sheets of paper. The width of the spine will dictate how many stacks of folded paper you will need. For a box of Wheat Thins, I folded 24 sets of three sheets + additional scrapbook paper between them (up to 2 more scrapbook papers). ⇓
  • To add whimsy and color, I also folded and randomly cut different sized patterned scrapbook paper to fit with the 8.5″ x 5.5″ sheets of paper pages. These can be used on the outside of the white paper, on the inside, or stacked between. It is up to you how you want to use these with the folded white pages.

Paper pages for DIY Journal Book

  • Take a stack of folded pages and insert it under the first string. It may be necessary to un-clip the first string. Just re-clip it when the pages are fed through.
  • Repeat this step with each spine string until there are enough bundled pages to fill the spine of the journal.

Note: It will become harder to push pages through as more are added.

Finish Journal Book Binding

Closeup of journal pages

  • If there is too much wrapped string around the spine, unwind those and re-clip.
  • Check the wrapped string on each page bundle to make sure it is snug. If it isn’t, readjust the string to make them snug.

Tie binding string

  • To finish the binding, bring the two ends of the binding string together and tie a knot.

binding tied

  • Loop the ends of the string under all the bindings and tie into a bow. Cut excess string ends off.

Creating Page Pockets

DIY Journal Book pockets

  • Optional – to create pockets, use washi tape to seal the edges of the scrapbook papers. Make as many pockets as you like or leave the pages ‘as-is’.

DIY Journal Book for Summer Memories

Now, grab some pens and start enjoying your DIY Journal Book for Summer and fill it with all your summer memories!

For more summer ideas, head over to the Summer Time Fun Link Party for summer recipes, crafts, DIY projects, travel tips, and all things summer.

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  1. This is amazing! This is also a great tutorial and I’m already wondering if I can talk one of my boys into making one with me. Pinned.

  2. Thank you so much for all the steps and detailed photos. I’ve wanted to make something like this for a while, but couldn’t quite figure out how to get it going.

  3. This is awesome & I love the possibilities of all the paper, colors & design. My son loves to doodle & draw and I am always trying to get him to keep it in a book. This would be fun to make him. I want one too!