Thursday, May 13, 2010

Handmade Journal Tutorial

Oh, my crafty friends.

Time has just flown by since Service Boot Camp ended in February.

I think it's time to pick up where we left off.

I've got something big up my sleeve...and as always, I will need YOUR help to pull it off.

My friend over at "I Make Stuff" is an Iraq War widow. Earlier this year, on the three-year-anniversary of her husband's death, she decided to start making journals to send to other women who have lost spouses in the war, to help them work through the grieving process.

She calls her cause the "Write It Out Project" and she currently needs help filling a request for 50 journals.

The journals are relatively inexpensive (the notebooks cost about one dollar) and as you will see in the tutorial below, they are very easy to make. This is a great first sewing project, so dust off that sewing machine you got for Christmas...and let's GO!

Also, I am in the process of putting together a HUGE giveaway as a Thank You to all of my readers who pledge to make at least one journal for the Write It Out Project and send it in by May 31st...Memorial Day.

So, what do you say recruits? Will you join me?

Now let me show you just how simple it is to make these awesome journals.


Handmade Journal Tutorial


Here's what you'll need:

One Composition Notebook
Two Coordinating Fabrics
Matching Ribbon & Button

Optional: Craft Paper & Glue
(Before beginning cover any undesirable tables on inside cover with craft paper.)

Cut two rectangles of fabric measuring 25 x 13.5 inches.

Pin together, right sides facing.

Sew all the way around, leaving a three-inch opening.

Turn right-sides out and press.

It will look something like this:

Topstitch all the way around.

Now, fold the top and bottom down one inch.

Press and pin.

Topstitch this down, staying as close to the edge as you can.

Lay the composition notebook on top and determine where the folds should go.

The front should fold over about two inches.
The back should fold over almost all the way to the spine.

Press, pin, and topstitch in place.

Time to sew on the button by hand!

Be careful not to sew through your newly created pocket.

Wrap the ribbon around your button like this.

The ribbon should be long enough to reach to the middle of the back of the notebook.
(I know, mine isn't quite there, but you get the idea.)

Heat seal the edges of the ribbon and pin in place.

Overlap the ribbons and carefully machine sew them to the fabric, making sure you do not sew through the pocket. First sew a box, and then a zigzag through the end of the ribbon to secure.


You're done.

It's fabulous, no?

Here I am, looking extremely satisfied with my pinkalicious journal.

You too can feel this same sense of accomplishment!

Gather your supplies and stay-tuned...

My next post will have the BIG GIVEAWAY DETAILS!

In the meantime, grab my Service Boot Camp button (the code is on my site) and encourage others to "enlist" in this great cause!


  1. great idea, I'll see if I can make some free time this busy month.

  2. I can't wait to get sewing!! What a great service project!!

  3. Those are absolutely wonderful!!

  4. Oh, if only I could sew! I love how those look though, I might have to look into figuring something like that out for myself.

    I love the focus of your blog too, I'm LDS and strive for the same thing. Love your blog!

  5. I would love to dive in to help .
    finishing out prom dresses these next couple of days then I will make some.

  6. Thinking about the one I'm going to make. Where do you get your fabrics from?

  7. Actually, I bought these fabrics at Joann's in State College back in February!

  8. See! You. Are. Awesome! I'm not crafty at all.

  9. I love that you are doing this! Your blog is so sweet, I subscribed so I could come back.

  10. I will be sewing at the very least, one, but probably more. I love to journal and will put a link on my blog.

  11. all set to make 4.