Altered Journal

Transform an everyday blank notebook into a custom, one of a kind altered scrapbook style journal

by Craftbits (Shellie Wilson)

Using your existing craft supplies. This project is suitable for all skill levels.

What you need

1 composition book
Scrapbooking papers
Scrapbooking embellishments
Sanding block
Brayer (optional)


I advise using STRONG adhesive as this is something that is going to be used thoroughly and you don’t want the edges lifting up. Either a decoupage glue or spray adhesive work extremely well!

Cut papers to approximate size of the journal, using your own design. Think of the covers like a scrapbook page, you can be as plain or elaborate as you like. I chose a composition book but any journal will work, there are so many different sizes and types to choose from. This also works well for the plain spiral bound school notebooks.

Using adhesive, adhere the trimmed papers to the journal. Spray adhesive works really well as it is super sticky (use in a well ventilated area). Spray onto the back of the papers and layer papers onto the journal. To get a really good smooth bond roll a brayer over the papers. This optional step will ensure there are no bumps, especially good if you’re using a wet adhesive (decoupage medium).

Remember to apply papers to the BACK of the journal as well as the front! We want the journal to look good on both sides!!!

Once the adhesive is dry, trim the edges of the papers using scissors. Next, using sandpaper or sanding block, gently sand the edges of the journal covers. This step removes any sharp edges and gives the journal a slight distressed look. Although this step is optional it does avoids paper cuts, and really gives the journal a nice soft finished edge. Plus should you want to ink the edges the ink takes to the sanded edges really well.

Using scrapbooking embellishments add decorative elements to your altered journal. Remember though that this journal IS going to be used and needs to be practical. So bear that in mind for lumpy or 3D embellishments. You want the journal to still lie flat, so that it doesn?t impede the purpose of writing in it

Remember you can also cover the inside of the covers with patterned paper too! Simply use the same steps.

Supplies used on journal shown:
Journal: composition book
Papers: Paper Loft
Tape: Heidi Swapp
Flower: Heidi Swapp
Metal Alpha: Making Memories
Rub-ons: Making Memories
Conch: Scrapworks

Designed By Di Hickman

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