Remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for with these color block gratitude DIY journals. These little notebooks are easy to make with colored paper and my free printable labels but are still cute enough for gifting.
It’s still technically summer but the kids are back in school. The days aren’t quite as long and the signs of fall are all around. I’m celebrating the change in seasons with a simple little DIY today and hopefully a new appreciation for all that I have.
We usually focus on what we have and what we are thankful for at Thanksgiving time at the end of the season, but what if we spent all of fall keeping track of our blessings and finding gratitude in our everyday lives? Sounds great, right? I think so, and I put together these simple little gratitude DIY journals to do just that.
I’ve never been a big fan of fall colors. Red, orange and brown all together just aren’t my thing. So, instead, I have done these notebooks in my versions of fall colors. Look, there’s a burgundy and an orange in there! I just pair those warmer fall colors with the cool colors I’m naturally drawn to. Feel free to pick whatever colors you like! You will just need three that you like together for each notebook.
Let’s do this!
Supplies needed to make your own color block DIY journals:
- Darice Blank Cover Journal.
- Matte Paper Mod Podge.
- Foam Brush.
- Colored Cardstock.
- Paper Trimmer.
- Printable Sticker Paper.
- Silhouette Cameo or 1.5″ Circle Punch.
- Elastic (I actually dyed mine, but you can use black or white or purchase colored as well).
- Sewing Machine.
- Fabric Adhesive.
- My Gratitude Journal Labels Download.
Start by selecting three colors for your notebook cover. Using your paper trimmer, cut your paper into the following sizes. Two 4.75″ x 4″ (light pink), two 4.75″ x 3″ (dark blue), and one 2″ x 7″ (orange).
Using the foam brush, apply a thin layer of the paper Mod Podge to the back of a 4.75″ x 4 ” piece of paper. Place the paper onto the bottom of the notebook. Make sure to carefully line the edges of the paper up with the outer edges of the notebook. Smooth the paper down with your fingers rubbing out any bubbles. If any of the edges are lifting, add more Mod Podge underneath and smooth it down.
Repeat the process for the top color. Now you are ready to cover the binding of your DIY journals! Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge on the binding, and lay the 2″ x 7″ paper onto the binding so it is centered.
If you have a brayer, it is great for smoothing out the paper and firmly adhering it to the book. Not required, but nice to have.
Step Three – Add Label.
I have designed three different labels that you can choose from to add to the front of your DIY journals. Count your blessings, #blessed, and a plain lined label that you can customize however you like. Start by printing the labels out on sticker paper (or, alternatively, you can print them on white cardstock and adhere the labels with Mod Podge). Once they are printed, you can cut the labels out with scissors, a Silhouette cameo, or a circle punch.
Step Four – Make Elastic Band (Optional).
I finished off my DIY journals with an elastic band that keeps the notebook closed and holds a pencil in place. This is an optional step, but it just takes a few minutes to make the elastic band and it makes the journal extra special, don’t you think?
Start by wrapping the elastic around your pencil, pinching it so it holds the pencil in place. Mark the elastic where you pinched, close to the pencil. Pull the pencil out and sew that loop of elastic in place with your sewing machine. Next, wrap the piece of elastic around the notebook so it fits snugly. Mark where to sew the elastic together and sew. Finally, you can cover up the stitching on the back of the elastic band by gluing a piece of ribbon over the hem.
I am going to start mine right away and write down at least one thing every day that I am grateful for. I am excited to see how it changes my days. I’m hoping it will help me feel more prepared for the holiday season. Have you ever kept a gratitude journal? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below.
Continue on your mission to show gratitude with this gratitude chalkboard calendar!
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Alexis Middleton is a lifelong crafter/DIYer and blogger at Persia Lou. She started crafting at a young age. As a girl, she spent summers with her grandmother crocheting baby doll afghans, making coasters out of plastic canvas and yarn, and canning apricot jam. Today, Alexis spends a lot of time dreaming up and working on projects for her family’s home. She loves mixing traditional crafting techniques with a more modern aesthetic.