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DIY Decorative Notebooks

DIY Decorative Notebooks


Use Up That Leftover Scrapbook Paper or Washi Tape!

I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that I love a pretty notebook.  Us writer types salivate when we see something lovely that contains words.

Over the years, I’ve thrown together dozens of these little notebooks. I love doing this for my personal journals because I can pick up an inexpensive notebook at the store and use some washi tape or craft paper to make it as pretty as the pricier journals on display.  I’ve even given them as gifts from time to time.

It’s also worked as a great idea for craft get-togethers with youth group girls on more than one occasion. It’s just an easy craft that someone of any skill level can pull off.  And if you have a lot of leftover craft paper or washi tape from other projects, this is a great way to use it up!

So without further ado, I’m passing along the idea to you, in case you need a little inspiration for a craft of your own!

You can see the image at the bottom of this post for detailed pics of the process. And here’s your list of supplies to grab before you get started:


blank notebooks (any size)

scrapbook paper or kraft paper (for cover)

washi tape or decorative scrapbook papers (for decorations)

glue stick


ribbon (optional)

sharpie (optional)

How-To (Pictures Below)

  1. Gather supplies.
  2. Glue paper to cover of notebook, carefully aligning the top and spiral-bound edge.
  3. Open notebook. Trim excess paper from edges of cover.
  4. Apply washi tape to cover, letting the edges overlap sides of notebook.  (Or you can also use decorative scrapbook papers. Cut to preferred widths and glue to cover.)
  5. Open notebook. Trim excess washi tape (or scrapbook papers) from edges.
  6. Optional:  Use a black Sharpie to fill in the edge of the notebook that is still exposed around the spirals.  (Some notebooks are already black along the edge and won’t require this.)
  7. Optional:  Cut ribbon into five 5” lengths.
  8. Optional: Tie ribbon around spirals and trim as necessary.

Comments (8)

  1. […] been in a washi tape mood lately, as evidenced by the Notebook tutorial I posted earlier this month.  Ever since I found some cute washi tape at Hobby Lobby awhile back, […]

  2. […] I still had lots of Washi tape left. So I just kept sticking it on things.  Like gift labels.  And these Notebooks.  And some pens.  And a few pencils for my […]

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    Loved this tutorial. It was so easy and quick to complete. I used scrapbook paper and other embellishments and it came out great. I plan on making the napkins for my daughter in law sometime soon. I’m glad I found your site, it’s very encouraging. Many blessings to you.

    Jan 13, 2019 Reply
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      Thanks Sharon! I’m glad you enjoyed this project. I hope your napkins turn out great too!

      Jan 14, 2019 Reply
  5. […] ribbon stash rewarded me with Valentines hues as well. And I still had kraft paper on hand from a notebook project I did a few months […]

  6. […] 16. Paper-Decorated Notebook/Journal […]

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    Thank you for this nice project, I’m a new Christian and was looking for supplies for Bible study, prayer prompt, and verse mapping, my “big” Study Bible is a Kindle one so I can’t make annotations by hand, although I can make notes etc. And my paper Bible is very thick but doesn’t have space to write in it at all.
    These “books” have just the right design look I want. 🙏🕊️🙋🏻‍♀️ Bless you

    Jun 27, 2021 Reply

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