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!  Here’s what you’ll need to get started. (Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I will earn a small percentage on items you buy through this link.)


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)

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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.







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