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Customizing a Journal

Made from ordinary composition books, these personalized journals make great kids' crafts and thoughtful gifts -- especially when their covers are designed to inspire their contents.

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


A color photocopy of a flower-shrub glossary graces Martha's gardening journal, but just about any type of sturdy, decorative paper, including maps and wallpaper, can be used. You might create a children's travel diary, a book of baby's firsts, or a baseball-statistics book for your favorite sports enthusiast. As always, make sure that children use a craft knife only under adult supervision.


  • Ruler

  • Blank composition book

  • Scissors

  • Patterned paper

  • Glue stick

  • Bone folder

  • Craft knife

  • 2-inch-wide self-adhesive linen tape


  1. With a ruler, measure the front cover of a blank composition book. Adding 1/2 inch to all sides, measure and cut two pieces of decorative paper to size.

  2. Apply a thin layer of glue to the front cover of the composition book including the spine. Lay a piece of decorative paper patterned side down on a work surface, and carefully center the book's glued cover on the paper. Turn the book over, and use a bone folder to smooth out any wrinkles; let dry. Carefully trim excess paper using a craft knife. Repeat process with book's back cover.

  3. Cut a piece of adhesive linen tape slightly longer than the book's spine. Remove the tape backing, and carefully center the tape along the spine. Adhere the tape to the spine; use a bone folder to smooth out any wrinkles. Carefully trim excess tape using craft knife.

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