DIY Art Journal

Hi! Nikki here, and today I’m going to be decorating the cover of our very own DIY Art Journal. Let’s DIY and Decorate an art journal! I go through each step, with pictures, and there isn’t any measuring! Woo! Anyway, let’s get to the good part, right? After I made my first Art Journal prototype […]
July 2, 2022

Hi! Nikki here, and today I’m going to be decorating the cover of our very own DIY Art Journal. Let’s DIY and Decorate an art journal!in the foreground is a glass bottle with red gems. In the background there is a picture of a fox wearing a crown

I go through each step, with pictures, and there isn’t any measuring! Woo!

Anyway, let’s get to the good part, right? After I made my first Art Journal prototype I invited my mom over to pick out her own old and damaged book so that she and I could make and decorate a pair of books together! The pictures I will be using are a mixture of my prototype book and also the decorating of a second book cover with my mom, as well as photos of her own decorated book cover.

It’s time for the DIY part of ” DIY Art Journal! ”

List of Supplies for Your DIY Art Journal:
  • Old Hardback Book
  • Papers (for the inside pages)
    • Old dictionary pages (try using a wash of the pages for colorful effects!)
    • Coloring pages
    • Old planner pages
    • Lined paper
    • Sketch paper
    • Just about any paper you can think of! Try out tea staining or splash some paint on some pages!
  • Box Cutter (Use with caution)
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Glitter Glue
  • Anything you may want to decorate the cover of your journal
  • Dew Drops of your choice ( Shop The Robins Nest Dew Drops )
  • Paper tape
  • Stapler w/staples (Use with caution)
  • E600 glue (Use with caution)
  • Sponges
  • Paper Towels
  • Cup with water
  • Paint pallet
  • Pencil


Making the DIY Art Journal
Step 1:
First, cut the pages off of the spine of book with box cutter. [USE CAUTION]
A hand carefully cutting the pages out of the spine of a book with a box cutter.
Step 2:
Figure out the general size of
the pages of the book. Carefully take some of the pages apart. If you can keep the middle part attached, awesome! If not you can tape two pages together as shown.
However, I couldn’t get my pages to stay attached in the center with this book, so I just used paper tape and taped the center back together. Be sure not to overlap your pages and make them fit as closely as possible. Use this as a template for all of your other pages IF you want them all to be the same size. You can even tape some of your smaller pages like this to fit better in your own book.
Pages DO NOT need to be the same size. They can also stick out of the book.

More old planner pages, stacked on top of each other. Book pages stacked on top of each other.

Step 3:
Thirdly, let’s gather your pages! How many pages will you have? You can use whatever paper you want! Have fun with it! Here, I’ve gathered some old coloring book pages from 1987 (I found a signed coloring page!) and a stack of papers from an old planner. Also some book pages and pages torn from an old dictionary.
Step 4 and 5:
Separate your papers into more than one stack. Additionally, make sure your papers are in the positions you want them to be in permanently. I used 4 stacks for my book, but your book may be different depending on how thick your spine is. Fold the pages carefully and put them on top of each other.

Flip to the center page of each packet of pages. Use a stapler to staple the center so that all the pages are now connected. I use at least 3 staples (in the top, middle, and bottom.)



Step 6:
Use the E600 glue (WITH CAUTION) andSomeone spreading e600 glue onto the inside spine of a book cover.
spread a generous amount on the spine of the book.


Step 7 and 8:

Make sure each packet of paper is stacked up as neatly as you can make them. Lay them into the spine. The papers should fit snuggly. Press into glue. Use a pair of clamps to hold the book tightly, or do what I did and stack a bunch of heavy things on top for a full 24 hours!


If you want to trim any pages, now is the time to go on ahead and do it!

Congratulations!!! You just made Yourself a little book to put whatever you want in! I hope you all love your art journal. Now, and more importantly, it’s time to decorate!!

Decorating The DIY Art Journal
Step 1:

If you want to fully cover your book in paint, you can give it a white base so the paint will be nice and vivid.

Someone painting a book cover with white paint.

Step 2:

Next, paint it your way! I made a Fox and my mom cut a Dollar Tree hair roller in half and used that to make a pretty texture all over her book with Pink, Kings Gold, and White Acrylic paint. They also used Gold Glitter Glue from the Dollar Tree to make her skin and title look sparkly!A book that's been painted pink with white an yellow splotches. The spine is also glittery.Someone holding up a round pink sponge. A painted book cover in the background.

Someone sketching a cartoon fox face onto the painted cover of a bookSomeone blocking in the face of a cartoon fox with relish-orange paint onto a white book cover.A small pallet of warm-toned paint sitting beside the unfinished painting of a cartoon fox

Step 3:

Lastly, add the Bling! We glued down our Dew Drops!

The Robins Nest recommends using clear glue for the best results. I am following that up with placing a bit of glue on a piece of paper and using something small like a toothpick to dab it onto the Dew Drop so you don’t have a mess. I used the tip of a sharpened pencil. My glue of choice was E600 glue, but there are plenty of other good glues to use out there! I added Dew Drops to my Fox’s crown and the crown on the back of my DIY Art Journal, while my mom added a little bling along the front edge of the spine. I think they look gorgeous!

two class jars. One has red gems inside and the other has black and white gems inside. There is a book cover partially in the foreground with a fox wearing a crown painted on it.A craft table with scissors, pencil, paints, paper all on it. In the foreground is a pencil, with a little glue on the tip of it. It is about to dab the glue onto the back of a small Dew Drop gem that someone is holding g gently between their fingers.A book cover splayed out. The back and front has been painted. There is a fox with a crown on the front and a crown on the back.a pink book with a glittery spine. There are different colored gems glue along the front edge of the spine.

And that’s pretty much it! The Dew Drops really made our books have a little bit of extra Pop! and I loved it. I hope I get to see other’s beautiful new DIY Art Journals! I hope you enjoyed this DIY Art Journal.

If you enjoy reading about my misadventures in the craft world, you can check out my personal blog.






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  1. Teresa Cabler

    What cute lovely project. I think I may do this with my kids at home. Looks like it is fun to paint whatever you want on the books. Looks easy enough to let my students try to make one theirselves.

  2. Brian

    Can’t wait to give this a try!!!


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