I first made a journal like this a few years back at a stamp party I went to. I thought it was such a cute idea! I've made many of these little journals! I think it is a great gift idea for anyone, and it is easy to do! I'm sure your kids could help (or even make their own) as well! I have made some for other people as a regular journal, a Grandma journal, or as a baby shower journal. I also made some for myself as fancier school notebooks! It is relatively inexpensive too, but looks so nice when its finished! And because you make it yourself, it is a gift that everyone will love!
What you need:
*At least 4 sheets (8-1/2 by 11-inch) colored or patterned paper, or make decorations on simple white paper using stamps or stickers. You can use scraps for extra decorations (i.e., for the label, border, etc.)
*Ribbon (I like to use ribbon either as an added decoration or as a bookmark. Mine was about 12 inches long)
*Craft glue stick
What to do:
Make measurements of the exact amount of paper you'll need. Place your notebook on the paper (long-ways) and line up the edge of the paper with the edge of the black binding of the notebook, then flip the notebook over making sure the paper stays lined up with it. With a pencil, trace on the paper along the outside of the notebook (be sure to trace the side of the paper that won't be seen on the outside of the notebook). Do this for all four sheets of paper, for each side of the notebook (front cover, inside front cover, inside back cover, and back cover). To make it as even as possible you will have to trace each paper, since the shape will vary some for each cover. Once you have your paper traced and cut out, begin attaching it to your notebook. Take your glue stick and spread glue all over the front cover, then attach your front cover paper to the front. If you are using ribbon as a bookmark, attach it to the inside of the back cover (using glue stick) before you attach the back cover paper. Glue only a couple of inches of ribbon to the inside back cover. It will be more secure once you attach the paper on top. Attach the remaining covers with your glue stick. If you don't like the look of the black binding on the notebook, you can cover it up by gluing some scrap paper over it, making an edge/border type thing. See mine above... I have dotted paper, but my border was striped paper to cover up the black binding. You won't be able to cover the entire thing since it curves, but it will look a little nicer at least. You can add a little "label" on the front. I did the generic "My Journal", but you can be more personal and call it "Jennifer's Journal", or "Grandma's Journal", "Travel Journal", whatever you want. It doesn't even have to be a journal... it could be a recipe keeper, memory book, school notebook... you decide! :) I like to put random stickers or stamps throughout the notebook in the corners of the pages as an extra decorative touch. If you're giving this as a gift, it is also nice to write a little something on the first page to the recipient. Enjoy making this crafty gift! :)