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Maria Chatzi : DIY Collaged Journal Cover

Journal Art Project

DIY Collaged Journal Cover


By Maria Chatzi

Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate

Age: Teens & Adults


  • A cheap, blue, large composition notebook (8.3" wide and 11.4" long), 80 pages (40 sheets of paper)
  • red craft paper or a red paper bag
  • a light brown paper bag
  • 3 small (preferably flat) fabric flowers — color: white
  • 2 scanned book pages (only text without images)
  • A small scrap piece of green craft paper
  • 5 small buttons — colors: 1 green, 1 brown, 3 dark pink
  • Striped scrapbooking paper or striped gift wrapping paper — stripe colors: red, white, ochre
  • Magazine cutouts: bird, hand (palm), cup of chocolate (or coffee)
  • a thin little strip of dark brown craft paper
  • a blue and white label for notebooks
  • a brown organza ribbon
  • a needle with a large enough eye for the ribbon to pass through
  • scissors
  • glue
  • pencil and eraser
  • bookbinding awl

fig 1
fig 1


1To start with, open your composition notebook flat, where you can see the staples which hold the notebook pages together. Somewhere down the middle, poke 2 holes with your awl, as shown in fig 1 (to pass your ribbon through later on).

fig 2
fig 2
For steps 2, 3 and 4.

2Using your fingers, cut a strip from the light brown paper bag 8.66" long and 4.12" wide.

3Now take the hand which you’ve cut out from the magazine and glue it on the lower part of the light brown strip (the cover’s lower, right corner). With your pencil, design two flowers, one on the red paper and a smaller one on the striped paper and cut them out with your scissors. Glue them together, the smaller one on top of the bigger one. Add a green leaf, which you’ll cut out from your small scrap piece of green craft paper.

4To finish your layered flower, take one of the dark pink buttons and glue it onto one of the small fabric flowers. Then, glue this fabric flower on top of the other flowers you’ve just glued together. Decorate the hand palm with this multi-layered flower.

Wait for everything you’ve used glue on to dry.

fig 3
fig 3
For steps 5, 6 and 7.

5To continue, use your fingers again, to cut another strip of paper, a red one this time, which has to be half the width of the light brown one, which you’ve cut before, and of the same length. Glue it on the left side of your cover.

6Draw a woman’s head (in profile) on the prints you’ve made from the book pages (you can copy my design, if you like). Cut it out and glue it on the top left corner of the cover. Add the cup of chocolate (the magazine cut out) on the image.

7 On the left lower corner, glue another multi-layered flower you are going to make by drawing circles, which you’ll then cut out and glue onto each other. Make the larger circle from the light brown paper, the medium one from the striped paper and the small one from the green paper. Place the brown button on top of all, in the center. Make the stem and leaves from the book page prints.

Wait for everything you’ve used glue on to dry before you continue.

fig 4
fig 4
For steps 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.

8 Use the scissors to cut out an oval shape from the book page prints you’ve made. Glue it above the palm with the flower. Then glue the blue and white notebook label on this oval shape, as centered as possible.

9 After that, draw and cut out a pinwheel from the striped paper. Glue it on the top right corner of the cover. Place the small green button in its center and add the dark brown stick.

10 Glue the bird image which you’ve cut out from the magazine in the space on the left side of the pinwheel stick.

11 Take the two remaining small fabric flowers, glue the dark pink buttons in their center and glue them as shown in picture 4, to balance the design.

Wait for all the elements you’ve used glue on to dry, before you continue with the ribbon.

12 Pass one end of the ribbon through the needle hole. Then pass the needle through one of the hole’s you poked, from the outside of the notebook to the inside first, then continue from the inside to the outside of the other hole.

13 Tie the ribbon in a bow.

Wow! Your Diy Collaged Journal Cover is ready. You could either start keeping notes in your journal or give it as a gift to a friend.


  1. Do not use too many colors. Fewer colors make a more balanced design.
  2. Red and blue are bold colors — you need to be in a particular mood to pick them. If you prefer a palette that’s “softer” on the eye look around you. Carpets, fabrics, wall art, food containers, jewelry are some of the everyday items that teach us how to combine colors.
  3. If you want to fill all spaces left add some letters or words. •

© 2014 Maria Chatzi. All rights reserved.

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