DIY Journal Cover sew-a-long

Hello loves! Last week I was traveling with my family and this week I’m happy to kick things off with a really special project.

Awhile ago, Ginny from Darling Adventures contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to sew-a-long with her DIY Journal Cover tutorial. I watched her video and since it was–holy moly–so good I decided it was time I learned how to sew a custom journal cover and said YES!

Luckily for my son, the sew-a-long dates fell right around his birthday and he became the first recipient of a mommy-made journal cover in this family. If I’m being honest, he’s probably not the last.

This DIY journal cover makes the perfect handmade gift.

  • It’s appropriate for all skill levels.
  • It’s easily customizable.
  • It’s a great stash-buster and a fun way to showcase a favorite fabric. 
On top of that, Ginny’s instructional video is very clear and easy to follow. She’s a great sewing teacher! The video teaches you to make the basic journal cover, but there are many ways to customize the front with appliqué, embroidery, color-blocking (you know I love it) and more. I’d love to make one with flying geese quilt blocks, or even some herringbone. Wouldn’t that be fun?? 

For this journal cover, I made the cover from two different fabrics for a fun contrast. (Ahem, color blocking. Ahem, obsessed). The steps for this are very simple.

This is a really simple alteration to make to the front cover of your journal cover. Instead of cutting the front piece according to Ginny’s instructions in the video, do the following:
  • Cut a front piece 6 and 7/8 inches by 10 3/4 inches.
  • Cut a contrasting back piece 9 3/4 inches by 10 3/4 inches.
Align your two pieces, right sides together. Pin the raw edges together on one side and sew them together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Open the pieces and press the seam allowance toward the back piece. Topstitch with matching or contrasting thread. 
Now, cut the rest of your pieces and sew the journal according to Ginny’s instructions in her video tutorial! Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 
I wanted this journal to be a reflection of him and his personality, and it really is. My favorite part about this project was how many custom details I could add. 
One of my favorite quotes about writing is,  “You can make anything by writing,” by C.S. Lewis. We are listening to The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis on audiobook right now and Hudson can’t get enough. I used Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) to apply the words to the journal cover. (You can read more about TAP and my tips for using it in this post).
Below the quote I appliquéd a paper airplane by hand, inspired by this quilt by Sarah Jane Studios. I created the paper airplane’s flight path using running stitches, and voila! A paper airplane in flight.
On the inside cover I included a little birthday note to Hudson, again, using the TAP. I love thinking that years from now, Hudson will be able to look back on this note and remember when we gave it to him. My mom gave me my first journal when I was about 6 years old, which is when my love of writing first began.
I hope he learns to love words as much as I do! 
So, there you have it folks: a custom journal cover for my boy. Now head on over to Darling Adventures, take a look around her lovely blog, and learn how to make your own DIY journal cover!
OK, since we’re done with the meat of this post, can we all take a moment to FREAK OUT over the fact that Hudson is SIX YEARS OLD?!! How can this be?? 
I am so honest-to-goodness proud of this boy and the little man he’s turning out to be. I know we have a long way to go until he’s grown, but at this moment I’m reveling in the fact that we’ve made it to SIX without any major complications, and he’s still a wonderful boy. It’s a delight to watch him grow and learn. 

I love being his momma. Here’s to many more years of birthdays and handmade gifts to come! I love you son!
Thank you for inviting me to participate in your series, Ginny! I loved sewing this journal and look forward to making many more. And thank YOU for reading today. I have another journal project to share with you tomorrow, so don’t forget to check back then! Until later, friends. Mwah. 
Follow on Bloglovin
Linking up with:


  1. says

    This is perfect, Caila! I’m definitely going to check out Darling Adventures. This would be a great 6th birthday gift for my own soon-to-be Kindergartener!

  2. says

    You’ve go such great stuff on here, Caila. I’m so glad we met and put together we were both bloggers. It will be fun to connect more.