DIY Canvas Covered Journal

We are a little obsessed with journals right now, so we apologize for sharing so many awesome ideas, but we just cannot help it. January comes to an end and if you made a resolution to start a journal, create an agenda or get organized with a new planner and you have not started, maybe this post will get you motivated to start a journal from scratch or just update journal cover. Kyriakos designed and create this notebook from the scratch. This post will walk you through the steps and also show you some great techniques for crafting with canvas. Canvas is a really fun craft surface to play with because it takes paints, inks and other mediums so well. You can cut it into the shape and size of your choice. You can sew it, stamp on it, stencil on it, mist on it, you get the picture, there are a lot of things you can do with canvas.  
notebookThe ring (a range of ring finishes are available from 7gypsies) style journal allows you to add and remove pages, create a book to the perfect size, add page protectors or photo covers and other standard ring binder items if you choose. The inside is filled with pages cut to size that can be any weight, size or shape. You can use for example Canvas Corp Journal Line paper to create an instant journal or you can use blank 80# cardstock that is perfect for sketching, art journaling or crafting on the pages. 

Tools Used: Pencil, Ruler, Misting Mat, Vinyl glue, Pliers, Craft knife, Hot glue gun, Crafters Workshop Stencil

Step 1: Cut two bookboards in 7x5in (17,8×15,8cm) – you can cut the book to the size of your choice, that is what makes it great to create a book from scratch. You can also use board from old journals, calendars, etc and recycle them as you will be covering them completely.

Step 2: The 7gypsies paper Ordre du Jour has these great pulls printed with sayings inside each of the plates. They look 3-dimensional and are perfect for adding to the front of a journal when dimensional metals may in the way or make the journal too thick. Place the bookboard on the canvas sheet and then mark them with a pencil around the places where the paper pulls that were cut from Ordre du Jour paper will be placed and mark the outside of the book board, be sure to make the cover sheet about 1/2 inch bigger around the book board so you can turn over the edges and glue them to the backside of your cover. You can make the cover by using one full size sheet or cut them into two pieces making a front and back, whichever is easiest for you.
Step 3: Remove cuttings. Lay your stencil onto the canvas and spray with the various mists (you can mist all of the canvas at one time and then cut or you can make the pieces and mist them after they are cut to size). The colors will be very rich and deep on the canvas. While Glimmer Mist is not washable, it is permanent on the fabric and even the glimmer will show up and add a touch of shimmer. For best results start with the lightest color and then add layers of the various colors. Let this dry completely. If your canvas becomes a little wrinkly due to the water, you can iron it down for a very finished look or crumble it up for a warn, vintage look. Cut the front cover based on the markings you made.
Step 4: With your scissors or knife you will cut the rectangle space out to make room for the paper handles to fit onto the journal. Allow the fabric to fray around the spots. Mark the book board where the handles should be placed and then glue them onto the book board. Add the metal loop holder.
Step 5: To create the inside of the front cover, mark on the back of the canvas to be just slightly smaller than the book board, this piece will be glued down to hold the pieces of the from cover when they are wrapped around also mark one 4″x 1/2″ and one 3″x5″ openings leaving the bottom with no lines.
You will be cutting in only 3 places, cut the two sides and top line, fold down towards the backside of the canvas and glue into place, these will be formed the pockets.
Step 6: Place the front cover making sure the handles peek through the openings you cut and glue into place. Fold over the top, side and bottom (or all 4 sides if you made a single front cover), flip or add the back side of the canvas and glue into place, making sure you do not glue down the space right around the pockets you made.
Step 7: Add metal grommets to your book, you can place them in standard locations if you are using other pieces in your journal or place them where  you wish. These will help the metal rings stay in place and hold the book together better.
Step 8: For the back cover, repeat mist spraying on a second piece of canvas and glue back side. Find the center, mark and remove some layers of the bookboard, to make a place for the rope.
Open a hole on the canvas to allow some burlap rope to pass through.
Step 9: Glue the rest of the canvas. Pass the hook in the rope and close it with the help of pliers. Elastic band can be also used to increase flexibility.
Add holes and grommets to the front and back making sure they line up.  You will punch each page for the book to the same size, so you will want to determine the exact measurement.
Slip papers, notes or a mini notebook into the pocket openings.
Step 10: Cut papers to fill your book making sure to align them up with your holes. You can add metal corners to the book corners to give them a great look and extra protection. Add metal embellishments to the front cover. Glue them with heavy duty glue so they stay in place better.
You decide the colors you want, the size of the book, the type of pages you need and now you know how to create your own journal. Then promise yourself you will take a bit of time each day to sketch, add a photo, jot a memory, make a note, paint a page, or write about your day. Those few moments you take for yourself are so important.
To see more of Kyriakos’s work you can visit The Crafts World Blog.
Happy Creating!!


Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'DIY Canvas Covered Journal' have 4 comments

  1. January 30, 2016 @ 2:42 pm DIY notebook from the scratch - The Crafts World

    […] You can find full details on materials and instructions on Canvas Corp Brands Blog […]


  2. January 31, 2016 @ 3:48 pm Marie

    Absolutely love this!! The background is stunning and I love the charms you added.


  3. February 1, 2016 @ 3:00 pm jean marmo

    Such an amazing journal! Love all the details! And the how to!


  4. February 17, 2016 @ 8:53 am Ava Gavloski

    Perfecto!!! Gotta make one of these, thanks for the exact detail on how to get the look….. appreciate this and all customers will be inspired to purchase product since the instructions are well written…..


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.