Hand Stitched Journal How-To

Hand stitched journal how-to

My kids have been loving having their own personalized journals lately. I remember having collections of notebooks when I was a kid, full of my secrets and scribbles, and I’ve carried on my journaling to this day. I can’t always make it to the store to by them a new notebook, but words and scribbles feel even more important when they’re in a handmade journal anyway. Follow this tutorial and you’ll be stitching yours up in no time!

Hand stitched journal how-to

Here’s what you’ll need:

Paper – I used plain old printer paper along with some colorful tear outs from a vintage kids book to add some pizazz.
Pencil and ruler
Scissors, string, and a needle

You’ll also need something to make your holes for stitching (not pictured)

Hand stitched journal how-to

Start by measuring out where you want your holes. It doesn’t really matter how many, but you want them close enough so that the stitches will hold the paper together.

Hand stitched journal how-to

After you’ve marked your holes, you need to make them. I cheated and used my husband’s drill press. You can use a bookmaker’s awl or anything else that suits your fancy–just keep the pages together so they don’t shift around.

Hand stitched journal how-to

Cut a generous length of string and start your stitching by coming up through the center of the spine, leaving a three-inch tail for tying off at the end.

Hand stitched journal how-to

Take your needle around the edge of the spine and back down through the original hole.

Hand stitched journal how-to

Come back up through the center and make a straight stitch over to the hole left of the center.

Hand stitched journal how-to

Continue stitching from the back to front, catching the pages with your string. Once you’ve reached the bottom, you’ll come back up towards the middle making straight stitches in the spaces you went passed.

Hand stitched journal how-to

Continue your stitches across the center and up towards the top of the book.

Hand stitched journal how-to

Then return to the center and tie off.

Hand stitched journal how-to

Hand stitched journal how-to

Isn’t it pretty?

Comments

  1. kellie says:

    This is so pretty!! I’ve been wanting to make something like this for awhile now. My kids love having their own notebooks and I really would like to start a gratitude journal for each of them that they would write in. We’ve been using composition books, but these would be so much more fun and original. There’s one thing I’m a little confused on though, and I haven’t actually sat down to do this so maybe it’ll make sense when it’s in my hand, but I’m getting a little lost when you say, “Come back up through the center and make a straight stitch over to the hole left of the center.” Would coming back up pull out the previous stitch? Thanks so much for sharing this. I have been saving some of my kids’ books that have been falling apart for a project like this!

    • Hi, Kellie, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! And about your question–I was able to come back up through the center without the previous stitch coming out. Since you’re going through it three times, it should catch on the original stitch to hold it in place.

      Good luck with making yours–I love the idea of the gratitude journals!

      • kellie says:

        Thanks so much! It made sense once I did it. I love how my first one turned out and I’ll totally be making more!

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