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How to Make Two Journals from One Composition Notebook

Today, I have a project for you that might make a nice gift (for you or someone else!)  It’s an easy, altered composition notebook journal that’s fun and customizable.  The bonus is, you will get two journals from just one composition notebook.

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How to Make Two Journals from One Composition Notebook

You know those composition notebooks that are everywhere at back to school time?  (They usually have them at the dollar store too, but during back to school they are cheap at the discount stores.)  You can even get them with graph paper (for bullet journaling or lettering practice.)

Years ago, I discovered that you can have them cut in half at most office supplies stores, for a small charge.  You then have two notebooks for the price of one. Plus, they’re such a cute size.

When decorated, these make great gifts.

These would make fun planners, bullet journals, list books, recipe books, travel journals, baby journals, etc. (For example, you could use a vintage map or map scrapbook paper to make a travel journal, fun cooking related paper to make a recipe book, etc.  Or use plain cardstock -kraft colored, black, white, etc.-, and stamp the designs, handletter, etc.)

This map themed journal would be great for a travel journal or everyday journal.

I think a teen or tween would enjoy this bright gratitude journal.

How to make a journal from half a composition notebook - anartfulmom.com

you can have composition notebooks cut in half at many office supply stores

Supplies to make composition book journals:

  • Composition Notebook
  • Your choice of scrapbook paper or cardstock
  • Paper Adhesive – You can use any good, non-wrinkling craft glue or paper adhesive.
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Craft glue or hot glue (for ribbon)
  • Black ink (optional)
  • Rubber stamps (optional)

Here’s how to make two journals from one composition notebook:

  • Take your full size composition book to an office supply store. Ask them to cut it in half. (Your cut book will measure roughly about 7.5 inches wide by about 5 inches tall.)
  • Measure the front cover of the book, and cut heavyweight pattern paper/cardstock to fit.  You can use a corner rounder for the rounded corner, or just trace around the front of the book. (Tip: Trace on the wrong side of the paper, so that the paper will line up when you place it on the cover.)  Adhere the paper/cardstock onto the cover.  Repeat for the back cover.   For the tween journal, I covered the black binding with a coordinating paper, but it’s not necessary.
  • For the tween journal, I punched both scalloped and regular circles and stamped my designs, before gluing them to the cover.  
  • To define the edges, I rubbed some black ink along them, which is personal preference of course!
How to make a bullet  journal from half a composition notebook ~ anartfulmom.com

Have fun with it, and I’d love to know how you would use your journal.

Pin for later!

how to make a journal from a composition notebook

This post was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2023.

Linking to:

My Wee Abode, Create with Joy, SITS Sharefest, Sew Can Do, Skip to My Lou, Over the Moon, Gingersnap Crafts, Eye Love Knots, Creative Jewish Mom, Shabby Art Boutique, Try It, Like It, Create with Joy, A Pinch of Joy, Claire Justine, Imparting Grace, Thursday Favorite Things, French Ethereal, Esme Salon, Keeping it Real, My Random Musings, Lou Lou Girls, Home Matters

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  1. This is a fantastic idea, and so cute! I'm a teacher and we use interactive notebooks to take notes, but rarely seem to use a whole page- I might have to try this at school!

    1. Thanks, Kelsey! That would be a great idea at school! My school journals always were about half a page full, now that you mention that!

  2. This would make a great back to school gift for teachers! I love all the pretty colors! Thanks for sharing with us at the Snickerdoodle Link Party – this will be one of my features this Saturday at This Autoimmune Life!

  3. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

  4. Pam, what an awesome project!
    Congrats on being a featured guest at our 500th Inspire Me Monday party at Create With Joy –
    Come celebrate with us! 🙂

  5. I love these journal ideas. Getting creative and making the journal your own will make it even more special. Great way to save some $$$. So glad I came across your post on SSPS #270!!

  6. This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen! I had no idea they could cut a book in half like this. Thanks so much for the inspiration Pam, I love it!

  7. Question for anyone who has done this. I have the cutter so a friend asked me to cut them but I find no info on whether or not the stitch binding is compromised by this? It it not an issue or what do people do if it is?

    1. Hi Ginger, I’ve not had a problem with the binding being compromised, when the book is cut. Mine were just traditional composition books, but the cutting didn’t affect the binding at all on mine. Hope this helps!

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