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37 Creative Journaling Tips and Theme Ideas

Loraine loves arts and crafts and used to volunteer at an elementary art class. She loves sharing fun and easy craft tutorials.

Find journaling prompts for all ages, plus creative journal ideas for decorating your book or making one from scratch!

Find journaling prompts for all ages, plus creative journal ideas for decorating your book or making one from scratch!

Creative Journal Ideas

If you have ever wanted to write in a personal journal but didn’t know where to start, this article has links to sites that will answer all your questions. There are tips to help elementary kids know what to write in their journals, and there are prompts for older kids and adults that give ideas to aid their journal writing.

Decorate Your Journal or Make One From Scratch

Make your journal personal by decorating the cover. You’ll find links here to help you with ideas for making your book look special and unique, and there are ideas for decorating the covers of journals you have purchased.

Other links that you’ll find included in this article will help you learn how to make a journal book from scratch. In other words, you’ll see how to make the pages, the cover, and how to put the book together. The "Let's Make a Journal" tutorial (to make the journal books shown above) is found at torta gialla.

Keep track of important memories from trips with a travel journal.

Keep track of important memories from trips with a travel journal.

1. Travel Journal

This travel journal is better than just a photo album to keep memories of a fabulous vacation alive. Go to the Mixed Up Craft blog and get oodles of great ideas.

Encourage kids to start writing and reflecting early with these engaging journal prompts.

Encourage kids to start writing and reflecting early with these engaging journal prompts.

2. Journal Writing Tips for Kids

Some easy and simple tips to help the kids decide what to write about in their journals. Teachers may like these tips for their classes. The journal writing tips for kids is found at Journal Buddies. Tips—not rules!

Journaling can be a meditative, comforting practice.

Journaling can be a meditative, comforting practice.

3. Journal Writing Tips for Adults and Teens

This article gives some very basic journal writing tips that let you know that you can enjoy making a journal. Relax and enjoy the creative experience with these easy-to-follow instructions. You'll find a short and to-the-point article at Tiny Buddha.

4. How-to for Bible Journaling

5. Journal Writing Prompts

When you go to the Penzu site, you'll find journal writing prompts that include these titles: "Write about the Past," "Write about Yourself," "Write about the Future," and more.

Decorate your journal based on the theme of your choice.

Decorate your journal based on the theme of your choice.

6. Art Journal Theme Ideas

Check out this article on Art Journalist for a great list of theme ideas and what to include in your journal.

Having a creative, inviting cover can encourage you to pick up your journal more often!

Having a creative, inviting cover can encourage you to pick up your journal more often!

7. Fabric Journal Cover

You can learn how to make fabric journal covers by going to She Makes Magic for the tutorial. Choose any color, print, or fabric that you love.

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8. Cover With Denim

I can see this as a cover for any themed journal, but especially a gardening journal or a country visit journal. Find the instructions for making this journal cover at LIFE MADE creations.

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9. Chalkboard Covers

Consider covering a journal with a chalkboard cover as a gift idea for a teacher. Or how about a chalkboard cover for a senior year memories book? As a gift or for yourself, go to Skip to My Lou for the tutorial on how to make the chalkboard covers.

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10. Felt Owl Cover

You'll have an easy time making a felt journal cover like this one at Homemade Gifts Made Easy. You'll fine the instructions on how to make the felt cover by going to the site.

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11. Personalize the Cover

Check out some great ideas for personalizing your journal cover at Dragonfly Spirit Studio.


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12. Making an Art Journal Page

You'll find the tutorial for making an art journal page when you visit the Navigating By Joy site. After checking this page out, I'm sure you'll think of many ways to make your own art page. The beautiful thing about art is that you can see a project that someone else has made and then make changes that make the art unique to your style.

13. Making Paper for Your Journal

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14. How to Make Recycled Paper

It looks like making paper from old newspapers could be a bit messy, but it also looks like fun. Go to the Mama Liberated site to see how she makes the paper. It's an interesting-looking project and so appropriate to use in journaling.

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15. Child's Prayer Journal

Activities for Kids shares a tutorial for making a child's prayer journal. An outstanding journal-making project, one that will be easy to make. Nice instructions.

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16. Old Book Journal

This project, with instructions on the Baking and Life site, shows us how to make a personal journal using an old book. Part of the fun of journaling is making your own unique journal. Plus, you might need a bunch when you make a number of themed journals.

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17. Little Notebook Journal

Not every journal book has to be large. Try making some of your journals with little notebook-sized journals. The tutorial for making these little notebooks is found at Homemade Gifts Made Easy.

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18. Art Journal From a Book

This article on Lil Blue Boo explains how to prepare the book pages for journaling. It's a very informative article.

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19. 5 Minute Paper Bag Journal

Make a simple and easy planner using a brown paper sack. Find the directions for making this notebook at The House That Lars Built.

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20. Packaging Material Hardbound Journal

Imagine using packaging materials to make a hardbound journal. You can do just that by following the tutorial found at Creativity Prompt.

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21. Leather Journal

Find out how easy it is to make a leather-covered journal by going to the Balzer Designs site. This would make a nice journal to make as a gift for a gentleman.

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22. Pasta Box Journal Cover

Notice the window in this journal cover. Now you can see how this could be made from a pasta box. See how to cut the pasta box and how to make the cover by going to Living the Creative Life.

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23. Leather Journal With Flap

This is a little different than the other leather journal in that it has a flap added. Find the directions for making this leather journal at Cynthia Shaffer.

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24. Creative Journal Ideas

This site has a list of creative journal theme ideas. Take a look and you'll probably find a theme that will make you want to journal it. Find the list of ideas at Develop Good Habits.

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25. Nature Journal for Wee Folks

Help kids make this creative journal that they can use to keep all their nature treasures and ideas. To make this journal book for the kids, go to Wee Folks Art for directions.

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26. Travel Journal

What a great idea this is. How many times do we collect items while on a vacation and then lose them because there was nowhere to stash them safely? Keep all the mementos and write about your travels. Find the instructions for this travel journal at Thrifty Travel Mama.

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27. Create a Friendship Journal

A journal for yourself. The ideas in this article are for making a journal about your personal friends and friendships. You'll find these ideas at Live About.

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28. Journal of Goals

The ideas in this article are about goal setting and include printable worksheets. Go to Fun Squared for all the information.

29. Create Your Own Idea Journal

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30. Quote Journals

Do you love quotes? Make these little quote journals and have them ready for quick gift giving. Find all the information you'll need to make the quote journals at the CHIC.

31. Journal for Sewing

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32. Prayer Journal

Most of us probably feel that we should pray more, and having and writing in a prayer journal would be a help to that end. This is the first journal I'll be making. Directions and prayer journal ideas are found at The Life of a Home Mom.

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33. Gratitude Journal

This is probably one of the most important journals we can make because it helps us be aware of all the blessings we already have. To make a gratitude journal, check out the ideas given at Confessions of an Overworked Mom.

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34. 55 Writing Prompts for Pregnancy Journal

Why not keep a journal through all the phases of pregnancy? Record your thoughts during this precious time by making a pregnancy journal. Check out the ideas at Baby Doppler blog.

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35. Travel Journal and Scrapbook

Another travel journal, but this one also includes a scrapbook with ideas. Find this useful site packed with ideas at aCherryontop.

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36. Junk Journal

If you want to make a junk journal, go to Smart Fun DIY for great ways to start this project, plus some good reasons to start it in the first place.

37. Journals From Recycled Greeting Cards

© 2015 Loraine Brummer

Have you ever, or will you ever, make a journal book? or leave a comment.

Dina AH from United States on May 23, 2020:

Loraine, this is amazing! I am a bit mad at myself for not exploring the paper-crafts (or crafts in general) on Hubpages! I have had my little diaries and my bullet journals but I am slowly branching out some more. Baby steps. I love that you link to other places because (to me) it feels nice to have that support and genuine uplifting of other people's content. So good. I'm off to subscribe to your nook on here. PS: have you had a favorite journal and craft activity?

Loraine Brummer (author) from Hartington, Nebraska on June 02, 2015:

Thanks, Beaddoodler, for your comment. Since my sisters have seen this, they're asking for journals as gifts. Looks like I'll be making some journals soon, I've noticed a couple that I want to make.

Jennie Hennesay from Lubbock TX on June 01, 2015:

Very interesting and informative variety of ways to make and keep a journal.