How to Make a Simple Journal With Pockets

I made this journal when I needed something to track mileage for work.  It has space for writing and the pockets are for collecting receipts.  Its small, portable and fits inside the door pocket of my car.  This way I never loose it.

The real gem of this design is that it can be used for anything.  The pockets make it great for  collecting all types of ephemera.  It takes up little space so bring it on a trip; use it to gather ticket stubs, receipts and things you want to save until you can scrapbook it later.  Turn this blank book into a wine journal, workout tracker, note keeper.  As with all blank books… fill it as you see fit.


  • 1- 12″ x 12″ sheet of 2-sided scrapbooking paper
  • 5 sheets 8.5″ x 11″ copy paper
  • Needle
  • Thread / ribbon
  • Double stick tape
  • Scissors
  • Xacto knife / blade
  • Ruler
  • Triangle
  • Pencil
  • Awl (optional)materials

There are a lot of steps but it is not as hard as it looks, promise.


  1. Measure and score the scrapbooking paper making two vertical score marks and one horizontal score mark.From the top left corner going across measure at 4.5″ and 9.125″; From top left corner going down measure at 7″.
  2. Fold the paper on the score lines.measurements
  3. Fold the bottom left corner until it lines up with the first vertical score mark.
  4. Fold the bottom right corner until is lines up with the second vertical score mark.corners
  5. Use double stick tape to adhere the corners down so nothing gets stuck under them.  You may also cut the corners off but I prefer the fold and reinforced pocket.
  6. Fold the paper along the horizontal line, using double stick tape on the left and right edges.pockets
  7. Cut the 5 sheets of copy paper so they measure 8.5″ x 7″.
  8. Fold the sheets in half so they measure 4.25″ x 7″ and nest the pages together.
  9. In the center of the fold mark where the holes are going to be.  There will be 3 holes. One is 0.5″ from the top, another is the center at  3.5″  the last hole is 0.5″ from the bottom.
  10. Line up the pages with the cover.  The pages should nest inside the left vertical fold.
  11. With an awl (or needle) carefully poke through the pages and the cover in the three marked spots.
  12. Cut the thread three times the height of the book.
  13. Thread the needle.
  14. Start sewing into the center hole from the inside of the book.sewing
  15. Leave a 3″ tail sticking out of the center.
  16. Coming out of the center hole sew through the top hole.
  17. Jump down to the bottom hole and sew through it.
  18. The thread should be on the out side of the journal.
  19. Finally sew back through the center hole, making sure not to sew through the existing thread.
  20. Have the starting tail and ending tail on each side of the long stitch and tie off using a square knot (right over left, left over right).
  21. Trim the tails to about an inch.  Don’t cut them too short or risk the knot coming undone. They should lay nicely along the crease.


If you start sewing from the outside, you can leave long, long tails after you knot off the binding.  Use these tails to wrap around the book as a closure.



2 responses to “How to Make a Simple Journal With Pockets

  1. Pingback: How to fill a blank canvas… | inkling & wit·

  2. Pingback: How to fill a blank canvas… | Inkling and Wit·

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