It seems to me that no sooner did my daughter and oldest neice learn to read and write than they got the very girly notion to have a diary. At first, I laughed it off. I couldn’t imagine spending $8 or more for a diary that they would end up doing anything but pen “Dear Diary” in.
Then I got to thinking about it. If they wanted to practice their writing skills – or, if they just wanted to feel big and have a book of their own to do nothing but scribble in – who was I to ignore their need for creativity? By encouraging it, I could be doing something good, right?
What I ended up doing was creating a series of little journal pages that they tied up with ribbon. The first ones were nothing more than lines on half a page. Then, I was invited to take part in a very neat Diary Project where I was able to design the page for October 6, 2008. After designing it, my mind wouldn’t stop running … I was flooded with ideas.
So, essentially, this quick printable craft is Version 2.0 of my diary project. It’s still easy – you can print up the pages and let your girls do the work themselves. But the final look is very cool – and all girl.
Girl’s Journal Supplies
I don’t like buying a lot of extra supplies for crafts. If I don’t have something on-hand, I generally will substitute or move on to another craft idea. The supplies used should be able to be found in any crafty household. You’ll just need:
*A printer – the pages do have some color, but will print out just great in black ink as well.
*Scissors – for the covers, a decorative scissor is a lot of fun.
*1 Sheet of Cardstock per Journal
*2 ribbons about 3″ each
*Diary Pages – you can design your own in Microsoft Word, or grab already-designed templates (for free) from here.
You’ll also want to have some stickers, photos, or other embellishments on hand for your girls to decorate their journal covers … it’s why they’re left blank.
Girl’s Journal – How to Make It
After you print the pages out, depending on your girl’s age, you should be able to turn the rest of the project over to her and just supervise or answer questions. Or, print an extra copy for yourself and sit right down and craft with her – it’s an unforgettable experience.
1. Print the Diary Pages – You’ll want to print the pages on both sides of your paper. Most printers will have you flip the paper over when you print on both sides, but check your Printer Settings to see if there’s an option for two-sided printing. Before you print, make sure that your printer is set to print in “Landscape” mode. Start out with just a few pages – about 5 pieces of paper printed on both sides – and then you can add to them easily if you want to, later on.
2. Create the Covers – Take a piece of card stock sized 8.5 x 11″ and cut it in half, making two 8.5 x 5.5″ covers. If you have decorative edge scissors, it makes a pretty touch.
3. Fold the Pages – Fold each of your diary pages in half, and then set them inside eachother. Basically, use one of the folded pages as a “folder” that all the other pages slip inside of. Use the smooth edge of a butter knife to really make the folds crisp.
4. Put Together and Punch – Carefully place the pages inside of the covers, making sure that all the edges are lined up. Then, use a hole punch to make a hole just inside the top and bottom corners of the book.
5. Tie it Up and Decorate – Use the two pieces of ribbon to bind the diary together, threading it through each of the holes. It’s ready to be decorated and used!