Make Cute Mini Notebooks with Paper Scraps

Turn the cards you’ve received and old scrapbook papers or gift wrap into fun decorated mini journals and notebooks. Customize the books to give as gifts or make a pretty personalized journal for yourself. It can take less than 15 minutes to decorate a notebook and you can use whatever scraps of craft supplies you have if you’d like. For this project I used recycled stationery from my friend Laura Kelly and a custom “peep” she created for me… of me (brushed hair and all… cute right!?). You can use whatever materials you’d like.

Decorate a mini notebook
Decorate a mini notebook using paper scraps

Materials you need:

  • Mini notebooks
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush
  • Paper scraps, ribbon, cut outs and whatever else you’d like
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue and glue gun (optional)
  • Small cup or container of water
  • Paper towels (to wipe excess off the paint brush and cover your work area)
Supplies to decorate your own mini notebook
Supplies to decorate your own mini notebook

Steps to decorate your own custom mini notebook or journal

  1. First you’ll need to measure the front of your notebook so you can cut out paper scraps that will completely cover the front and the back of the notebook. Decoupage the paper to the front of the notebook. If you aren’t familiar with decoupage, simply use the paint brush to completely cover the front of the notebook with Mod Podge. Immediately place paper on top of Mod Podge, coat paper with Mod Podge and allow to dry. So you’re putting a layer of Mod Podge both under and on top of the paper, adhering it and sealing it on the front of the notebook.
  2. Cut out any extra little shapes, designs and extra embellishments from the paper and repeat the decoupage process to adhere them into place on the front of the notebook. Allow to dry for 5 minutes.
  3. Using the glue gun, add a line of glue on the front spine of the notebook, add ribbon. Trim as desired with the scissors.
  4. Repeat the decoupage process on the back cover to add colorful paper to decorate the back and complete the look. You can also add a ribbon to the spine here too.

You can add all kinds of extra embellishments and spend well beyond 15 minutes if you’d like. However, this is a project that you can realistically accomplish really quick and come out with a fabulously personalize gift or goodie you will be proud of.

Add Mod Podge to mini book cover
Add Mod Podge to mini book cover


Apply paper and add more Mod Podge
Apply paper and add more Mod Podge


Personalized mini notebooks with Laura Kelly's Me and My Peeps papers
Personalized mini notebooks with Laura Kelly’s Me and My Peeps papers

Extra Idea! Use washi tape to make these cute notebooks without decoupaging and just as little time!

I just used scrap papers featuring art by my friend Laura Kelly. However, you can also find some super fun goodies and gift ideas by visiting her website Me and My Peeps. AND, Starting December 5th, a new product line is launching with Expressionery, featuring Laura’s art! You can check it out by visiting You can get your own personalized stationery from that site featuring Laura’s cute peeps… do it I say!

Definitely check out the new stuff, I think you’ll love it! I’d love to hear what you think!


While you’re feeling creative, check out all the fun going on with Craft Lightening this month… each day they are featuring new projects to inspire you that should take less than 15 minutes to make – awesome! Sometimes when you’re struggling just to get your todo list done, being able to stop and make something quickly is a priceless opportunity. You’ll want to come back each day and see what they’re up to there.

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  1. Norah Ali says

    Hey Jen,

    I love your notebooks! I got a whole bunch of the exact same notebooks and I have been covering mine with scrap-booking paper. Thanks for the great ideas!