Don’t miss the slide show at the bottom of the post.

Like most writers, I usually keep a journal with me to write, jot ideas, to do lists, and take notes in meetings or church. I’ve had various sizes and formats over the years.  I would rather reuse something I already have than buy something new.  It’s more environmentally friendly and it’s better for my budget. I like a hard bound cover, because it is more resilient when I drop it, or one of my boys someone steps on it, or spills tea on it.

repurposed writer's journal

First, you need a hard cover book with interesting glossy photos. Art and design books work well.  I’m sure you have something already that will work, or you can scrounge a free or nearly free option from a thrift store.

You can also use a children’s picture book or vintage book. You know that Big Book of Cats Aunt Edith gave you, or the Betty Crocker cookbook you never use since you look everything up online? Those would work also.

In addition, you will need:

  • An exacto knife (or really sharp scissors)
  • Glue stick or rubber cement
  • Solid colored paper
  • lined paper
  • white copy paper or other solid color paper scraps
  • Optional – envelopes the Self-adhesive type are easiest
  • Optional– stickers
  • Optional – index cards
  • Optional -Post-it notes
  • Optional – Clear contact paper/ shelf paper
  • Optional – Old Magazines
  • Optional – spiral notebook
  • Optional– a show on TV you can half pay attention to or your favorite creative music

Open your book, and use your knife to cut sections of the book out close to the spine.  (This will create room for all the stuff you add.)

Use your glue stick to attach pages to cover text.  I put a variety of lined or solid pages to allow me to draw or doodle also. I like to leave room in the margins.

Add stickers or glue phrases or pictures from magazines.  There is no wrong way to to it.  It just needs to inspire you to write or journal.

I like to leave a lot of the pictures from my repurposed book visible to inspire me as I write.  I also stick envelopes on the pages or near the spine to add memorabilia, ticket stubs, notes or anything else I collect to journal about or take notes during church.

I often use my journals to  write genealogy research notes, and have made them as gifts.

My “Light” journal is almost full, so I made a new book to to take notes for Rootstech genealogy convention next week.

I didn’t like  The British Food Bible  cover with kidney it had sat on our bookshelf for 4 years without using a single recipe inside it.  That was the book I chose. I made a collage out of a find from the free magazine bin at the library.  It was a National Geographic magazine that happened to be genealogy related, so it had fantastic words and pictures.

I added an old headband around the outside of the book to clip pens to use on the go.

I covered it with clear contact paper to preserve my artwork and add durability. I used my repurposed writer’s journal to take notes in classes at Rootstech genealogy conference the first time I attended. The surnames on the spine of my book were a great conversation starter with the strangers I sat next to.

Genealogy Jen’s tip of the week What do you use to keep your writing ideas when inspiration strikes? Do you go old school with paper or do it digitally?

Bonus points Journal about why you write. What inspires you?

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