Turn a composition notebook into a personalized journal with Mod Podge and magazine clippings. Kids can decorate their journal covers with a collage of images and words that inspire and motivate them. It’s a great way to get kids started with journalling and a fun way to transform the cover of any notebook from ordinary to extraordinary.
My oldest daycare hooligans are now 9, 12 and 13, so they’re at the perfect age to start journalling.
Because they enjoy a good decoupage project, I thought it would be fun for them to make personalized journals by decorating notebook covers with a collage of pictures, words and quotes that inspire them.
I’m a huge fan of journalling. Not only is it a great way to improve penmanship and writing skills, journalling can encourage imagination, goal-setting, self-expression and creativity. I truly believe putting your goals and desires in writing is instrumental to reaching those goals and achieving your dreams. And when kids begin journalling at a young age, it can become an on-going habit or pastime they’ll enjoy for the rest of their lives.
Ways kids can use a journal
Here are a just some of the ways kids can use these journals:
- record their daily activities
- set long-term and short-term goals
- express their thoughts and emotions
- draw, doodle
- write poetry and practice story-writing
- day planner, to-do lists
- brainstorm grand ideas
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What kind of notebook to use
I picked up some of these inexpensive composition notebooks at the dollar store because I liked the size of them. They carried smaller journals, but those would’ve limited the number of images the kids could put use for their collages.
Because we’d be cutting up the magazines, I hit the second-hand store where I can get them for 25¢ apiece. I picked up a variety of mags (food, travel,celebrity, nature, home, gardening, art etc). to provide the kids with a broad range of articles and ads to choose from.
They LOVED this activity
I suspected the kids would enjoy this activity, but I had no idea that they would love it as much as they did.
They spent at least an hour scouring all of the magazines for images and words that really spoke to them, and another couple of hours decorating their journal covers.
They wanted to collage the inside covers of their journals, so let the outsides dry while we had lunch and they decorated the insides in the afternoon.
“Favourite activity ever”
All said and done, they probably worked on this project for a good 3 or 4 hours. What a wonderful way to pass the day together.
They were thrilled with the way they turned out, and said that this was one of their favourite crafts ever. These kids have been with me since they were toddlers, and we’ve made hundreds of crafts together, so that tells you just how awesome this activity was.
If you have tweens and teens of your own, or in your after-school program, Mod Podging journal covers is DEFINITELY a wonderful creative activity to put on your must-do list.
Click here to read about how journalling benefits kids.
How to Make Mod Podge Journal Covers
- Stack of old magazines
- Composition notebook (or similar style notebook)
- Mod Podge
- Paint Brush
Note: You can make your own Mod Podge with glue and water, but this article suggests why you shouldn’t.
Time needed: 3 hours.
How to Mod Podge a Journal Cover
- Cut Clippings from Magazines
Gather a stack of old magazines, and cut out inspiring images and words. You’ll need a mix of big and small clippings. For your first layer, it’s nice to cut out pieces with straight edges so you can line them up with the edge of the journal cover. They can just be colours or patterns, and not anything specific, as they’ll be mostly covered by the other layers.
- Apply Mod Podge to Cover
Brush a layer of Mod Podge over a section of the journal cover and place a background piece down. Then brush another layer of Mod Podge over top of your piece to smooth out any air bubbles.
There will be some wrinkling as your collage dries, but if you’ve removed the air bubbles, it will be quite smooth when completely dry.
- Build your collage
Brush more mod podge on to your journal, and continue placing your magazine cuttings. It’s best to use larger pieces for the first layers. Brush more Mod Podge over the cuttings to smooth them out.
Your smallest pieces will be glued down last, to fill in any gaps.
- Top Coat with Mod Podge
Finish with a top coat of Mod Podge and allow it to dry before collaging the inside covers of your journal.
Once your journal is completely dry, start dreaming and doodling!
I hope that your kids (or you!) enjoy making your Mod Podge journals as much as we did. It’s a wonderful way to introduce your child to the concept and joy of journalling.
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
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