Altering a Composition Notebook + Creating Your Own Reading Journal

I read a lot. And recently, I have really enjoyed sharing what I read, what I think of it, etc, but my memory isn’t great. I’ve been looking around for a reading journal for awhile now, where I could record what I read, what I thought and just a bunch of useful information to make sharing a little easier. However, all the journals I’ve looked at are either not what I’m looking for or way too expensive. So I had some composition books lying around and I decided to start altering a composition notebook to crate my own reading journal. Watch the video below to see exactly how I did it!


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Altering a Composition Notebook

Altering a composition notebook is super easy and you probably have almost everything you need to do it! The main items you’re going to need are

To alter your composition notebook, all you need to do is apply adhesive to the cardboard cover and adhere cardstock. The best adhesive, in my opinion, is a double sided tape adhesive. This allows you to work on your own time limit and it holds well! Then, simply trim the cardstock so it is flush with the cover and do the same to the back.

You can decorate your notebook any number of ways once you have it covered. Just have fun and do what feels right to you!

Tips for Altering a Composition Notebook

Here are a few tips to make altering a composition notebook a little easier!

  1. Use a piece of cardstock that is larger than the notebook cover – do not cut it to size before adhering! This allows you to adhere the paper without fighting to line it up just right. You can trim the paper with scissors or a craft knife once it is adhered for a nice finished look!
  2. Use a tape that is strong and make sure the edges of the notebook are properly adhered.
  3. You can also cover the inside cover, but if you’re giving this or using this notebook in school, you might want to skip that part. There is often a lot of great information inside the cover!
  4. Use a cardboard cover composition notebook. The plastic covers will not allow the paper to adhere very well.

Decorating Your Altered Composition Notebook

Altered Composition Notebook compared to what you would buy in the store.

This is the fun part! You can decorate your altered composition notebook any way you want. I chose to add stickers, that I created and you can find on my Etsy Shop HERE! Here are a few other ideas to add to your altered composition notebook

  • Stickers
  • Ribbon
  • Paint
  • Dried Flowers
  • Doodles
  • Collage
  • Stamps
  • Stenciling

Stationary Sticker Set

Stationary Sticker Sheet I used to decorate the outside of my altered composition notebook. These are for sale in my Etsy shop.

As I said above, I used this sticker set that I designed to decorate my Altered Composition Notebook. You can find this set over on my Etsy Shop!! Here’s a better look at the images!

Shop this Sticker Set HERE!!

How to Use Your Altered Composition Notebook

There are so many fun way to use your altered composition notebook once you create it! You can use it just like any other notebook, use it as a journal, art journal, reading journal (like me), and those are just a few ideas!

Using My Altered Composition Notebook as a Reading Journal

Here’s a few photos of how I use my Altered Composition Notebook as a Reading Journal!

On the first page I like to keep a daily reading tracker. This allows me to see how much I read each day and track how much I’m reading.

My Altered Composition Notebook is now my Reading Journal. This is my daily tracker of how much I am reading

My next item is a two page spread that I drew with my Memento markers. On each “book” I write the title of a book that I will read in 2022. This is a great way to really see what I read during 2022 as a whole.

My two page spread of what books I will read in 2022

Then, I go into each month. Each month gets it’s own title page that is simply decorated. And during that month I record the books I read, what I think , etc. I will share that spread in a later post!

January cover page of my reading journal

Each month is also tabbed. This allows me to easily find my place at all times, without having to flip through a bunch of pages.

Each month if noted with a small handmade tab in my reading journal. This makes it easy to find my place.

Altering a Composition Notebook is Fun and Easy to Do!

Altering a composition notebook is such a fun and easy way to really make your notebooks your own and show off your individual style. You can make these for yourself, as gift or to sell at your local craft fair! There are also so many way to use your altered composition notebooks!

I hope you all enjoyed the video tutorial and will try to alter your own composition notebooks and maybe create your own reading journal, too! Until next time, happy crafting!!

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