January 08, 2021

New Year Junk Journal

by Sydney Brink

What is a New Year Junk Journal?

Happy New Year! Many people celebrate the New Year by making resolutions or by breaking in a new calendar or agenda – a new start on a blank sheet! Personally, I like to get a start on the year with a fresh journal. These books become a place where I keep everything – shopping lists, handwritten notes from my loved ones, sketches, my agenda, sticky notes, and even a scratch-off lottery ticket here or there. All of these items get shoved in between the pages at some point throughout the year. In the lifestyle/DIY community, these are lovingly called “junk journals.” Some people choose to curate their journals by treating them more like a scrapbook, but a junk journal is truly whatever you want it to be!

How To Make a New Year Junk Journal

This blog offers a quick overview of how to make a cover for your junk journal – something new and blank you can transform into a New Year’s sketchbook, bullet journal, personal diary or anything your heart desires. Make a resolution to fill the pages before the end of the year!

My inspiration for this project comes from this video. However, I lacked some of the tools and materials, so I modified the steps to work with what I had on hand in Ignite Studio. Bookbinding very customizable, so feel free to run wild with these ideas! You can even check out the Bookbinding Kit from out Kit Library to access to the supplies and tools you’ll need to get started.

New Year Junk Journal Supplies and Steps

I started this project by making a five hole pamphlet stitch book. We recently published our own tutorial on how to do that. You can check it out here, so I won’t go into detail on those instructions in this blog. Watch the video to learn how to make a simple folio.


The cover for our journal is reusable. I found some scrap twine and leather, and in the spirit of the junk journal, decided to use these to create a sturdier cover. I carry my junk journal everywhere, so this will make it more durable.

  1. I measured out this piece of leather to fit the height of my pamphlet book, and added an extra two or three inches to the width of the leather when I cut it out. The extra inches will be the folded part of the cover to this case.
  2. We’re not binding the cover to the book itself. Instead, we need a way to attach the book to the cover. I used a piece of elastic – but a leather cord or any other material would also work. Measure where the spine of the pamphlet book will sit in the cover. Then punch two holes with an awl at the top and bottom of the material. I strung an elastic band through these holes and tied it on the inside of the cover. Then. I pulled my book through so that the band sat in the middle of the pamphlet, which secures the book.

  3. In the long part of the cover, make three holes about a half inch apart with an awl. Starting on the hole that is closest to the edge, lace the string inside the material, and weave it back out and in through the next two holes. Pull about a half inch of the string through. Glue this down here, or make a cross-stitch to hold it in place.

This type of cover is reusable and flexible – many people put multiple blank books in a single cover like this to make whole folios. These are  especially good for bullet journaling. If you want to make multiple pamphlet-style books and have all of them in this cover, just make more holes horizontally along the spines and weave your elastic so that you have multiple loops to secure multiple books. And that’s it. Happy Making and Happy New Year!