We all love a bit of vintage, shabby chic style at times and I think it’s nice for scrapbooking ephemera and bits of keepsakes. This printable journal can be great for Christmas holiday journaling or for anyone who loves vintage and the Tim Holtz type of shabby vintage style.

I made myself a journal to take note of the little things that make me smile, so wanted to share the process here. If you want to make this exact journal, you can buy the printable files in my shop – Vintage Journal Hybrid Printable.

All the printable papers are included in this instant download printable kit. You get 10 pages and 10 matching tags, the cover image, the cover label and the interior pocket. You also get a blank page and blank tag, in case you don’t want any illustrations or just want to add blank pages into your book. Since this product is printable, you can pick and choose whichever pages you want to print and how many to include for your particular project. Please note that the cover image size does limit how fat your book can become, however you can also substitute by using different cover materials or piecing together multiple sheets.


Here’s a run-down of how I went about creating my vintage journal. Along the way, I’ll offer alternatives and tips as well. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to comment below!


First, if you want to make this exact journal, you can buy the printable files in my shop – Vintage Journal Hybrid Printable and download to your computer. Obviously, you can also just use your own materials and cut out the shapes and pages necessary.

For the printable download, once you open up the zip files you’ll notice that there are printable PDFs or separate JPG/PNG files of all the images. The PDFs make it easy to just print everything at once, but you’ll be creating the journal at approximately 6x4inches. Otherwise you can always use the separate images for other crafty projects or to pick and choose what you want to print, etc.

  • consider what paper you would like to use, the thicker the paper the more sturdy your journal will be
  • the thicker the paper, the fatter your journal will be
  • since you are only printing on one side of the page, you might want to consider printing on colored paper or back side of patterned paper, if you don’t want blank backsides. however they are nice for journaling and decorating too!
  • consider adding patterned paper, kraft paper or colored cardstock along with printed pages to expand your journal
  • remember when printing to check your printer settings, use the highest quality possible
  • make sure no parts of the imagery are cut off in printing
  • I recommend using heavy cardstock for your cover image at least, it will protect your journal pages

STEP 2 – CUT and INK

Use your preferred cutting tool to cut out all the print-outs. Note that you don’t have to be too exact, because inking the edges of your pages will hide any imperfections and finish off your cuts very nicely.

I also decided to cut some kraft papers to add into my journal and I also folded my printed pages in different directions, to vary how they would appear in my journal. Note how some have the printed side outside when folded in half, while others have printed image inside. I just mixed them all up with the kraft paper for variety.

  • ink the edges of your pages for a finishing effect
  • consider how many pages you would like in your journal, print more copies if you would like
  • consider adding plain pages, lined pages, kraft paper, cardstock, etc if you would like to expand your book
  • consider cutting pages in different sizes for variety

For your the cover, I actually sewed it onto another piece of kraft paper to thicken it up, then sewed the label onto the cover for decoration as well. You can embellish your cover in a number of ways, but creating some kind of border or reinforcement all the way around helps to keep the journal sturdy. The cover is a bit larger than the page size to help protect the pages.

If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can easily glue pieces of paper together to get a thicker cover and glue embellishments on the cover to decorate.


There are a number of ways you can put your journal pages together. I chose to punch 3 holes (because I had varying paper sizes) and long-stitch all the pages folded in half together. However, you can also glue your pages back to back – which might be better if you don’t want to see the back sides of your pages, if you only printed on one side. However, if you like to journal, I feel like having some blank pages gives you more room to keep ephemera and decorate!

I decided to add some eyelets to holes in my cover, just to reinforce the paper. You can also smear some glue on your holes and let it dry to reinforce them if you don’t have eyelets! You can even use nail polish – just something to stop the punched edges of the holes to tear!

Using linen string, I stitched the entire book together, nothing fancy, just stringing through, in and out, longstitch and tied a knot.

  • You can use a hole punch to punch holes, or simply a needle for something smaller. Depending on the thickness of your paper, you might want smaller holes.
  • Consider using other materials such as ribbon to bind your book together. If your pages are all the same size, you can just do two holes as well.
  • Note that I have not folded or scored my cover paper…I want to keep it sort of softly rounded in the spine area


Finally, I decided to add some titling to my cover by using some letter stickers I had lying around. You can also write directly on the label or print out something you have typed on the computer to add on.

For the pocket on the inside cover, it’s best to fold the larger flap behind and up first, then glue the little flaps on either side. This gives you a smooth inside pocket to slip things into. Then glue the whole pocket into your journal. I put it on the inside of the front cover, but you can also add it to the first page of your journal or the back cover inside. You can also print more copies and create more pockets within the journal for more space!

For the tags, I punched holes at the top and added some linen string. Pretty simple, but cute. I’m keeping them int the pocket, before adding them throughout my journal. The pocket is nice for keeping ephemera or to store some materials that you will use in the journal.

  • Consider how you would like to embellish your journal cover.
  • Consider what you would like to include in your pocket or print more than one to include throughout the pages of the journal.
  • You can ink up or pre-embellish your tags  as well
  • Many like to embellishment the binding or spine of their journals with fiber, charms, etc
  • Use ribbon or other material to create a closure for your journal (I used braided ribbon for mine)
Above all, have fun with it and make it your own! My goal was to start things up and create a template for the creation of a vintage styled journal…but where your creativity takes you, along with unique supplies… makes it a custom book just for you!
As a final touch, I decided  to braid up some ribbon and wrap it around my journal, to keep it together and to add a little special touch. Whatever crafty supplies you have lying around would be great to use!
I hope my documentation gives you enough instruction to create the vintage journal, but I also hope this has provided some good suggestions and tips on how to make it your own.
If you want to make this exact journal, you can buy the printable files in my shop – Vintage Journal Hybrid Printable.
Of course you can always use your own supplies and papers you find as well. Have fun!
TG_VintageJournal_Preview2 TG_VintageJournal_Preview3
If you want to make this exact journal, you can buy the printable files in my shop – Vintage Journal Hybrid Printable.
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