DIY Elastic Journal Closure

This, my friends, is my journal, appropriately titled “The Journal of Corin (Volume 1?).” It started a month or so before my blog did and is home to all my little ideas and plans for my internet wonderland. It’s also full of doodles because, as my Instagram will show you, I’m constantly sketching and doodling. It goes with me basically everywhere so if inspiration hits, I can jot it down.

I bought this baby for probably $5 at Barnes and Noble and I love its simple appearance. The only problem is that it tends to flap open all the time and get bent corners and ratty pages and then my heart is sad because my baby is damaged! I’m not the only one with this problem, right? (I did search the internet for ways to do this, but many very good tutorials like this one involved punches and grommets that I didn’t really trust myself with.)

So because I did not have the foresight to buy a journal with an elastic band, I put this precious beauty at risk (after lots of testing) to add one.

You Will Need:
Your own lovely journal or sketchbook (preferably with slightly stiff covers)
Fold over elastic (like the stuff used for hair ties)
Fabric scissors
Craft knife
Scotch tape
Clear nail polish
Sewing machine (or needle and thread) 

Step 1
Wrap the elastic around the end of your journal and cut so that it is slightly longer than the journal’s circumference.

Step 2
You are now going to cut two incisions in the back cover of your journal to feed to elastic through. On the inside of the back cover, mark 2 lines with a pencil where theses incisions will be. To do this, I marked a dot 1” from the top/bottom of the journal, and 1 1/4” from the journal’s outer edge. I then extended the dot into a 5/8” line (the width of my elastic) moving towards the journal’s outer edge, so that the elastic was about square to the journal’s corner.

Step 3
Cut these incisions with a craft knife. You will probably need to create two cuts right next to each other, then gently punch out the tiny piece of cover between them in order to make the incision wide enough to feed the elastic through.

Step 4
Tape off one end of the elastic and feed it through both incisions with the right side of the elastic (the pretty patterned side) face down on the inside if the back cover. Carefully remove the tape from the end, or snip the end off.

Step 5
Turn your journal over and pull the elastic through the incisions until the ends meet. Line up the ends flat, wrong sides together. Slide your fingers down so that the elastic stretches and provides the needed tension to keep the journal closed. Mark this spot, as this is where you will stitch the elastic together. It may also help to pin the elastic together on both sides of your mark. (I did this because my sewing skills are a little below average for now.)

Step 6
Stitch back and forth across the ends 2-3 times to close your loop. You could do this by hand, but I used a machine (even though sewing machines usually hate me). Trim your threads and excess elastic.

Step 7
Saturate the ends of the elastic with clear nail polish to prevent fraying, and let dry.

Step 8
Now rotate your elastic again and pull the stitched ends through one of your incisions so that they are inside of the back cover, just above or below one of the incisions. You can glue the elastic to the inside of the back cover if you’d like, but I didn’t find this necessary.

 Now pull your elastic around the front and you are finished! (The back should look like the picture below.)

The verdict? Problem solved! No more flapping journal pages and freaking out about bent corners for me! (Except when I drop it… all the time… like my phone… also not the only one with this problem, right?) I love how I could just cut and change the elastic if I felt so inclined. And there are so many adorable colors and patterns of fold over elastic that you can match or accent your journal however you’d like!

So how else do y’all obsess over keeping your journal neat and pretty? Or are you the “Wreck This Journal” type? (I love those, but I would always cheat on them so I didn’t have to dirty them up!)

Stay lovely,

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