A Personalized Gratitude Journal

If you have been sticking around since October (thank you!), you are familiar with my inner child. She’s out and about again and it’s all for Christmas.
I love giving gifts, and – I feel like maybe I should “shhhhhh” about this – but I love getting them too.

This doesn’t mean I need anything fancy. In fact, most of my favorites are ones that were homemade. It warms my heart to know someone took the time to make something for me – even if it’s just a little note or drawing. They thought about me, and that makes me smile inside and out.
That’s where the inspiration for my latest little project with my little guy came in. He and I are both self-proclaimed artists, so while there was a little squabble back and forth between us, it all turned out just right. The concept was mine, the execution was his.

This journal is intended to be a gratitude journal – one in which each day you enter one, or two, or three things for which you are thankful. Little things or big things, it doesn’t matter. One day every page, from front to back, will hold a record of positive events and happenings that might have otherwise been overlooked. It serves as an unassuming reminder of the love and blessings we receive on daily basis.
This particular mini-masterpiece turned out looking a bit Dali-ish. Maybe I do have a budding master-of-the-arts on my hands!
I bought a simple little $3.00 journal from Michael’s, he picked out paint from our paint bin, and we scoured magazines for pictures that spoke to us about our special loved one.
Once we completed those tasks we were on our way.

Here’s how you can DIY:

Personalized Journal for a Loved One


Blank Journal – preferably with a hard cover
Acrylic paint
Brushes and a cup of water for rinsing, and a paper towel for drying
Magazines for clippings and scissors
Decoupage or mod-podge and a separate brush

Paint the front and back cover of the journal. This should not be a picture, just a background.

Let the paint dry fully while you clip and cut pictures from magazines that remind you of your “giftee”. Before you continue with your clippings, paint the inside edges of the front and back covers if necessary, and let them dry.

When the paint is dry, take your clippings and test out different arrangements without any decoupage or mod-podge. When you have the arrangement you like best, lightly brush the backs of your clippings (or the area on your journal where it will be placed) and gently press it on. Remember to start with your bottom layer of cut-outs first if you are layering. Once you have glued all your clippings in this fashion, let the decoupage dry.
Once that layer is dry, brush a thin layer of decoupage/mod-podge over the top of everything – even the paint. Smooth out bumps with the side of your paintbrush handle if necessary. Let that layer dry, and repeat. Let it dry, and your project is complete!

And then, before you wrap it, write a secret note inside for them to find later.

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