I love gathering school supplies for my kids, but I’m always tempted to pick up fresh pencils and crisp notebooks for my friends as well. It seems like everyone enjoys a fresh start in the fall! So I asked Jordan of Polkadot Prints to come up with a perfect gift for friends who are trying something new. — Gabrielle

A friend of mine has recently gone back to part time work after taking some time off to focus on her young family. She is in a creative industry, so she’ll no doubt have light-bulb moments and genius ideas on the go! I’m hoping these gilded Moleskine journals will come in handy for her brainstorming and note taking whether in the board room, the car or anywhere in between. They were quite easy to make and once on a roll, I ended up making myself a set too!

So lets gather our tools and get started.

– Pocket-sized Journals (I used these Moleskine ones)
Carbon Paper
– Gold Foil (or use a good quality Aluminum foil)
– Your choice of shape, Logo or name printed out
– Scalpel blade (like an Xacto knife)
– Pencil
– Glue or double sided tape
– Patterned paper (optional)

Most of these things were really easy to get a hold of and quite inexpensive.

1. You’ll need to print out your choice of shape for the front of the journal. I chose an ampersand and an asterisk from a modern font.

2. Layer your paper and carbon paper in position over the journal cover and trace around using a pencil. You won’t need to press too hard.

3. Using your scalpel blade, cut around your shape making sure if you have any negative spaces to keep those to stick back in later.

4. On the inside cover glue around your shape and place a small piece of foil over the hole you’ve cut out.

5. Turn over and glue on any pieces that you saved.

6.Trim back from the edges a little.

Note: If you don’t want to line the inside of your books with patterned paper, you can use a large piece of foil instead and skip the next few steps! (I kind of like the patterned lining though…)

5. Glue the entire inside cover making sure to get right to the corners.

6. Place your patterned paper flush against the spine, pressing firmly to stick. Turn over and trim to size.

And tada! Your gorgeous new notebook is complete. Warning: I highly recommend you buy extra moleskins, because this project is addictive. : )


– A college student to journal about their studies.
– A birthday gift for a diary-keeping tween.
– A new mom to use as a feeding & changing log.

P.S. — More ideas at your fingertips: Find all the posts in this series here.