Make Your Own Inexpensive Gratitude Journal

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make your own inexpensive gratitude journalsI have been keeping a gratitude journal for almost 2 years now. I find it a great way to maintain a thankful spirit.

weekly plannerI use a simple $1 week at a glance planner found at my local Dollar Tree each year.  I love that each day has just a few lines to jot down the things that happened that day that I am most thankful for.

I was perfectly happy with it until I saw Crystal’s gratitude journal and the envy fairy started to work her magic within me. My thrifty ways would not let the envy fairy spend more than the $1 I already spend on a gratitude journal so I let her talk me into altering the journals I already use.

With a bit of thought I came up with three different ways to cover my gratitude journals from 2012, 2013, and the one I recently purchased for 2014 (My local Dollar Tree just got next year’s in ).

I am sharing their transformations with you here today so that you can quiet your own “envy fairy” or just start a really great habit of being intentionally thankful each and every day of the year in a stylish DIY gratitude journal.

If you are a lot more crafty than I am (which wouldn’t take much) you could make these as gifts for  your loved ones as gifts this Christmas  for very little money. Paired with a pen an inscription by you as to why you are thankful for them and I think you would have a great meaningful gift.

Here was my first attempt

gratitude journal 2014For this gratitude journal I used some scrap booking paper I had and cut it just slightly bigger than the calendar. I then added on printed out labels. I am happy with how plain and simple it looks but not so happy with the glue in the lower corner (what can I say I failed glue skills in preschool)say I failed glue skills in preschool)DIY $1 Gratitude journal (

For my second attempt I grabbed my current 2013 gratitude journal and some printed duct tape. I  used a ruler to help cut each piece of tape to the same length. I suppose I could have done it so the pattern matched up like you do with wall paper but I am not that fussy. I could have also bought one of those duct tape sheets they now sell so that I would have had no seams but I wanted the duct tape for another craft so this was more thrifty.

grattitude journal 2012For my third version  I got a piece of my daughter’s art off the fridge and cut it to just bigger than the cover so that I could wrap it around the edges. This particular calendar I bought at Big Lots for $2 back in 2012 (yes I know I splurged and spent an extra dollar). What I liked about it is it came with a clear cover over the tacky cardboard one. The clear cover helps protect my daughter’s art piece.

I was thinking if you did not have children who produce mass amounts of art, you could also use a flyer from a concert you attended or a post card from where you went on vacation, basically anything that sparks thankful memories.

all three gratitude journalsIn the end I think the envy fairy came up with some pretty good ideas of how to convert my thrifty $1 week at a glance calender slash ugly yet practical  gratitude journal into something pretty, practical and still THRIFTY.

Here are a few tips I learned that will help you make your own

1. Cut the paper a bit larger than the cover

cutting paper

I did this by placing the gratitude journal open to the middle on the paper and created a quarter inch boarder around it. I then used a ruler to draw the two lines I needed for the side and the top.

2. How to work around the top and bottom of the cover

doing the spin of the cover

I grabbed all the pages in one hand and then gently worked the new cover over the old cover and between the pages.

3. A few tips for the duct tape version

cutting duct tape for gratitude journalI used a ruler to help cut the tape to the same length each time. Measure the height of the book and then add on 1/2 inch which will allow for you to bend 1/4 of an inch around top and bottom. Also I worked in from each edge of the cover, two strips each and then did the middle strip down the spin  over lapping on each side equal amounts. I suppose you could also do width ways if you wanted to.

These are just 3 ideas of how to cover a $1 week at a glance calendar and make it a stylish gratitude journal. Take these pictures and use them as a jumping board and create one that is uniquely you or uniquely your loved one.

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Simply don’t have the time to craft your own $1 journal but still love the idea of keeping a gratitude journal? Then you might want to check out this ready made one for $8.99 on Amazon. I personally have not seen it but the reviews look good. There are a few others to choose from too.

Linked to Better Mom Mondays at The Better Mom, Teach Me Tuesdays at Growing Home, Titus 2sdays at The Time Warp Wife, Titus 2 Tuesdays at Cornerstone Confessions, WFMW at We Are That Family, WHW at Raising Arrows, The Mommy Club at Crystal&Co, WOW Me Wednesday Ginger Snap Crafts , Hearts For Home at Upside Down Homeschooling, Thrifty Thursdays at Living Well Spending Less

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  1. Love this idea! Thanks for posting!

  2. Cute and creative journal covers! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Super cute! Those would make great gifts! I bet even fabric could be used for the cover.

  4. What a great idea—thank you so much! I think I’m gonna copy you. 🙂

  5. I love these ideas! How awesome, I am so inspired!

  6. I love this idea for my girls! We are just starting a new Bible study curriculum and I feel that this would be a really nice addition to their study. I can’t wait. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. This is such a cute idea! I tweeted it, I hope you do not mind!

  8. Oh, I love gratitude journals. Writing down things we are thankful for gives us the chance to step back and realize just how blessed we are and all the things we do have. Those are SO cute. Thank you for linking up to Thrifty Thursday.


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