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  • Madeleine C.

DIY Mindfulness Journal

Goal of Activity:

With this DIY journal craft, adolescents engage in mindfulness practice of personal reflection. They will first create and decorate their individual journal. With this new resource, they will then develop reflection prompts and engage in the challenging mindfulness practice of learning more about the self.

Introduction Paragraph:

This activity combines creativity and a reflective mindfulness exercise: self reflection. Mindful reflections will challenge you to be curious and open to your experiences, thoughts, feelings and actions. This activity is a great way for adolescents to learn how to slow down and focus more deeply on the individual self, during a very busy time in their lives. By the end of this activity, you will have a personal, handcrafted mindfulness journal which can be used to help to gain insight into your life through the thoughtful act of writing.


  • 8.5 x 11” lined or printer paper

  • 8.5 x 11” construction paper

  • Twine or string

  • 1 hole puncher

  • A pair of scissors

Activity Steps:

Before we begin, let’s make sure your workspace is ready to go with your materials. You will need lined paper, colored construction paper, twine, a hole puncher, a pair of scissors, and a glue stick. Place these on a flat surface.

Step 1: First, before we tackle tangible steps, let’s think about the purpose of your personal DIY journal. How will you be putting this journal to use? For everyday mantras? Positive affirmations? Weekly goals? After you have determined the journal’s primary use, let’s begin by taking a piece of the lined 8.5x11” paper, and cutting it right down the center horizontally. Repeat this a few times until you feel you have enough pages sufficient for your journal. I cut about 5 large pages, so that I will have 10 small pages total. Your pieces should now be 8.5x 5.5”. These smaller portions of paper will be used for the inside of the journal, where you will write and journal in response to your prompts.

Step 2: Now we will be measuring how big you want your journal cover to be! Think back to why you are creating this journal and what its purpose will be in your life. Are you looking to create a large journal, with plenty of page space to write lots of inner thoughts, or are you looking to keep it small, as a pocket journal, that you can carry with you to jot down notes? Let’s take your desired number of 8.5x5.5” pieces of paper, and lay them on top of your desired construction paper. I left about half an inch around the edges of the lined paper pages and the construction paper cover. Trim the cover to size.

Step 3: Then, fold this paper combination in half horizontally. It should look like a book! Tip: You may use a paper clip to keep the pages nice and straight for this folding step if you like.

Step 4: Next, grab your hole punchers! Punch two holes vertically, one at the bottom center of the lined paper, and one at the top center of the lined paper. These two holes should be directly on the fold you just made. This is going to create the spine of your journal! Tip: The more paper you have layered, the harder you will need to push to make a hole effectively through the layers.

Step 5: Then, use twine to attach the lined paper and the cover together. For this step, I cut about a 10 inch piece of twine. I then looped the twine through the first hole from the inside of the book to the outside towards the spine. Then, I stuck the twine back into the second hole from the outside to the inside of the journal, and tied the two ends into a small knot. If you need to cut down any additional twine, that is ok! Placing the knot inside the journal keeps it hidden inside the book rather than on the spine. Options: If you prefer, you can also make the knot on the outside of the cover instead of the inside. If you choose to do this, you will need to loop the twine through the first hole from the outside in, then back out the second whole from the inside out. Additionally, you may turn the knot into a bow if you like the way that looks!

Step 6: You have finished creating your DIY journal! Feel free to spice up your cover in a way that is meaningful to you, your likes and interests. You can use colored markers, crayons, stamps, cloth, stickers, or any craft item!

Step 7: On the inside of your journal is where the mindfulness component really comes to life. What can you learn about yourself through this activity? A few ways I use my journal is for weekly reflection or for jotting down developing goals that I’d like to reach. I encourage you to think of a few of your own categories! For example, you can choose a few meaningful topics to focus on over the course of a week or month. Use these categories as example prompts.

Challenges: Reflect on 3 challenges that you’ve had to overcome.

Exercising: List a few ways you have been active.

Quotes: What are some of your most favorite inspirational quotes?

Positive Affirmations: Name 5 positive characteristics about yourself, and why.

Closing Paragraph:

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this project and can learn more about yourself through the mindfulness practice of reflection through writing. If you find yourself needing to reach for a goal, or try something new, or even seeking a way to cheer yourself up, I hope you find ease in dedicating this mindful journal to targeting this desire and keeping track of your progress.

~ Made By: Madeleine C.

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