Easy Handmade Blank Notebooks with Gelli Plate Prints

I absolutely love blank notebooks and journals, and every time I go into a book store, I head straight for the journal section. Lately, I have been drawn to the cute notebook sets, and I thought making my own with Gelli Plate prints would be a great step towards using up my Gelli Plate prints stash.


  • Gelli Plate prints on cardstock
  • regular printer paper
  • white and black gel pens, paint pens or markers (I used a regular black Sharpie, Dylusions Paint Pens and a Sakura White Gelly Roll Pen
  • white sewing thread
  • sewing machine
  • paper trimmer


  1. Pick out your prints.Gelli_Plate_Prints
  2. Doodle on them with paint pens, markers, gel pens.
  3. Trim the paper for the inside. I used regular printer paper and trimmed it to be 1/4 inch less in length than the cover piece.
  4. Arrange the stack of printer paper evenly on top of the back of the print. Attach with a few paper clips. You can always measure this if you want, but it’s only 1/8th of an inch on each side, so I just do my best to make it look even without a ruler.Paper Clips on inside of notebook
  5. Flip over and a draw a light line down the middle of the outside of your notebook with a pencil. I do measure this with a ruler and a straight edge. If not, when you fold it, it may come out all wonky.Book with Center Pencil line and Paper clips
  6. At your sewing machine, choose your stitch length. For these notebooks, you will want a longer stitch than usual. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can bind them with a simple pamphlet stitch which you can find on Google.
  7. Following the light pencil line, sew a straight line on the outside of the notebook. I find that the thread covers up the line, even if I use white thread, so I don’t need to erase it afterwards.
  8. Fold the book in half at the sewn line. Then place them under some heavy books or into a book press if you have one to flatten them.
  9. Take them out when they are flat enough and admire your beautiful new notebooks.

Here is what mine ended up looking like:

For this blue journal, I doodled with white and black paint pens. I kept it simple by just outlining the circles and connecting them with black lines.

For this purple one, I outlined the circles with a black Sharpie then added some purple and blue color into the circles with paint pens, then added one of my favorite Zentangle patterns with a white gel pen. I connected a few of these with black marker also.

These 2 teal journals are smaller, and I kept them simplest of all by just outlining the circle in black and white.

If you’d like another idea on how to use gelli prints, check out these awesome Awesome Note Cards Sets using Gelli Prints.

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