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Make your own Road Trip Journal

Tonya Prater, Owner

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Make your own Road Trip Journal

When my kids were younger and we started traveling on a regular basis, I required them to keep a journal. As a homeschool mom, I focused on the practical side of journaling- penmanship, grammar and spelling. My kids balked at the idea of recording their thoughts, ideas, or even our whereabouts. Grudgingly, they would record the bare minimum. This typically included the state we were in, how long of a drive we’d had, what our hotel room looked like and a general description of the pool. Once in awhile, I’d get lucky and they’d jot down a paragraph or two about a destination they really liked. And if they were really in the mood, they’d sketch a photo.

I had no idea how much I (or they) would appreciate and enjoy reading those journals after the fact. Now that they are grown, it seems as though those trips happened in another lifetime. Reading the entries in their 9-year old handwriting with misspelled words always put a smile on my face and almost bring a tear to my eye. I’m so glad that I insisted my kids keep a journal of our trips, and finally, so are they. While I was insisting they create a journal, I neglected to write my own, something I deeply regret. I know as I continue to age, my memories will fade, the moments I captured in my mind will lose their luster and if I don’t share those moments, they’ll pass away when my life is over.

So I’ve vowed to write those memories inside a journal. Not just a notebook that will be mistaken as worthless notes, but a decorated journal where I can record my memories. So I bought a lined journal, some stickers and Scotch® Expressions Tapes at Walmart and set out to decorate and make it my own for an upcoming road trip. It was super easy to do and I finished mine from start to finish in under 30 minutes.

Find the Scotch Create and Scotch Expressions at your local Walmart.

Make your own Road Trip Journal

First, I gathered the supplies I bought at Walmart with some supplies I had stashed in my craft closet. Next, I protected my work space by laying out newspaper on my table.

Gathering supplies for my DIY road trip journal.

I started on my Part One of my project- a burlap bag to store my travel journal in. I wanted to dress it up a bit.

Painting a burlap bag to store my DIY road trip journalI lightly sprayed the back of the stencil with a bit of Scotch® Create Brand spray adhesive and placed the stencil on the burlap. This kept my stencil in place.

After I painted the circle, I removed the stencil and set it aside. To make sure the paint doesn’t go through to the back of the burlap bag, I inserted a sheet of newspaper or junk mail inside the envelope.

Adding the T to my burlap bag.

I lightly sprayed my second stencil with spray adhesive and placed it inside the circle. Instead of adding more paint, I simply placed an ink pad on top of the stencil. Easy Peasy.

Finished burlap product

I set the bag aside to dry, which didn’t take long. Not only will I be able to store my journal in this bag, I’ll also have a place to store brochures, postcards and pressed pennies.

Customizing a journal with scrapbook paper

Now it’s time to decorate that journal.

I placed my journal upside down on a sheet of scrapbook paper, traced the outline and cut it out. The journal I selected had a strap to keep the journal closed so I added two slits in the paper for the elastic band to fit through (see photo above).

I rolled up the paper and crinkled it to add some texture then unrolled it and smoothed it back out.
Smoothing the paper onto the journal.

I lightly sprayed the journal with spray adhesive and gently placed the paper on the journal and began to rub the paper onto the journal until it was secure, paying special attention to the edges.

Adding washi tape to the journal

Next, I trimmed the edges of extra paper, added a bit of black ink to the paper and began to add the black Scotch® Expressions Tape and began to add some fun stickers.

Time to decorate my road trip journalI really enjoyed allowing my creativity to flow- adding stickers and the Washi tape wherever I felt it looked good.

Creating your own DIY road trip journal.Inside the pages, I added chalk board stickers every 10 or so pages. I love that I could write on them with a chalkboard marker to add a touch of inspiration to my journal. 

Use chalkboard stickers to add inspiration to your road trip journal.

Scotch® Expressions line of tape combines fun and function. I love that I could use the tape to finish the edges of my book which is very practical, while adding a touch of whimsy. It was so easy to use the Scotch® Expressions line and work it into my plans and I found a lot of colors and patterns available to work with. The Scotch® Create line of masking tape, spray adhesives, and everything in between can take on any task that you (or I) can dream up.

The finished road trip journal.

Do you like this craft? Be sure to check out this website for more amazing craft ideas.



Sunday 22nd of November 2015

Looks like a fun project and as a homeschooling mom myself, I totally "get" having your kids keep a journal! :)

Brenda Brown

Saturday 21st of November 2015

This is such a good idea! It is cute too!

Robin Gagnon @MomFoodie

Saturday 21st of November 2015

I love how your customization, makes the journal so much more special and personal. A coveted spot to share insights & delights.


Friday 20th of November 2015

This is such a great idea. We always road trip to Florida and my son would love something like this.


Wednesday 18th of November 2015

Hey Tonya! It's Teresa from church. Just read your blog this morning and was excited to see this entry. Olivia and I love to make travel journals. We are getting ready to use ours this weekend! There are great youtube videos for travel journals and Midori travel systems !!! We just discovered that Sharpie brand pens don't bleed through ( they are labeled pen)the pages. Love the cover of your book. By the way I regret not making a natural journal when the kids were doing nature study:( Good article. Thank you.


Wednesday 2nd of December 2015

I'll check out those journals, Teresa. My kids only did a nature journal when I coerced them, but I love the few pages I have from that time in our lives. We'll have to catch up so I can hear where you went to use your journals! Protection Status
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