Making & Keeping a Gratitude Journal

by Kim on November 25, 2009


Each month I feel fortunate enough to be able to get together with good friends as part of a monthly quilt group.  I absolutely love that day because we eat, laugh, sew, eat some more, laugh, sew, eat…you get the picture. :)   But we also talk about fun little ideas, too. Ideas that may seem simple, but hey, I like simple. And I like meaningful. 

This idea  is just that.  It came from my good friend Karlee. As we were chatting about the latest and greatest fabrics, or what the kids were doing at preschool, she told me that she needed to finish up some gratitude journals she was giving to friends. I was immediately intrigued. Gratitude journals? Tell me more! I knew the concept of course, but how she put these together was also fun to learn about.  Because remember – I like simple…and I like easy…and I like creating something meaningful to keep or to give to others. This is one such idea.

Karlee started with a Mead Composition book. You know the ones — they’re usually black and white, have no spiral binding, and are used for….well, composition, of course. :)   They can also be purchased for around $1-2, but if you stock up at the beginning of a new school year, you can round them up for about a quarter! Come September, I’m stocking up! :)

Then with a gluestick (or spray adhesive) and scrapbook paper, she covered the notebook, including the bound edge. I love how she used one pattern paper for the book, and another paper for the binding.

Next, it was time to embellish! Ribbons, flowers, buttons, stickers — all can be used for embellishing. I think that’s one of the things I like so much about this project. It would be so fun to really personalize it for the recipient. And I know these recipients will appreciate such a thoughtful gift given to them – especially at this Thanksgiving time when it is good to be reminded of the many wonderful things in our lives. In fact, I’m almost certain that one of the first things written in that new journal would be the fact that it was created by such a good and caring friend.

Here’s another photo of the journals. Think of the possibilities with this one!

And being the sweet mom she is, Karlee didn’t want to leave out her own daughters. So with a spiral notebook, she created these. Won’t the girls just love them?

They’re really great for all ages.  Karlee’s 17-year old sister made a bunch of them this past summer for her peers. She passed them out at a Girl’s Camp and they were a hit. 

Think journals, recipes, a place to record funny things the kids say, etc. etc. Think Thanksgiving, Christmas, teacher gifts, and more.  There are endless ways to both use these decorated books and ways to embellish them.  Thank you Karlee for a great idea. 

Have fun everyone!


1 Kris 11.25.09 at 8:04 am

Oh wow- how fun! I think gratitude journals are such a great concept. I love how Karlee put these all together. So, so cute! You have inspired me for sure!

2 terry 12.01.09 at 10:32 am

these are wonderful as a place to take notes during talks and conferences -things you want to remember- and will last for several years. You always know what to bring along for the speeches and where to look for something you already heard. And they are so much cuter than a spiral or something that looks just like what is used for school!

3 terry 12.01.09 at 10:34 am

these are wonderful as a place to take notes during talks and conferences -things you want to remember- and they will hold enough to last for several years. You always know what to bring along for the speeches and where to look for something you already heard. And they are so much cuter than a spiral or something that looks just like what is used for school!

4 Courtney @ Sister To Sister 12.01.09 at 11:54 am

So cute! It makes writing in them so much more fun when they are that cute! :)

We started keeping Gratitude journals at the girls 2nd Thanksgiving. Each year on our car trip we each name and then write down 101 things we are thankful for. I love hearing what the girls come up and it makes the trip go a lot faster!

5 Christine H. 12.03.09 at 1:35 am

My ten year old step daughter loves writing ….Graditude Journals are a wonderful idea!!!

6 Jean Lowenberger 12.03.09 at 5:03 am

Both my daughter and eldest granddaughter are “great writers”, for that I am thankful, but now they can have personalized journals to contain all of their creative writing adventures. Wonderful idea!

7 Heather 12.03.09 at 5:25 am

Super cute! I think using this as a place to record funny/cute things my kids say, and milestones for my baby boy would be a great idea. Also, it would be a great place for me to record all the ideas I have for future craft projects. Love these!

8 Sara@HappyBrownHouse 12.03.09 at 8:06 am

These are so cute! Teenagers love these. As a former teacher, I always liked pretty things to write with too. Teacher gift alert!

9 Robyn 12.03.09 at 8:19 am

I’ve made a couple books like this. I did one that I use for my exercise journal (I keep track of my workouts, calories burned, etc.), I also did one for keeping track of the cute things my kids say.

10 Laura Pearce 12.03.09 at 8:22 am

I’ll answer both questions … Number one, I’m so luck to have such a wonderful family. I am thankful for them each and every day :)

I think these would be great classmate gifts at the end of the school year. Sort of a place to write “have a great summer” messages back and forth or draw each other pictures for the younger set.

11 Tiffani 12.03.09 at 8:26 am

I love, love, love the idea of Gratitude journals! I made some with a group of 10 year old girls, and they loved them as well. You could use these books for so many things, how about a projects book. I like to write down all the ideas I find on the web and plan on making so I can keep track of what I plan to do

12 gramma grammie 12.03.09 at 9:34 am

What a precious idea! These will make great gifts. I’m grateful that my son came home safely from the war.

13 Marilyn2222 12.03.09 at 11:12 am

You could use this book as a record of all the projects you have done. Years later I will think about some of the items I did and wish I could put my hands ont he notes. It would be handy to have them all in one place.

14 Dina 12.03.09 at 11:45 am

I think it would be great to take on an extended vacation (like Europe) and keep track of everything you do, thoughts, ticket stubs, pics etc!

15 Sarah in MO 12.03.09 at 1:59 pm

I love the idea of a Graditude Journal! You could also use this as a diary, or you could use it like I do blank journals and record all the things I’ve sewn with any adjustments I’ve made to the pattern so that I can duplicate it again if I need to.

16 Becky 12.03.09 at 4:03 pm

I would love to put my family’s favorite recipes with pictures of the family enjoying them in a book like this.

17 Carolyn Hutchinson 12.03.09 at 5:04 pm

This would be great for craft ideas, either notes or sketches.

18 Connie T 12.03.09 at 9:16 pm

answer to the question is…

You can use these books for your favorite recipes..and record all the funny things your kids say!! Which is a Fantastic Idea!!

19 Rachel 12.04.09 at 9:25 am

I love the idea of using composition books so you can cover the whole thing. They look so cute!. I use notebooks for everything around my house; to do lists, shopping lists, messages, my son and daughter like to draw in them. We love notebooks at my house so this is an idea I can definently use.

20 Adena 12.04.09 at 7:12 pm

I’ve made tons of these already. In fact, each of my kids made one for their writing journal at the beginning of this school year. I am grateful for family, friends, faith.

21 Laura 12.04.09 at 8:49 pm

This would make a really cute brag book if made out of an inexpensive small photo album. I am most grateful for my wonderful family!

22 Sheila C 12.05.09 at 10:56 am

These would be great for recording the milestones of your grandchildren! Also special memories that you want your grandkids to have… they would always have this book to keep the memories alive.



23 Karen 12.05.09 at 6:16 pm

These would make cute diaries for girls (or their Moms!). I’m so thankful for my family.

24 Jaime B. 12.06.09 at 10:03 am

I love this idea. I used the idea to make notebooks with all the students in my class. I used their school pictures, their notebooks, and ribbon, fabric, and paper scraps that we collected.

25 Melissa 12.08.09 at 10:45 am

That would be perfect for my sewing journal. I keep track of what I made, the date, the pattern number, size, yardage used, etc. It’s an a boring old spirl notebook that has seen better days – time to upgrade!

26 Deborah K 12.08.09 at 4:41 pm

diaries, call journals, homework assignments…

27 Star 12.10.09 at 2:43 pm

These would be really cute as a Bible Study notebook. In fact, I would love to give them as gifts to the ladies in my Bible Study group.

28 Vicki Arnold 12.10.09 at 3:38 pm

I love these!! What a versatile gift. I like the suggestion for “funny things your kids say”. I write those down on scraps of paper and they bring such joy to my heart when I re-find them, lol. A place to keep them separate and special would be great. :)

29 Andrea McMann 12.12.09 at 6:32 am

Those are adorable!! I never would have known they were made from those Mead composition notebooks! Great job! You could use these for anything you need to write down, from shopping lists, to keeping track of calories, to chore lists. It never hurts to have something pretty to write with. :)

30 Kelly O. 12.15.09 at 6:49 am

you could use this as a prayer journal to keep track of those that you are praying for or thoughts or scripture that are meaningful to you.

Comments on this entry are closed.