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Handmade Journals : Garden Journals

Updated on March 9, 2017
Two hand made garden journals
Two hand made garden journals | Source

Create Hand Made Garden Journals

Why not make your own garden journal? This page gives you some suggestions for content and construction, as well as providing a video demonstration and links to online resources.

If you are interested in both gardening and paper crafts, you will love having a hand made garden journal to record the details of your garden projects. On the other hand, if you enjoy paper crafts but you don't have a garden, consider that these journals are great gifts for gardeners. The best thing about a hand made journal lies in the versatility you have at your fingertips. You can customize it to suit the recipient.

These hand made books are simple enough to make. You need a selection of cardstock or scrapbook paper, book board or cardboard for the covers, a means to bind the books, and of course, cutting tools and adhesives. Let your creativity run free when it comes to embellishing or trimming the books.

On this page, I'll be showing you the covers and insides of two garden journals I made as gifts.

Envelope and Notebook Pages in a Hand Made Garden Journal
Envelope and Notebook Pages in a Hand Made Garden Journal | Source

Why Keep a Gardening Journal

A Plants Journal is A Yearly Record of Your Garden

Gardeners maintain gardening journals for many reasons. First, these books can be an annual record of the gardening activities -- whether vegetables, flowers, shrubbery, bonsai or other. A garden journal is a valued keepsake as well an item that serves a functional purpose.

Gardeners use journals:

  • to store photographs
  • to plan the spacial layout of the vegetable or flower beds and other gardening elements
  • to store receipts, equipment warranties, growing information, magazine clippings, web site printouts, seed packages, etc.
  • to keep records of growing times, fertilizers, insecticides, crops, plant specimens used
  • to manage to-do lists by season
  • for recording reminders, successes, things to avoid
  • for a year end summary
  • to record a dream list of things to try sometime
  • and more.

Suggested Content for a Garden Journal - Customized to Suit the Gardener

The content for a garden journal can vary, depending on the needs and interests of the gardener. Those with small balcony gardens or other small garden spaces will have different needs than those who maintain a large garden in the back yard. Those who use a community garden will have different needs yet again.

Suggested Items to put in a Garden Journal

  • Space for Photographs

    Add blocks or mats where the gardener can affix some photographs. Remember to include a small journaling block underneath for captions and comments.

  • Graph Paper

    Dedicated gardeners often plot their gardening space using detailed drawings. Graph paper allows them to draw to scale.

  • Seed Pockets

    Pockets or spaces for seed packages let the gardener store unused seeds or the empty packages, which usually contain growing information.

  • Blank or Lined Pages for Note Taking

    Remember to include plenty of blank pages where the gardener can make notes and keep records.

  • Envelopes

    Envelopes in which to store receipts, newspaper clippings, magazine articles. warranties, etc. are useful additions.

  • Calendar with Spaces

    A calendar with spaced number blocks is a handy tool. The gardener can mark dates on which to perform certain tasks.

  • Seasonal to-do List

    Seasonal to-do lists let the dedicated gardener record and check off each task to perform throughout the four seasons.

  • Envelope to Contain a DVD

    Gardeners may like to videotape their gardens or make audio comments. They can burn this to disk and save it in their journals.

Video of Two Garden Journals - Showing my Handmade Journals Inside and Out

Tiny Garden Tools Made with Artist Wire - Embellishments for a Garden Journal

Gardening Tools Embellishment
Gardening Tools Embellishment | Source

Have Fun Embellishing

Let your imagination run free when it comes to creating trims and embellishments for your garden journals. This picture shows three small gardening tools (rake, shovel and digging tool) that I fashioned from green colored and silver colored artist or decorator wire.

Spine of Hand Made Journal Bound with Coptic Stitch
Spine of Hand Made Journal Bound with Coptic Stitch | Source

Four Ways to Bind your Hand Made Garden Journals

There are various approaches to binding hand made journals, which of course includes garden journals. The following four types of binding are ones that I use personally.

Coptic Stitch Binding

Coptic stitch as a means of book binding has been around for a long time. It involves punching small holes through the books cover and the signatures (i.e groups of pages) and then using a strong thread to perform a "coptic stitch". The picture shows the first coptic bound book that I made. Instructions for doing coptic stitch are at this link.

Wire Binding

This is the binding method I use most often now that I have the Zutter binding tool The garden journal pictures shown elsewhere on this page utilize wire binding. There is a video demonstrating how to use the Zutter Bind-it-all at this link.

Ring Binding

Ring binding is simple to do. You simply punch holes through the covers and pages, then slip binder rings through the holes. You can purchase binder rings at office supply stores and at various craft stores. This link has a picture of a handmade journal bound with rings

Binding with Ribbon, String or Other Fabric

This type of binding involves punching holes through the covers and the signatures or pages. Bind with a fabric such as ribbon, thread, twine, yarn, lace or other. This link goes to a picture of a Hand Made Journal Bound with Twine

There are others approaches to binding. Many books are available on that topic. As mentioned earlier, these three types of the ones I use most often.

Links to Garden Journal Templates and Printables

Perhaps you want to make your own garden journal but you'd like a little help. The links below should come to the rescue. You'll find a garden journal template, a free, printable garden journal, information about keeping a garden journal and more.

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    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I need to get back to keeping a garden journal. I haven't done it lately, and I miss it and the information contained. In my old garden journal, I could look back to see when the hosta first appeared last year, or when the calla lilies first emerged from the ground. Thanks, you have inspired me.

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 3 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @AcornOakForest: Thanks so much!

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 3 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      I think these are just beautiful. As much fun to make as they would be to use. Great lens!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      Keeping a journal is a wonderful and powerful thing to do. Best of all, you can keep a journal for any topic, activity, or interest.

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      Great idea for any gardener, great lens, I'm sharing it with the Weekend Gardeners on Squidoo, come join and like us too!

      https://www.facebook.com/GrammieKnowsWeekendGarden...

    • marktplaatsshop profile image

      marktplaatsshop 4 years ago

      This is a journal I would like to make, great to have and I am sure lots of fun making them, thanks for sharing

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 4 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      These journals look like great personalized gifts to hand out. Nice job on this article!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Great idea... I need to get one of those Zutter Bind It Alls! Cool.

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @TreasuresBrenda: I am puzzled -- there once was a Flickr module but I removed it awhile back. I wonder how you happened to access an old version of the lens. That is one of the Squidoo mysteries, I guess. LOL

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 4 years ago from Canada

      P.S. - There's a Flickr module on this lens that you might like to remove, since they no longer work.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 4 years ago from Canada

      Great idea to record your work in the garden.

    • kmhrsn profile image

      kmhrsn 4 years ago

      I really LOVE your little garden tools. Lovely work! Very helpful article.

    • brownee lm profile image

      brownee lm 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing! I am a journal addict so I will have to try these out!

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 4 years ago

      I don't have the time to make something like this, but I love yours! Those garden journals would make a great gift. They are nicely done.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Nice idea:) Well done on the purple star

    • yonique88 profile image

      yonique88 4 years ago

      This is a very creative idea and I will try it some time. I really like your lens.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Congrats on front page placement. I am going to come back and use these instructions myself and give one of these as a gift to my sister who is a gardening fan extreme.

    • FancyThatUSA profile image

      FancyThatUSA 4 years ago

      This is so pretty, the kind of thing my grampa would of loved if he was still alive

    • profile image

      fifinn 4 years ago

      you're really creative. Love this lens.

    • mcspocky lm profile image

      mcspocky lm 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens. I never thought about people keeping garden journals, of course I'm not much of a gardener. :)

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      P.s. added to my fave lenses lens under the Crafty creative DIY ideas http://www.squidoo.com/Funkyfavesquid

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      I also have a suggestion for a journal, (if one does not want to completely make one from scratch but can purchase the component)

      Staples makes a planner that you can customize.. They are called ARC customizable notebook system. Here's staples site direct to the page (or should be) http://www.staples.com/Arc/directory_Arc I think would be a great use for this sort of thing as they also have pockets that seal that the seed envelopes would keep better in. I don't have a garden but my landlord does so maybe I can ask if I can have a spot for myself and plant maybe 1-5 things. (too bad trees take too long to grow & produce fruit :-(

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Just stopping back by to browse and get inspired by your awesome journals! :)

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thanks for the nice comment and thanks for visiting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What interesting pages in the garden journal. Had not seen one with pockets, envelopes, and all the ways of storing garden memorabilia. Wow.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What a wonderful idea as a gift that will be meaningful to our gardening friends. I just recently heard of people keeping gardening journals and it sure makes sense for following plant progress over time and to just remember some of the special things you've tried.

    • PennyHowe profile image

      PennyHowe 4 years ago

      Great ideas. I just learned how to make a journal using paper bags--very interesting and fun. Another super lens.

    • profile image

      laurenrich 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens. It is very informative and helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 4 years ago

      You have neat stuff thanks

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 4 years ago from Iowa

      I don't garden but love unique journals for all sorts of other things. Lovely lens. :)

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Joeyyip: Thanks!

    • Joeyyip profile image

      Joeyyip 5 years ago

      Wow! I'm impressed! So beautiful!

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Peregrina LM: Thank you!

    • Peregrina LM profile image

      Peregrina LM 5 years ago

      Those are beautiful!

    • lauranlauran profile image

      lauranlauran 5 years ago

      nice ideas!

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @ItayaLightbourne: Thank you!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Wonderful garden journal ideas! Love the little tools you made for the cover. :)

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Bellezza-Decor: Hand made garden journals encourage creativity on two levels - gardening and art. Thanks for visiting.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 5 years ago from Canada

      Your garden notes definitely look nicer in these handmade journals then in a plain notepad.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Brandi Bush: These are fun to make. Perhaps you could give them a try.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      These are very pretty! I have a weakness for journals...I seem to collect them. I'd love to make some of my own. :)

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @hlkljgk: Oh gee, that's news to me! Well, thanks for letting me know. That's an honor.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

      beautiful books. Congratulations on being featured on the 50 Crafts I Want To Try MonsterBoard!

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @AceofHearts: Thank you for visiting and for your kind comments. I will be sure to look for your Handmade Books lens.

    • AceofHearts profile image

      AceofHearts 6 years ago

      THank you for the beautiful post. I am so glad you put this page together. It gives me all kinds of great ideas. I am linking your page to my featured lens list in Handmade Books.

      Many Blessings.

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you, Yes, I do love gardening.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You put a lot of effort making those garden journals. That is truly admirable of you. Your passion for gardening is unquestionable.

      maple bonsai

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: I hope you do. I enjoyed making my garden journals more than any other project, I think.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      i love this lens! you gave me interesting ideas and hopefully I can start on them as soon as I can!

      ____________________________________

      get the perfect DIY conservatory to improve the look and feel of your home!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you! How lovely!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a lovely idea. Blessed by your neighborhood Squid Angel so everyone will be sure and see it in time for spring.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @sukkran trichy: Many thanks!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      very interesting lens. ~blessed~

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @ElizabethJeanAl: Its a good thing to do, if like me, you tend to forget from year to year what worked and what did not! lOl

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      I love to garden but I've never journaled about it. Something to consider.

      Thanks.

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I don't have a garden yet, but your journals look very lovely! Thank you for the instructions.

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Hello! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Hello! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @CrossCreations: Thanks so much for visiting. I hope you do make a journal for your sister. I'd love to see a picture of it,.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      A wonderfully creative idea and a perfect gift for a gardener. This lens just flows with creativity, well-written and designed. Blessed by a Squid angel.

      My sister will be retiring soon and loves to garden. I think I'd love to create one of these for her. Thanks for your instructions.

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Jay_Chua: A porch swing journal sounds intriguing. Thanks for visiting.,

    • profile image

      Jay_Chua 7 years ago

      I really enjoyed your great lense:)

      Which also give me some inspiration perhaps I should start a porch swing journal as well.

      My wife & I love gardening so much, and winter is officially in our neighborhood..we can only look forward for 2011 summer.

      Jay

      Publisher, PorchSwingSets.com

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Rita-K: Thank you so much for visiting. I hope you make a journal and show us the pictures.

    • Rita-K profile image

      Rita-K 7 years ago

      I have so enjoyed reading your lens! What great information! I would love to make a journal using your techniques. Thank you for sharing.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @kateloving: Thank you so much!

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 7 years ago from Lancaster PA

      Excellent suggestions because we need to remember what worked and what didn't. Good records are a must! And a well deserved Purple Star!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @BuckHawkcenter: Thank you so much for visiting and your kind comment.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 7 years ago

      As a gardener and a journal keeper, I certainly enjoyed your lens! A big thumbs up for all the helpful information. Well-deserved purple star.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @GramaBarb: Thanks Barb! I appreciate your visit.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 7 years ago from Vancouver

      Congratulations on being awarded a purple star!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @myraggededge: Thank you! I'm checking out your lens right now. It sounds fascinating.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Lee Hansen: Hand made paper would be great. I decided a long time ago that I would not try paper making, due to cramped quarters and lack of space. I love the look of it when I see what others have made. The Zutter is great. It's one of my most prized crafting tools.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      What a fun and fine gift idea for a gardener. I would love to try making some hand made paper to create a garden journal. Lovely and great tutorial - oh, and the Zutter is my new "must have" toy.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @norma-holt: Thank you! I am truly honored. I tried leaving a comment on Sprinkled with Stardust but I'm not sure it went through. Squidoo is having a few buggy issues this morning.

    • profile image

      myraggededge 7 years ago

      Lovely. Blessed by a Squid angel and lensrolling to my Passion for Art Journals :-)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Amazing craft lens and great presentation. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust/craft

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Virginia Allain: Thank you! Garden journals can be highly helpful, especially for those of us whose memory is less than 100 per cent reliable. :-)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      These are really lovely. The idea of a garden journal appeals to me.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Mickie Gee: Thank you! I am getting ready to make a lens on raising houseplants I will feature Blooming Garden in it!

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 7 years ago

      I love bookmaking crafts! I featured your lens on my blog Mickie's Blooming Garden. Also, giving you a "thumbs up"!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @GonnaFly: Thank you on both counts!

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      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      I have just been scribbling my gardening notes in an exercise book. This looks so much nicer! Congratulations on winning the Squidoo Sunshine Award.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you. My charity is the ASPCA. I am an animal lover.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @squid-janices7: Thank you! Store bought journals are great also. Some are beautiful.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @puzzlerpaige: Many thanks for your kind comments.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @modz: Thank you for visiting and posting!

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @burgessvillian: Thank you! Garden journals are good tools for gardeners. It's so easy to forget some of the information, especially if your garden is large.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congratulations to you and your charity on winning the Squidoo Sunshine Award! Great ideas for garden journals!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 7 years ago

      Congrats on winning the sunshine award! I do keep a gardening journal, but I bought mine online so it isn't all that fun. I love the journal with the little wire tools....very creative.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      Well deserved Sunshine Award! Congrats to you!!!

    • modz profile image

      modz 7 years ago

      Congrats for Winning 99$!

    • burgessvillian profile image

      burgessvillian 7 years ago

      Great job on the lens and congrats on winning the sunshine award contest.

      I should start a journal for my garden to keep track of yields and the names of the varieties of the plants I grow.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @HorseAndPony LM: Thank you! I enjoyed making the wire tools too.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your Sunshine Award! What a great idea for a journal. I love the wire tools. Blessed! http://www.squidoo.com/horseandpony-squidangel

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Joan4: Thank you very much. I am thrilled to be a winner.

    • junecampbell profile image
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      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @MichelleLacroix: Many thanks for your kind comment.

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      Joan4 7 years ago

      Oh I love journals of all kinds! This is super gardening journal! Congratulations on your Summer Sunshine win!