Target Notebook Tutorial

These are the EASIEST little notebooks to add to a gift set. I do mine with mod podge, just because it’s really easy and quick. Plus, I like to keep one in my purse (although I swear it is *never* in there when I need it!) and the mod podge helps keep it from getting too junked up in there.


Target notebook (sold in a 2-pack for $2.49)

mod podge

sponge brush





1. Cut patterned paper to 5 1/4 x 2 3/4 (two pieces cut to this size). These are not exact measurements as I have found that each notebook can vary slightly. So I always cut to this and then see how it looks on there (before I glue it on!) and trim as necessary.


2. Place one of the pieces on the front of the notebook. When you get it in the right spot (and trimmed if necessary), push on the snap part so that it leaves a little indention on the paper.



3. Use the 1/4 in circle punch to punch out where you made the indention from the snap.


4. After you punch lay it back on the notebook and make sure it all fits right. The hole doesn’t have to be perfect on the snap, just over it enough for the snap to fit through.


5. Open the notebook and paint the front cover with mod podge. I do it liberally enough that you can see the mod podge, but not so much that it’s squishy when you put the paper on.


6. Place the paper on and smooth it down all over with your finger tips. Make sure there are no air bubbles and that all edges are stuck down. I don’t mind if the paper going onto the black binding (and the notebooks do come in many colors for the binding), but that’s just me!


7. Then mod podge over the paper. This is where it is important that you smoothed the paper down well in the previous step. If there are any air bubbles, you will see them now! You can try to smooth them out with your finger, but it may not be possible. The glue dries clear, so again – I don’t mind if it gets on the binding. Also make sure you drag the brush of mod podge around the edges of the notebook, this makes sure that there are no gaps or breaks in the seal around the edges.


8. Repeat mod podge steps with the back side of the notebook. Then lay flat to dry.


9. Lastly, you can embellish as you like! Sometimes I do a monogram on the front, but usually I just leave them blank and add ribbons to the spirals.

 supplies: target notebook; chatterbox papers; ribbon from target and Joann; mod podge; 1/4 in whole punch; and foam brush.

So that’s it! I told you, totally easy! I’ll show you the gift set later – Adam is waiting for me so we can do Pilate’s together. He’s so funny trying to do it!

24 comments to Target Notebook Tutorial

  • So cool, thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  • These are the cutest! Super easy too! Thanks for sharing your tutorial on them!

  • Amanda Calloway

    So where are you finding the notebooks exactly? Are they with the notebooks and pens or the stationary isle? You know we are all running to Target to find them so we need details!!!!! Thanks for the awesome instructions.

  • Wow!! You have the most creative ideas!! Thanks so much for sharing with us! 🙂

  • joy

    so cute… you know if the tiny one fits into your coaster boxes?

  • joy

    so cute… you know if the tiny one fits into your coaster boxes? Amanda, they are in the “journal” aisle at my Target….in Office Supplies.

  • Another cute project!

  • cookiebaker

    Thanks, Emily! Thanks…I was just beginning to work on mine…Did you cover the edges or leave them au naturale? Also, did you cover the inside of the covers? Sorry for all the questions….Hope your sale is a huge success!!

  • Debbie

    Great tutorial Emily!!

  • Maureen

    Thanks Emily! I just found your site and it’s wonderful! I just bought these little journals and hadn’t gotten started with them yet. Now I don’t have to do my usual ‘trial and error and error and error’ routine. I look forward to looking around at the rest of your ‘stuff’. Blessings!

  • thanks for the awesome tutorial. i thought i’d give it a try.. so here is one i made last night.. its not perfect.. need to work on the air bubbles next time but i am still impressed with how nicely the mod podge dries! thanks again

  • Great tutorial Emily. I bought a few of these and haven’t altered them yet. Know I guess I’ll get started 🙂


  • I wish I could find these notebooks! I saw very similar ones, but they didn’t have the snap and they were $2.49 EACH! I wonder if pricing varies that much across the country. But this is a great tutorial & I was very tempted to try it anyway with the more expensive notebook!

  • Pam

    Sp sting cute! I’m taking a trip to Target! Thanks Emily!

  • Melinda Hanson

    These are just the cutest. My friend, Michelle, (mybelle101 on SCS) turned me onto them via your site. One quick trip to Target later, and I am a happy camper. Thanks, Emily!

    Melinda (Passionfruit on SCS, so far still a lurker/poster)

  • whoo hooo awesome love your tutorials!!

  • very cool. I love those target notebooks, they are so easy to decorate!

  • Jacque

    I love this idea, but I am having a problem with the paper buckling when I add the top coat of modge podge on. Is anyone else having this problem? How do I keep it from happening?

  • Brenda

    Be careful if you love these little books! Back in the mid-90’s Target had the coolest spiral-bound notebooks with gray, leather-like covers and cream-colored paper inside. Definitely NOT your ordinary spiral notebook. I bought all I could find, but alas…eventually they were discontinued. Last year I filled out the last one. It was the end of a era.

    Stock up when you find an art supply or journal that you love. It seems the hardest thing about this fetish/passion is the fact that eventually products you love are discontinued.

  • Lori A.

    Thanks! I just came back to check your tutorial out. I found some notebooks that look exactly like these at Walgreen’s (except they don’t say “notes” on the front). There are 2 in a package for $1.00. I measured the front and it measures the same size you say to cut the paper.

  • Kathy O

    I just love your site!!! YOur work is so inspiring. I am always looking for small gift items to give to people I work with and now I have a source right at my fingertips! Thanks so much for sharing your expertise!

  • kitty

    anyone know what isle at walgreens you found them at.. in the $1 section or the school supplies?

  • so cute!!!!
    Thank you for this beautiful tutorial…
    I’ve linked it in my blog:

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