Sunday, April 8, 2018

Making a back pocket for your Bullet Journal

Extra post that was not part of my Bullet Journal presentation. 

Here's how to make a back pocket for your journal if it doesn't come with one already, i.e. if you're using a composition notebook, a book-style journal, or pretty much anything that's not a Leuchtturm or official Bullet Journal notebook

You'll need one piece of letter-size paper and glue. Scissors optional. The pocket will last longer if the paper is a little thicker than regular printer paper.

I got this awesome journal at a Dreamspinner Press authors workshop. As you can see, it came with a pen loop, which I highly recommend. 

cat paw not included
If you want a pen loop on your journal, do that before adding the back pocket. Cut a piece of elastic about 1.5" - 2" long, fold in half so the cut ends are together, and glue the cut ends to the back cover, leaving enough room in the loop for a pen. I recommend holding the glued ends onto the cover with a jumbo paperclip overnight until the glue is completely dry.

On to the pocket!

I used this paper for the pocket because it's fairly thick, has a pretty border, and I never remember to use it so it's been sitting around forever. I'm pretty sure it was part of a wedding present from a friend, and I've been married 21 years, so....yeah.

Decide how wide you want your pocket by laying the paper against the back cover of the journal. Also decide how long (high) you want it, keeping in mind that you'll lose about 1.5 inches of length (height) from folds at the top and bottom.

Turn paper 90 degrees for a larger pocket
You'll want the left/open edge of the pocket to be pretty close to where the cover folds. Too far from the fold, and the items in the pocket will fall out every time you tip the journal. The binding/fold of the closed journal will keep the pocket closed (and the items inside) when you handle the journal.

Once you've decided how wide you want the pocket, make a fold.

Handy Hint:
Do your crafting in a room without cats unless you don't mind everything taking twice as long. 

Then cut or tear the paper along the fold.

Fold bottom and top edges inward about 3/8 of an inch (or less or more, depending on if your paper is patterned and how much of the pattern you want to see, or how big you want your pocket to be).

Then make a new fold about 3/8 of an inch from the first fold, this time to the back of the page. 

In other words, in the opposite direction of the first fold, so you have a Z, not a C.

cat tail not included

Note: it might be easier to do the folds in the opposite order I've listed them, but I already took the pictures, sorry. :P  
Opposite order would be: fold top and bottom edges to the back, about one inch in from each edge. Then make new folds on top and bottom edges, about 3/8 of an inch in from each edge, but forward this time, to get the same Z folds you saw above.

Check against the back cover of the journal to make sure the pocket the size you want, and change the folds if you want it to be smaller. I probably should have done this pocket using the paper lengthwise instead of widthwise, but I don't need a huge pocket, so it's big enough.

Crease all folds. 

Dot some glue on the back side of the paper, all along the top, bottom, and right edges.

Press to the back inside cover of the journal. Then dot some glue inside the folds at the top and bottom edges, 3/4 of the way from the right side to the left, so the pocket will open a bit on the left side at the top and bottom.

I made a mistake with the gluing and used too much glue, so it soaked through and got wrinkly.
Yours won't look like this.

Leave the left/open side of the pocket (next to the journal binding) unglued. You can put a piece of paper in there to make sure the pocket stays open in case you got a bit wild with the glue. It can happen.

Let the glue dry for a few hours or overnight. Et voila, journal pocket!

Cat not included

Good luck with your pen loops and journal pockets. Next post (and the last post of my Bullet Journal presentation): the only real excuse for not using your Bullet Journal.

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