The Perfect Gift: Gilded Moleskine Journal

I love gathering school supplies for my kids, but I’m always tempted to pick up fresh pencils and crisp notebooks for my friends as well. It seems like everyone enjoys a fresh start in the fall! So I asked Jordan of Polkadot Prints to come up with a perfect gift for friends who are trying something new. — Gabrielle

A friend of mine has recently gone back to part time work after taking some time off to focus on her young family. She is in a creative industry, so she’ll no doubt have light-bulb moments and genius ideas on the go! I’m hoping these gilded Moleskine journals will come in handy for her brainstorming and note taking whether in the board room, the car or anywhere in between. They were quite easy to make and once on a roll, I ended up making myself a set too!

So lets gather our tools and get started.

– Pocket-sized Journals (I used these Moleskine ones)
Carbon Paper
– Gold Foil (or use a good quality Aluminum foil)
– Your choice of shape, Logo or name printed out
– Scalpel blade (like an Xacto knife)
– Pencil
– Glue or double sided tape
– Patterned paper (optional)

Most of these things were really easy to get a hold of and quite inexpensive.

1. You’ll need to print out your choice of shape for the front of the journal. I chose an ampersand and an asterisk from a modern font.

2. Layer your paper and carbon paper in position over the journal cover and trace around using a pencil. You won’t need to press too hard.

3. Using your scalpel blade, cut around your shape making sure if you have any negative spaces to keep those to stick back in later.

4. On the inside cover glue around your shape and place a small piece of foil over the hole you’ve cut out.

5. Turn over and glue on any pieces that you saved.

6.Trim back from the edges a little.

Note: If you don’t want to line the inside of your books with patterned paper, you can use a large piece of foil instead and skip the next few steps! (I kind of like the patterned lining though…)

5. Glue the entire inside cover making sure to get right to the corners.

6. Place your patterned paper flush against the spine, pressing firmly to stick. Turn over and trim to size.

And tada! Your gorgeous new notebook is complete. Warning: I highly recommend you buy extra moleskins, because this project is addictive. : )


– A college student to journal about their studies.
– A birthday gift for a diary-keeping tween.
– A new mom to use as a feeding & changing log.

P.S. — More ideas at your fingertips: Find all the posts in this series here.

12 thoughts on “The Perfect Gift: Gilded Moleskine Journal”

  1. I LOVE this idea! What a wonderful treat this would be for your friends… in fact, I am having a girls night in Salt Lake City with a bunch of my bloggy friends and I think this would be a darling gift to give! I was thinking just last night what would be cute and I think this might be it :) But I’ll do the first letter of their name, instead of the & sign.

    Thank you, thank you for this Gabrielle and Jordan. This is exactly what I needed :)


  2. This is a great idea! I can imagine using a similar technique to personalize children’s notebooks for school or sketch pads. You could even use pretty patterned paper instead of the gold. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try it!

  3. Love this! I just might try these cuties out– I have two teenage cousins that are having a birthday this weekend, and these would make the perfect gift! Thanks for sharing:)

  4. Hello! This is a wonderful idea :-) I had a question for you about the negative spaces you cut out on step three…stopped to make sure I was referring to the correct step and realized, you put the negative spaces back in, on the backside on step five. I missed that at first..(sick, very visual and spending some time resting, while going through great projects!).I do a fair amount of book binding, and L-O-V-E books, sketchbooks, of just about any kind. Adore Moleskine…I’d buy one or two of every product, if I were able to!!! Some of the really big, slightly newer Molekine’s have a HUGE price difference…perhaps, it’s because I saw them in a major city? I typically carry a Moleskine, some kind of sketchbook or a book I made myself, at ALL times! Keeping a Moleskine, within easy reach, helps me to be able to sketch, design, write, jot down information, far easier, than not having it with you… My Mother, uses the type, in this post everyday…OR has it with her. I’ll make a few for her, as a random gift :-) Thank you for sharing this idea! I’ll try it several different ways, using some book binding techniques…if I find one, you might like, I’ll email/post the info for you…your project, and certainly want credit to go to you and your great page!

  5. Tried this, but made it into a shopping list book for mum! Where you lined it inside I put a conversion chart at the front . Planning now on getting the cubs to do these for Mother’s Day but using punch craft for the cut out on front- to save little fingers and endless plasters– great idea

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