First Day of School: DIY School Year Journal and Picture Idea

We always take pictures of the kids on the first day of school. It’s now a tradition. It’s fun to look back on the yearly photos to see how much they’ve grown. Two years ago, we added the kids holding paper signs stating their grade to our photos. This year I thought it would be fun to create a sign that could also double as a school year journal.


I made a journal for each of my kids. They could write about their days during the school year in this special journal.


Although I designed and made the cover, the inside is for them to personalize. They could write, draw pictures and attach photos. It’s all about their memories and their year as a 2nd grader and 4th grader.

Here’s how I made my kids’ school year journal:

The material I used to make a School Year Book Journal are a journal, letter stickers, number template, scrapbook paper, cardstock paper, washi tape, scissors, ruler, Mod Podge and foam brush. All materials, except ruler and scissors, are from Michaels.


The book journal I decorated is actually a sketchbook.

I first cut white card stock paper to fit on the front of my book  cover.

I created a colorful border using washi tape. I used four different colors in a chevron pattern.


Next I used a number template I created to trace and cut from a fun scrapbook paper pattern.


I glued the number onto the cardstock.

I used black letter stickers to spell out Grade and placed below the number.


I attached the decorated cardstock to the front cover of the book using Mod Podge. I waited 20 minutes for it to dry.


I then applied a light coat of Mod Podge on top.

My kids are excited to start writing in their School Year Journals. I think using the journal as a prop for the First Day of School picture looks great.


Do you have any Back To School / First Day of School traditions? Do you take First Day of School pictures of your kids? Do they keep journals?

Find more back to school ideas in Michaels Back To School Lookbook.


  • Michaels offers a 15 percent discount for teachers every day. Talk to a store associate during your next trip to learn more.
  • If you need a large quantity of one back to school item but don’t see enough on the shelves,  Michaels offers a bulk ordering program. You can order as many supplies as you need and save up to 20 percent.
  • Michaels has an app. Download the Michaels app so you have the latest deals and coupons at your fingertips in case you need last minute school supplies.

See other similar projects:

This post is part of a First Day of School Blogger Challenge sponsored my Michaels. I was given a Michaels gift card to participate in this campaign. All project ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

(I’m linking up to Weekend Wrap Up Party.)


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