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Step-by-Step Guide: How To Customize Your Notebook, Planner, or Journal With Adhesive Vinyl!

Have you ever wanted to spice up a boring notebook or journal cover but don’t have any ideas? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

In this article, we will show you how to make a customize journal or notebook cover using adhesive vinyl and a Cricut machine. 


Materials Needed

  • Cricut machine
  • Removable vinyl (we’ll be using holographic adhesive vinyl)
  • Transfer tape
  • Scraper tool

Step 1: Prepare the Transfer Tape

To begin, we need to cut the transfer tape to the same width as our desired design.

If you are using Cricut’s transfer tape, which comes in 48-inch rolls, you will be able to proceed with this project perfectly fine.

Cut the transfer tape to the desired width and set it aside.

Step 2: Place the Transfer Tape on the Design

Carefully remove the backing from the transfer tape, making sure not to let it stick to yourself or your project. 

Place the transfer tape on the design, starting from the center and smoothing it outward.

For larger designs, you may need to use multiple pieces of transfer tape, overlapping them slightly to create one big piece.

Step 3: Prepare the Decal for Application

Before applying the decal to the notebook, we need to make sure that the backing on the decal is all taped together, creating one layer. 

Step 4: Position the Decal on the Notebook

With the backing still on, position the decal on the notebook where you want it to be. 

Take your time positioning the decal and make sure it is centered.

It’s always a good idea to ask someone else to check if it looks straight from a distance.

Step 5: Apply the Decal to the Notebook

Carefully flip the decal up and remove the backing. 

Smooth the decal down onto the notebook, starting from the center and working outward. 

Use a scraper tool to ensure that the decal adheres well to the surface.

Step 7: Remove the Transfer Tape

Once the decal is securely on the notebook, slowly and gently remove the transfer tape. 

If you notice any air bubbles, use the scraper tool to work them out from the center outward.

Step 8: Fixing Air Bubbles

If you encounter any stubborn air bubbles, use a sharp-pointed knife to poke a small hole in the middle of the bubble. 

This will allow the air to escape, and the bubble will disappear.

Step 9: Adding Additional Elements

Now that the main decal is on the notebook, you can add any additional elements, such as letters or smaller designs. 

These can be placed directly on the notebook without using transfer tape. 

Make sure to position them correctly and use a scraper tool to ensure they adhere well.

Step 10: Final Touches

Once all the elements are in place, take a step back and admire your work! 

Check for any remaining air bubbles and use the scraper tool to smooth them out. 

Make any necessary adjustments to ensure everything is straight and centered.


Creating a vinyl notebook decal may seem daunting, but with the right techniques and tools, it can be a fun and rewarding project.


By layering the design and using removable vinyl, you have more control over the final result. 

You can choose your favorite color and finish of vinyl, such as glossy or matte- but for this project we decided to use a holographic finish to add a little extra pizazz.

If you prefer to work with paper instead of vinyl, you can use the same layering technique with cardstock.


Just piece the back sides together with tape and glue all the layers on top.


Happy crafting!

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