When I get a sketchbook or a journal with a plain cover I don’t like to leave it that way so I decorate it. It’s pretty easy to personalize a mass-produced journal or sketchbook.
I am using a sketchbook with a textured surface. Sometimes if you do it right you can get the paper to actually go into the texture.
First of all you need to pick a paper. It doesn’t have to have a design on it. It can be a photo or photos, it can be magazine clippings, or it could be newspaper clippings. In fact it can even be dried flours and leaves.
Lay out the paper on the book how you want it.
Put some plain white glue into a plastic container and dilute it some with water.
Use a paint brush to completely coat the back of your paper with the glue mixture. You can still move the pieces around a little bit while the glue is wet. I just wrapped the excess paper around the cover of the sketchbook.
Once your pieces are down cover the top with the same glue mixture. This will make it shiny. You can use a hair dryer to make the glue dry faster. Some of the paper will be forced down into the texture on the sketchbook which is neat.
Here it is finished. This is just a simply design, but you could make it as complex as you would like and use as much imagination for items to put on the cover as you want.