DIY: Jonathan Saunders inspired Color Block Journal

I love good stationery.  And nothing brightens up a stressfuld ay of work like a great notebook or planner.  Making (and crossing items off) my to-do list just feels that much better.  When I saw this Jonathan Saunders for Smythson Diary , I was of course, smitten.  But in addition to being sold out, it’s so expensive!  I immediately set out to recreate my own.  I ended up making mine in neon pink, but the sky is truly the limit in terms of color combinations… get creative and have fun with it!


Begin by laying out a strip of painter’s tape across the length of the notebook.  This is going to be your black stripe.

Cover the entire notebook in a coat of white acrylic paint…  (this is important as it neutralizes the black and will allow your colors to shine through.)

Paint on the first color…

And then the second color…

Allow to dry completely, and then peel off your painters tape.

Voila!  Your notebook will look like this.

Fill in any white spaces with paint…

Glue on your ribbon, as shown below.

And then apply your rhinestone!  You are finished… enjoy your snazzy new notebook.

Top image via, all other images Stripes & Sequins

Leave a Comment


  1. Lesley says 3.26.12

    Cute cute cute!!! I might have to do this to one of my moleskines!

  2. christin says 3.26.12

    LOVE this one. i should just do this at work to the notebooks we have. arts & crafts time in the conference room! 

  3. Supal says 3.26.12

    Oh this is incredibly simple! I’m heading to grad school in the fall and plan on getting moleskins instead of notebooks (since they’re prettier). Totally doing this to make them extra pretty! 

  4. Things That Sparkle says 3.26.12

    Absolutely love this!! You are so freaking creative

  5. Tara says 3.26.12

    I love this! You chose such fabulous colors 🙂

  6. AvgGirlsGuide says 3.26.12

    Adore the colors you selected and the rhinestone? Perfect!

  7. Viviana Carmona says 3.26.12

    SO great! This must be attempted by me!

  8. I absolutely adore notebooks – and I go through so many! Will definitely have to give this a try!

  9. Julie & Lauren says 3.26.12

    This is awesome- I’m sending this to one of my friends who is obsessed with personal journals! Xo

  10. Budgetnista Kia says 3.26.12

    I Love this project! I’m heading to Joanne’s today anyway, so I’ll just pick up some paint and try this in a few days!  Thanks

  11. Ladyofashion says 3.26.12

    Clever, and super cute colour combination. I love it! 🙂

  12. Catherine Gabel says 3.26.12

    I love this idea!! This is amazing. 

  13. Tamra Sanford says 3.26.12

    Ohh I love this DIY!  Also a great idea for a way to decorate guest books.  Thanks Grace!

  14. Thenowstylebook says 3.26.12

    Nice!!! So cute!!!! xoxo Elizabeth

  15. Sarah says 3.26.12

    I LOVE this! You are so creative, Grace!

  16. Molliee Martin says 3.26.12

    loving this idea! I never leave the house without my day planner and this makes it so much cuter!

  17. Julia Rosinus says 3.26.12

    so cute!! love the pink and brown color choice.

  18. Laura|Style Notes says 3.26.12

    I’m a little bit obsessed with pretty stationary! This is a fabulous DIY! Love the colour combo you chose 🙂

    Laura xo

  19. Mal @ The Chic Geek says 3.26.12

    Gorgeous! I love this project

  20. Nnenna says 3.26.12

    Ooo, I’m a stationery lover too! I love the bright pink on your DIY version 🙂

  21. loving the pink! anytime i am crafty i think about how talented YOU are! 🙂

  22. Alexa says 3.26.12

    Grace. You amazing. Oh have I said that before? Well…I say it again! These are too cute.

  23. Lisa @ Elembee, Etc says 3.26.12

    How fun! Definitely need to give this a try.

  24. Lisa says 3.26.12

    Fantastic DIY!!  I love a great notebook to keep me organized (so needed).  Will definitely try this for my next one.  Thanks for sharing!!

  25. I love it! It looks fantastic. 🙂 Fun little craft project for sure…even for a total newbie DIYer like me!

  26. Erika [small shop] says 3.26.12

    That is all kinds of fabulous…the colors, that black rhinestone…you’ve done it again Grace!

  27. AnnOnandOn says 3.26.12

    (First time here) That looks like a fun project. You did a great job. 🙂

  28. Bettina says 3.27.12

    Awesome DIY as usual! Love it Grace! There’s something so refreshing about physically crossing items of a to-do list, I swear I always try to move to an electronic format, but always come running back to paper!

  29. Becca Atwood says 3.27.12

    So fun! We need to have a craft night soon.

  30. Mai says 3.27.12

    ooh..i will have to try this!

  31. How cute is this?! And I love the colors you did! xo