Paper, Lovely Paper: Making Library Pockets for Your Journal

Today I’ve got another really easy project–it’s so easy you don’t really think of it as a “project”–that’s excellent for 1) using those scraps and single sheets of paper and 2) making something really useful for your journal–or for the books in your own personal library. No matter how you use your journal–for notes, or sketching, or writing, or whatever–there are always little bits and pieces of things you want to include, even it it’s only temporary. Ticket stubs, receipts, business cards. You stick them between the pages and then, when you sit down to draw or write, everything cascades out into your lap. You can use paper clips or binder clips, but those can be unwieldy. So I went to the teacher supply store and bought a package of library book pockets–the ones they used in the old days for holding the cards that were stamped with the day date (I’m saying this because I’m guessing there are some people who are going, “Library card pockets? Huh?”). These were cool, but they were a boring kind of manila folder yellow-ish, and as I was stamping and staining them, I realized I could just make my own out of groovy paper.

Freeman-Zachery library pockets 1

Of course you could go get a pocket and make your own pattern, but I’ve saved you the trouble. See? Here’s a PDF of the pattern. You can enlarge it to make it bigger or shrink it down tiny, whatever works for you.


Here’s what the back will look like:

Freeman-Zachery library pockets  2

You’ll need:

–the pattern



–straight edge and bone folder (or table knife or other scoring tool)


–glue stick and/or double-stick tape

Freeman-Zachery library pockets  3

You might want to glue the pattern to a piece of cardstock–as you can see, I’ve used mine many, many times:

Freeman-Zachery library pockets  4

Trace the pattern onto the wrong side of your paper and then score on the dotted lines:

Freeman-Zachery library pockets  5

Fold on those scores and use glue stick or double-stick tape on the two tabs. Press flat, and you’re done. I said it was quick-n-easy, didn’t I?


I like to use an X of double-stick tape to adhere the pocket to a page or the inside cover of the journal, but glue stick works fine. When I first started making these, I had pockets stuck pretty much everywhere: pages, covers, fly leaves. It’s fun to make one for the inside cover of each of your own books, even if you never lend them to anyone: you can record where you got the book, when you read it, what you thought about it. You could put in one of those bookmarks you cut last week, ready to go! Plus you get to admire a piece of really nice paper that’s found a useful new life~~

Freeman-Zachery library pockets  7
JournalFodder365-LeftRailFor more art journaling ideas, check out the Journal Fodder 365 value pack that includes a book, a DVD, and a journal.




Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.


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4 Responses to Paper, Lovely Paper: Making Library Pockets for Your Journal

  1. joneam says:

    Ricë, one of my favorite parts of checking out library books when I was younger was looking at the card in the library card pocket. Looking at all of the names and due dates was like looking at a micro-history of the book. This library pocket pattern is perfect for my piles of scrap paper (yes, I’m a paper hoarder) and will be great for holding micro-histories in my journals. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rice Freeman-Zachery says:

      That’s a great idea! You could set up a template to print out authentic-looking cards (probably four to a sheet) and then age them and get an old library stamp and–oops. Getting a little carried away here! But, wow–wouldn’t that be cool for each volume? Wish I still had my collection of old library stamps; I’d send them to you.

  2. I have some old library cards and I love them. So far I’m hoarding them. Thought I may frame or use them in my mixed media work. Will mkae these envelopes this week.

    • Rice Freeman-Zachery says:

      Cool! What a great combination–you could make the envelopes out of the pages of a discarded old book.