How To Make A Rolodex Junk Journal (Step-By-Step Tutorial)

One of my favourite things to make right now, are rolodex junk journals, which are altered books that can be used to store ephemera or as a desk calendar.

rolodex junk journal

What You Need To Make A Rolodex Altered Book

  • A book – preferably a hard covered one
  • Scissors
  • A craft knife
  • Strong tape – the one I use is further down in this article
  • glue
  • Something to cover the book – unless you prefer to leave it with the cover showing
  • Chipboard – or other strong card
  • Paper/Fabric/card – whatever you prefer to cover the ends
  • Embellishments – to finish it off and pretty it up
Embellishing a rolodex junk journal

What Size Book Do You Need To Make A Rolodex?

The simple answer is, whatever size book you prefer!

I have seen a lot of people saying you need a certain size book, with a certain amount of pages, but actually, it’s entirely up to you.

Some things to take into consideration when you are choosing the book size and the amount of pages are;

  1. What are you going to use your rolodex for?
  2. How much space have you got for your rolodex to sit in?
  3. If it’s going to be a gift, what will the recipient use it for?
  4. How compact do you want the folded pages to be?
  5. What books do you have available to you?

What To Use A Rolodex Altered Book For

If we take the first question in the above list, what are you going to use your rolodex for?

I use mine to store ephemera in – When i’m actually making a junk journal, if I’m building one page at a time and filling the pockets as I go, I take the ephemera out and store it in page order in my rolodex.

That way my junk journal doesn’t get too bulky when I’m trying to work on it, and I can put everything back into it at the end… It’s actually my favourite thing to do when creating a junk journal, I love seeing it all come together when I add the ephemera back in.

I have seen quite a few people using them as desk calendars, which I think is an awesome idea!

Put little tabs with the months going across and down the folded pages, and then you can put birthdays and appointment reminders in them. I turned one of mine into a birthday calendar…You can see how that turned out below (also below is some free calendar month tabs)

A beautiful statement piece for your desk that is also functional!

A rolodex altered book also makes a fab jewellery holder too!

How Much Space Does A Rolodex Book Take Up?

This is something that most of us have to take into account when making a rolodex.

I certainly wouldn’t want to spend the time making something so beautiful, only to find that I haven’t got a space for it to sit when it’s finished!

So if space is limited, then choose a small book… You can actually make a rolodex out of a tiny book and use it as a ring/jewellery holder.

Use The Books You Have Available To You

As I mentioned earlier, any size book can be used to make a rolodex, so if the size and amount of pages isn’t so important, then just use what books you already have available to you. I try very hard (but I do struggle with this one) not to hang on to loads of books at any one time, so I really try to make use of the ones I already have.

I think most of us are guilty of keeping things because they are too nice to use, but the reason we buy them is too use them, so it doesn’t really make sense.

If you worry about ‘spoiling books’, you might find this article interesting – Is It OK To Cut Up Books To Use In Junk Journals?

How To Make A Rolodex From An Altered Book

Making the ends on a rolodex

I think the best way to show you how I make mine, is with a video… So I recorded a video to show step-by-step exactly how I do it.

There are a couple of ‘must haves’ (apart from a book of course), and that is, some really strong tape and some good glue!

The tape I use is this sports tape which I buy from Amazon

The glue I typically use is Art Glitter Glue, although it doesn’t contain glitter as the name might suggest, that’s just the brand name. I use this glue a lot in my junk journals because it dries very quickly and it has a very strong bond.

This Is The Video Which Shows Step-By-Step How To Make A Rolodex Altered Book

Just click on the image below to watch the video on here… Or click this link to watch it on YouTube

How I Turned My Rolodex Into A Birthday Calendar

As I had already made a rolodex to hold my junk journal ephemera, I decided to turn this one into a birthday calendar.

rolodex birthday calendar

It turned out perfectly and works like a dream for putting all those special dates in that I need to remember!

rolodex birthday calendar

I made some month tags and some matching blank ones to write the name and date on… I have these tags in a few different colors for you to download for free in my ‘Freebies Library’ … You can also see how I decorated this in the video I made, which you can find on my YouTube channel HERE

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