Graduation Autograph Journal

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Graduation Autograph Journal

Leading up to the day of graduation every graduate is bombarded with words of advice and tips for surviving the adventure ahead, whether that is the first year of college or moving straight into full-time employment.

Those words of advice can become a major source of strength over that first year of new-found freedom as they learn to maneuver the path that lies ahead. Guests attending a graduate’s graduation party will have ample room to leave words of wisdom in this autograph journal that showcases photos of the graduate. It can be as plain or embellished as you’d like to make it. Let me show you some of my favorite ways to use my Fiskars tools to jazz up what could be an otherwise plan journal.


The journal is comprised of a hodge-podge of cardstock-weight patterned papers, vellum, cardstock and even a few envelopes to tuck more private notes into. Just gather a wide variety of colors and patterns; the more mix-matched, the better.

Trim down the papers to 5 ½” x 8”. The process goes rather quickly if you stack several sheets together and pass them through a bypass trimmer. While the number isn’t an exact science, I will say, the journal shown holds a stack of papers measuring 1” thick.


To add more interest to the plain cardstock pages, use punched pieces as a mask on your cardstock by first placing them with temporary adhesive. Then, spritz the entire page with colored mist. Try mixing and matching different shapes on the same page or even misting several different layers of mist on the same page. Just be sure to let each layer of mist dry before adding on another color. Once the mist has dried, remove the temporarily placed punched pieces.


For some of the pages that have an extra bold pattern on the paper, brush on a layer of gesso, and then press the page onto a texture plate. The plate leaves a very subtle texture imprinted onto the page, but not so much texture that you can’t use a marker to add some words of advice overtop.

Here’s a tip: if you want the white to be more opaque, brush on a light layer of gesso, allow to dry, and then repeat with a second layer. It’s much better to do several thinner layers than one heavy layer.


Using your acrylic block, cling stamps and black ink, include stamped quotes and or journaling prompts by adding them to a few pages here and there throughout the journal. Look to see how you can stretch the use of your stamps. This particular quote was used in a non-traditional way since it is from a birthday-themed stamp set.


To add a playful element, you can punch along one long edge of the cardstock pieces using your Border Punches or Interchangeable Border Punch Set. My favorites for this type of project are the Up In The Clouds Interchangeable, Apron Lace, Threading Water, and Upper Crest.


Prepare front and back covers by cutting two pieces of chipboard to 5 ½” x 8”. Cover both sides of both pieces of chipboard with patterned paper or cardstock. Then, bind all of the pages together using a binding machine or hand-held circle punches along with book rings. If you don’t your own binding machine and choose not to use book rings, you may check at your local office store to see if they offer a binding service. Most of them do for a small fee.


Once bound together, you can start embellishing your cover with a small word or phrase to capture the essence of the album.


Then it’s time to decide whether the journal will hold photos of only the graduate or if you’ll take photos of those attending the party to insert at a later time. All that’s left is for you to put it on display at the party, along with a pack of gel pens, with a small table card asking guests to leave their best words of advice for your graduate!

Supply List

Patterned Paper (Cosmo Cricket, Studio Calico, October Afternoon, Bella Blvd.)Cardstock (Bazzill)Vellum (Canson)Binding Rings (Zutter)Bind-it-All (Zutter)Chipboard Alphabet (Bella Blvd.)Metal Gear Sticker (Little Yellow Bicycle)GessoPearls