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My name is julia. I'm married to the most wonderful man and we have three children: a boy, a girl and another baby boy. I love being a mother, a wife and a creative person. I knit socks and crochet dolls. I make books, cards and work on mixed media projects - mainly canvas and when the mood strikes me, I art journal and sometimes I sew.

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Hogwarts Student Notebooks


You may know (or not) that I'm a Potterhead. I started reading the series when I was 11 and finished when I was 17 - perfect timing. When I was that young there weren't really any cool franchise products available except for wands and a few things I wasn't all that interested in. (And if there had been any I was interested in I'm sure they'd have been way out of budget for a teenager.)

Things change. And now there are loads of fabulous fan products to make any Potterhead's dreams come true. (I'd rather not admit to how many HP themed bedroom makeover videos I've watched on youtube - some quite awesome, others not so much.) I think if I was a teenager now (and had rich parents who didn't care how much of their money I spent on stuff) I'd have a room stuffed full of Wizarding World merchandise... You have to understand me right though: I'm not into these odd big-headed character doll collectibles and I don't need wand displays or stuff like that. I'm more into items and decor that could be from there. I don't want an umbrella that has the outline of Hogwarts and the lightnig script on it - I'd rather have an umbrella that looks like Hagrid's tattered pink umbrella which hides his wand. (And I'm generally a fan of merchandise products that don't have the TM on them - they seem to be rare...)

Anyway, since I'm now an adult with my own money I have to occasionally fight with myself over purchasing things I don't really need at all but which make my 13-year-old self insanely happy. Most times my adult (and fairly responsible) self wins but sometimes my teenage self is triumphant. I'm a particular sucker for stationery and notebooks. 


These are thin A5 (half of standard size printer paper) notebooks with lined/ruled paper inside and the covers of 1920s American wizarding magazines. I love the style and design of these and I just had to have them. They came in a pack of four and I ordered them on sale from the Platform 9 3/4 Shop. (I don't know if they are still available though.)


These are lined/ruled hardcover notebooks in Hogwars house colours designed by MinaLima. Apparently they are replicas of props they used for the Hogwarts scenes in Fantastic Beasts 2. They are somewhere between A5 and A4 (standard printer paper) in size and about 1cm thick.
The Gryffindor one is my son's, my daughter (who's not yet sorted into a house) chose the Ravenclaw book for now. She has already started to fill it with fan art of her own (which is pretty awesome - both her art and the fact that she's doing that). 


This is a letter writing set. It's a hardcover folder holding letter sheets and envelopes but I bought it solely for the purpose of turning it into an art journal filled with watercolour and kraft paper. I think I will replace the spine with a wider and softer one to hold the new interior. It's roughly A4 size and also designed by MinaLima. It's a replica of the notebook Newt Scamander used for his original draft of the textbook "Fantastic Beasts and where to find them".


These are replicas of Hogwarts library- and textbooks. Each one is available on its own but I could decide which one I wanted and then the kids chimed in about which one's their favourite (they spotted me looking at them) so I ended up getting the set of six. This is my personal favourite: 


I just absolutely love the design of this book! And then there is the one my daughter chose as her own which we had to dig out of the chaos in her room before I could take a picture. (My son chose "Dark Arts Defence".)


These are all notebooks, diaries, journals or whatever else you want to call them. They are slightly smaller than A5, about 1,5cm thick each, have shiny gold and silver cut edges and foiling on the cover and they contain lined/ruled paper which is thicker and better quality than I would have expected. This goes for all the magazines and the Hogwarts house notebooks as well - I'd guess the paper is at least 100gsm while standard printer paper is 80gsm.
I know I'm a nerd when it comes to things like that but I wish notebooks generally came with information regarding the paper weight. Some do, but lots don't - often not even ones designed to be sold and used as art journals. When I buy a notebook or diary I'd like to know that the pages are thick enough to use a fountain pen or markers without the back of the page being unusable because of bleeding ink...

(I also bought some cool Wizarding World post cards with more book cover designs, house crests, Marauder's map images, etc. while I was at it, all MinaLima designs. I love MinaLima - the work they have done for the movie series is amazing and I'm collecting their ingeniously interactive and beautifully illustrated classics of literature which my kids love as well.)

Quite honestly: I have no idea what I'll do with all of these journals just yet. For now they mostly make my 13-year-old self jump for joy whenever I see them, which is very often as they currently sit on the corner of my (rather messy) craft table. 
I know I could have gone all out and styled the photos with all sorts of feather quills, ink and potion bottles, candles, wands and tiny twinkle lights as that seems to be popular and fashionable at the moment but I didn't feel like it... Maybe some other time. 


Anyway, the point of this wasn't really to fawn over how much I love Wizarding World related stationery or how fabulous MinaLima is (which they are) - I've bought all of these comparatively recently, simply because I could and wanted to (and because it was Covid19 related lock down and I needed a pick-me-up - there you have it) and because there is no lightning font or picture of Harry on them. They fit into the world and are not just about it. 

Please bear in mind that the Platform 9 3/4 Shop as well as the MinaLima store ship from the UK. When I ordered from Platform 9 3/4 Brexit wasn't through yet and there were no additional fees. However, when I placed the order with MinaLima I had completely forgotten that the UK had left the EU and I wasn't too happy about having to pay import taxes when they arrived, which made a few journals and post cards way more expensive than I had anticipated.

I've seen lots of junk journalers on youtube and in facebook groups make Harry Potter themed journals but most of them are more about the franchise (featuring pictures of the actors, pages and images taken out of the movie magic books, fan art of characters, etc.) or dedicated to a specific character rather than look like they are a part of the world. I wanted to create a journal that looks like it could belong to a Hogwarts student. 


I made this little book for the friend who received the Gryffindor scarf I talked about in this post. The book series never mentions any of this but I've always imagined that Madame Pince, the Hogwarts librarian, might also be in charge of an in-house stationery shop where students can by more parchment, quills, ink, pencils and "house pride" note books to use as excercise books, homework planners or whatever. Or the students might receive these at the beginning of each year upon returning to school like some schools hand out planners along with the set books.

I wanted this book to look like it belongs to a Gryffindor. I used one of the covers I talked about in my post about sketchbooks - one that looks like an old fashioned marbled school book or an antique composition notebook. (I know many European junk journalers are quite envious of these because they are not a thing in Europe and hard to find, unless you want to order them from the US.)

I reinforced the spine with red fabric from my stash and added new end papers to the inside covers. I made these using water colours and a broad brush, taking inspiration from an illustration by Jim Kay in which Harry wears stripy socks in these colours. Then I added splatters and cup rings to make it look like someone (maybe Ron) had carelessly placed their breakfast beverage on it... I love how it looks. 


I used artist drawing paper that comes in A3 (twice the size of A4) pads and is readily available at any craft or office supply store. I tore all the pages to size along the edge of a metal ruler to create the slightly frayed deckled edge and I folded over a few of the page corners as if someone very much wanted to remember some particular notes. 


I added a few little doodles on some of the pages as you would when you get bored in class or during a free period. The "Lace Wing Flies" are not my own drawings - it's a stamp from a Tim Holtz set (ENTOMOLOGY CMS328) which I pre-stamped in a very light colour and then traced over with my glass quill and ink. (I like to use a glass quill for this kind of thing. It works better than an actual feather quill but is not as even as a fountain pen. It writes really well too.)


I also added some homework, study and password reminders. I can totally see Hermione impatiently nudging Harry and Ron in the side saying "now, write it down or you'll forget!" and the boys pulling something out of their schoolbags to make a quick note somewhere, grumbling... This is why I didn't write particularly neatly - I wanted it to look natural. 


Then a while ago my friend asked me to make another one of these for her to give to someone. We chose a red cover with a black spine - the other houses could have yellow, blue or green covers with black spines and coordinating end papers - I made them myself again and this time I added black stamped ink splatters. It was only after I had done that when I realised I was out of black writing ink. I was in a hurry to get it done (it was ordered on rather short notice) and couldn't go out to buy more. I did the doodling and writing in red ink and concluded that someone else (maybe Ron) might have carelessly splattered black ink on the book... 

P8211949 P8211949
P8211949 P8211949

I wrote all the notes in German this time as I wasn't sure how well versed the recipient was in the original. (I love reading the books in German but I only listen to the English audiobooks.)
I also did a more detailed drawing of the Bowtruckle with more notes about them. 


It doesn't show in the pictures but the red ink actually shimmers in different colours where it was applied more heavily. It reconciled me to not having any black ink because it made me think of Harry's first trip to Diagon Alley where he bought a jar of colour changing ink. 


This is the very last page. I wanted to include a Gryffindor house crest and googled line art for inspiration. Most of the ones I liked where way too intricate for me to free hand but then I found this one which I really like a lot! I love the style! I don't know who designed it and I hope they won't mind my copying it for this purpose... I drew it very lightly in pencil first and then went over it with the ink when I was happy with how it looked. I'm rather pleased with it, I have to say...


I wrapped the book in brown packaging paper and tied it with white string - like the school equipment Harry and Hagrid buy in the first movie - but I wanted to add a fun little extra something: I found this tiny little bottle charm (which only measures about 15mm or so without the cork) and filled it with poisonous green glitter glue which had luckily kind of separated resulting in the tiny bottle being filled with mostly transparent green with only a little bit of glitter which was perfect in this case. I glued the cork in with some strong clear glue so nothing could spill and tied the potion bottle to the parcel. 

I will have to make my kids some notebooks too to add to their collection of Hogwarts school books. (My son has decorated the shelf by his bed with my collection of oddly shaped and coloured glass bottles, some feathers, his moon lamp and his Hogwarts books - he's such a nerd, just like his mum - haha!) 
I'd like to make some for the other houses as well, I just have to find all the right covers. 


Lots of love! xxx


P.S.: This is not a sponsored post. I don't get paid or free products for mentioning and linking to the Wizarding World/the MinaLima products. 

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