DIY Locking Diary

Well hey! This DIY comes courtesy of the confusing lack of diaries with locks in stores around me AND online. My husband’s niece requested a diary with a lock for Christmas, so we went on the hunt at all of the bookstores in my town. There was exactly one locked diary that was about the size of my own hand (bear in mind the only thing I can palm is a baseball, so I got stubby hands) and was French themed with a lot of pink. In fact, here’s the culprit:


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This would work for a girl of about 6 – 9, but the diary I needed was for someone who’s about to be 12. It’s been a fair distance between my age now and 12, but I think I’m still hip enough to know that this Parisian diary is just a bit too young.

I searched pretty much everywhere online and saw horrible locked diaries I can’t unsee. But being one to never throw in the towel, I said, “Screw it, I’ll make my own.”

I went back to the bookstore and got a really nice journal for $15. I watched a tutorial on how to put your own GD lock on a diary, and it sparked in me a way to improve upon that person’s own ingenuity. I present to you, Hanna’s DIY locked diary:


Screw you, bookstore! I made my own, and it’s kickass! Exalt me as such.

How’d I do it? So easily! I used the clippy part of binder clips as the latches, bought my own lock for $2, and hopped to it. All you have to do is use a hairdryer to melt the glue that holds the paper to the inside covers of the diary. Then, you make a wee space for the binder clip…things to slide into. You don’t have to hold the hairdryer in place for very long, maybe about 30 seconds. Then get yourself a butter knife to pry the paper from the cover to make some space for your new “latch”.


Once you slide the “latch” in, use a glue gun to dump some hot glue into the space you made for the “latch”. Then use your fingers to press the hot glue into the “latch” and force the paper once peeled back to stick back onto the book’s cover.


My husband asked, and maybe you’re thinking it right now, too: “How’s there not glue everywhere?” I’ll answer you as I answered him…”Because I’m a genius.” This was said in jest like Wile E. Coyote because our couple vocab is about 85% references that other people rarely understand. The real answer is I got my trusty X-acto knife and trimmed away the excess glue. Don’t have an X-acto? Use your sharpest steak knife. Just stick the knife in gently and create a cut so that you can pull away the unsightly glue remnants.

From there, you’re all done! Now you just put the lock through the latch and it’s a party!


Now that’s a no-nonsense lock right there. Let’s face facts: diary locks are easy as heck to break into, but this thing…that’ll be a challenge. I’m gonna tell our niece NOT to hide the diary under her bed because I really don’t want her mom to find it and read it. A gal’s gotta have her secrets!

If you’re wondering how to centre your latch, measure the cover from top to bottom, find the middle of the cover and make a small pencil mark. Centre the binder clip clips on that pencil mark. When you put the 2nd latch in, just match it up with the first one you put in so that the two are sure to meet when the book is closed. πŸ™‚

There you have it! Just so easy! If you have any questions, leave me a comment below and I’ll help you out.

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚