How to Make Your Own Canning Journal

Make your own canning journal to keep all your canning and preserving projects organized.

canning journalThe other day I wrote a post about 3 Reasons to Keep a Canning Journal. There are many reasons why it makes good sense to write down your projects, but the most important reason for me is to keep track so I don’t waste food!

The time to start a journal isn’t months after you’ve starting canning (sadly this is from my very own experience), the time is now – while we are getting ready for a new canning and preserving season. But, while a canning journal is a very practical and time saving object, it also can be a creative endeavor much like scrap booking, card making, or….. canning!

Those of you who love the kitchen but are all thumbs with paper, glue, and crafts may want to order one of our Canning and Preserving Journals here. We’ll even personalize it for you. UPDATE – we have moved our handcrafted journals to our Etsy store. Order yours today!

But if you are ready to design your own journal, be sure to include the following:

1. Start with a simple paper or online graph. My canning journal is designed so the paper is landscape, but you can also orient the paper in a portrait direction.

2. Include a space for each:

  • Date – at least the month and year
  • Product – what you are preserving, for example Strawberry Jam
  • Amount – how many containers you preserved
  • Size – what was the size of those containers, for example quart jars or gallon freezer bags
  • Ingredients – what ingredients were used. This is a good place to write down specific types of fruits/veggies. For example, that you made that yummy apple butter with Cortland and Golden Delicious apples.
  • Technique – how was the item processed; was it water bathed? frozen? pressure canned?
  • Time – how long did the processing take? Did you process the tomato puree for 40 minutes in a water bath?

3. Add extra pages or spaces for Notes and Recipes. You may want to include a space for notes on each line like I did on the journal above. Or, you may prefer to add several pages for your own handwritten notes and favorite recipes in the back of the journal.

4. Make several copies of each blank page, enough to last you a year or more. Don’t forget to make the copies double-sided.

5. Choose a front and back cover. This is a good place to show off those decoupage  or drawing skills. Make sure your name is displayed prominently on the cover as your canning journal will soon become a family heirloom! Use cover stock weight paper or get your covers laminated at a local print shop.

6. Either 3 hole punch the pages and enclose in a notebook, or have your local print shop bind the journal. Or, if you are interested in making your own books, research unusual bookbinding techniques.

Have you made a canning journal? Please share your photos with us!


by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at Find her professional food writing info at

April 21, 2014

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