This is a journal I made last year (seems like years ago), and it is one of my absolute favorites because I used one of my favorite kits from Ephemera's Vintage Garden, Miss Lady Fay. I love it because it's pink, has gorgeous flowers, and it's so vibrant.
I used an old book cover, and I painted it and used different sprays on it. Using book covers is great because you're recycling something that may end up in the trash and the book pages that you pull out, you can use for other projects.
I love to sew in my journals. Adding stitching gives it a shabby feel, and with the soft pink colors of the kit, and vintage style of the journal, sewing is perfect. It adds wonderful texture and dimension to the pages. I love to leave the tails long so they can poke out of the book.
I also distressed the page edges with a distress tool. This adds an aged feel as well as enhances the shabby chic look. You can achieve that look with your scissor edge, your fingernail, a distress tool, or your exacto knife.