Make a Logbook - New Bedford Whaling Museum

How to Make a Logbook

How to Make a Logbook

During Whaling voyages, logbooks were used to record the daily activities of life at sea. It was used to track many things, including the date, weather, and whale sightings. Create your own logbook to record your daily adventures


  • 5 sheets of white paper, scissors, 2 tea bags, tea mug, tea kettle, baking tray, needle and thread (staples as substitute if you do not have needle and thread), coloring supplies


  • Create your own logbook to record your daily adventures. You will be able to keep track of the date, weather, and any animal sightings you may see in or outside your house.

Guiding Questions

  • A whaler’s logbook would have sightings of whales recorded. Spotting a whale is very unlikely for many of us, especially when we are at home.
  • What animals can you find in your daily life? This could be different species of birds you see out the window, insects crawling in the grass you see along the sidewalk, or even your house cat. What are their behaviors like? This is a detail you can track in your logbook in the Notes.


  1. Fold the white sheets of paper in half vertically, then open the paper again to fold horizontally.
  2. Open up the sheets of paper and cut out the four sections using the fold creases as a guide.
  3. Place the sheets of paper on the baking tray. It is fine if the sheets overlap.
  4. Boil water in the tea kettle, then pour into the mug with 2 tea bags.
  5. Let the tea cool down for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Pour the tea water into the baking tray until it completely covers the surface area of the baking tray.
  7. Pat down each sheet with a tea bag. Rotate the sheets in the tray as needed to be able to sponge the tea bag onto all sheets.
  8. Drain the tea water out of the baking tray.
  9. Leave the sheets out to dry for 12-24 hours.
  10. Once the sheets are dry, stack them on top of each other. Take the needle and thread to sew the binding of the book. Staples can be used as an alternative method.
  11. On each page (not including the cover) list the following 4 categories: Date, Weather, Animal Sightings, Notes
  12. Decorate the cover and pages of the log book with markers, crayons, or stickers.