Since you asked about this top journal ... I used the Rollabind (or Levenger) binding system for it. Stray pieces of patterned, black and white paper, old file folders: whatever is on hand. The rollabind system is nice because you can easily stick in smaller pieces of paper.
Rollabind is a very nice system. The only drawback is the specialty hole punch which is pretty pricey. I hear the travel punch is not worth buying. I use this system instead of binders for all my workshop and business notebooks, including and especially my business plan.
You get the discs and hole punch from either Levenger's (see the Circa Notebooks) or Rollabind. You can use any kind of stiff cardstock or cardboard for the covers (whatever you can jam into the punch).
Edit: This just in ... you can get this binding system at Staples. They are marketing it under the name Arc. The hole punch is $39.99. Thanks Veronica, for your comment!
You could also collect your papers and take them to the office supply store and have them spiral bound.
And here is a very nice fake smash binding tutorial from Callaloo Soup. I haven't tried it but it sure looks good.