Some Notes on Junk Journals also known as Creative or Artistic Journals

Meg’s Garden Junk Journals Recipe

Junk Journals mean different things to different people.  They actually should be called Artistic Journals or Creative Journals because that is what they have become.

 At Meg’s Garden we love to innovate & we like ‘modified’ Junk Journals - more cut & create, less junkie, can add coffee or tea dyed paper & can also add some cardstock, patterned paper & embellishments, of course!

You should have a theme before starting & also a style. This will lead you to a colour scheme & your journal will flow more smoothly.

Colour:  tones that work together & add a pop of colour

Style:     grunge, vintage or shabby chic or whatever you want

Texture:  absolutely necessary

 A Signature is a collection of papers that are attached or combine together.

Size: any size you want but remember most papers will be A4 (8.3x11”) so think about papers that will be used on both sides of cardstock or papers taped together to make one page & also on both sides/through the signature.

Half page size works well but keep all offcuts for strips, pockets etc. 5x7" is the traditional size but it is NOT a rule - no rules on these journals.

The pages should be 1/4” less than the book cover.

In a junk journal the page sizes can be different - makes for interest

Covers: Options - an old book with the inside cut out, make a soft spine or create a full cover with chip/card board.

Layers: Essential - think ‘add to page’

Ingredients: - not all are necessary - think outside the box & look through your stash - particularly the things pushed in the back or in an old stash - restyle them.   Deconstruct old journals, cards & projects.  Old patterned papers become exciting when dyed with tea or coffee or use your mixed media products.

Ephemera - Cut & create images

Patterned paper - for pages, strips tuck spots, pockets, envelopes - old patterned paper really dyes well with coffee or tea.

Vellum - Translucent paper (tracing paper) - any paper added needs to be able to be folded.

Paper scraps

Flowers, buttons, embellishments, cogs, keys, metal & wood all add texture & dimension

Die Cuts, stickers, labels, stamps, stencils

Paint, watercolour, inks, markers, highlighters - anything to colour or spray

Envelopes - especially little ones

Writing paper (lined)

Old book pages - dictionary, old book, poetry, maps, encyclopedia

Embellishments, tags, tickets, doilies

Napkins - use tape to remove backings

Fabric - for covers & spine and also for pages - scraps, lace & ribbons

Coffee or tea for dyeing papers.  Spray or splash when lightly dyed to add interest.  A mini spray bottle works really well

Washi tape on a roll or made by you. To make just cut a strip of paper the width you want & add double sided tape at the edges.

Recycled/reused materials

Glues to attach - paper, modpodge, fabric & other elements

Apart from Pages:

Strips of varying width & materials - they can be stuck down or just at the top & bottom in order to tuck pieces in. Could also be doily strips, lace, wide ribbons, jute & more

Tickets - with or without words

Envelopes of varying sizes - dyed or not

Tags - always a must - different sizes, decorated or not, words, different materials

Pieces - of whatever.

   elements from nature - dried flowers, leaves, pods, dried lavender, twigs, bark

   sewing elements - needles etc.

   travel docs - tickets, boarding passes, stamps, menus, etc

Whatever your theme requires - remember this is a junk journal & almost anything goes.

Tuck spots - tuck things in

The main thing is to think outside the box & have fun. Tear the pages or corners, make them different sizes; but remember the papercrafting principles - Colour, Texture & Style.


Rose Pink Shabby Chic JJ