Junk Journal Introduction


Recently I’ve been intrigued by the idea of Junk Journals. I creatively memory journal and although it’s crafty, it still feels kind of restricted in that it follows a continuous style.

To me, junk journaling feels more fluid, anything goes. I’ve accumulated a lot of crafty bits over time and there’s quite a few things I’ve popped to one side for later. Mainly because I wasn’t sure how to use it. 

Then I found junk journaling! It’s wasn’t an entirely new concept to me. When I was in art and design college as a teenager, we were encouraged to use all kinds of media in our sketchbooks. Sometimes we were encouraged to make our own sketchbooks. The end result was a really chunky book full of creative freedom!

I lost this skill when I went to Uni as everything became much more structured and digital. As I moved into Creative Artworking after uni, it disappeared completely. 

So it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything like this!

At the moment I’m at the very beginning. It’s not as easy as I would have thought. I’ve had years of working to a perfect standard. It sounds like a bold statement but it’s true, the Artworking I’ve learnt over time is of a very high level. A lot of work would be set up mathematically. I would use coordinates in Illustrator and Indesign to ensure all artwork was placed exactly where it needed to be on an art board, all gaps/placement of imagery/text was accurate. Nothing was guess work. 

The work was intense and any curve balls of creative freedom simply didn’t happen. If it did, it was appreciated but quickly stripped back to the brand style. 

When I found creative planning, I started to slowly visit areas from before. I also found art journalling which I’ve played with but as much as I like it, I struggle to find time to sit and create. I love to use paints and other wet media but for it to really work for me, I need time and a space to do this because I make a mess!

Then I stumbled on Junk Journalling. I’ve seen a few different ways of doing this. A lot of it seems to centre around collecting craft scraps or unused bit and pieces. There is also Vintage style Junk Journalling which is a bit more structured from what I’ve seen. The idea is to make a whole notebook with coffee stained style pages, book pages, music pages, images, pockets, cards etc. A lot of them I’ve seen are setup as the notebook, then used.

Junk Journalling as a whole seems to be about taking what you already have and re-using it, at least that’s how I’ve interpreted it.

It took me a while to get started. It’s going out of my comfort zone as I always need a reason as to why I’m doing something instead of simply creating. I also know I want to create spreads as I go, not create the book and go back. My first hurdle was the book itself. I looked at many different style setups, existing reading books with hard back covers, many different pieces of paper pulled together in make a book, smaller papers and cards held together with rings and the Vintage style journals.


In the end I realised I wanted a Traveller’s Notebook style. Whether it will stay like this, I don’t know but for now it’s what I love. I feel like this style of journalling can work in many ways, I can always take my TN books and combine them together to make a big book later on.

So to make my books, I had already decided I wanted to work with book pages. I took an old novel I had previously bought for art journal work. I tore a load of pages out and attached two at a time with masking tape. I then took all of these new pages and used my 1.8mm hole-punch and punched a hole in the centre at the top and bottom. After that I found some scrapbook paper I liked for a cover, cut to size, folded around ‘book’ and also punched this. Lastly I took some garden twine (it’s all I had and it’s strong!) and thread it through the holes, bottom first around to the top and tied them in a knot in the centre of the book. All done!



I did the same with some watercolour paper for a different type of journal.

It was surprisingly really quick to do, I currently have four books made up and ready to work in. I did decide to use white gesso on some spreads, so I will use paint if I have time. My main plan with it will be a cut and stick method with drawing and writing. I’m hoping to create a lot of layering with pockets and all sorts. Overall I don’t have a plan with the junk journal, I will still pick themes but keep them loose. I really want to play with it.


This is the beginning of my first spread, I decided to pick a quote and play with that. I’m yet to add drawings or words/lists but you get a feel for it. I created a little pocket from scrapbook paper and washi. I love how it’s looking, the mixed media and unfinished feel to it. I don’t want this book to look perfect, I want it to be my messy place!

Thank you for reading 🙂

Kelly xxx

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