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My Altered Journal

Updated on February 11, 2012

Your Journal as Art

I touched on this in another of my hubs, but I thought I would take this topic to the next level. Altered journals are blank journals that are transformed into whatever your heart desires. Whether you consider yourself artistic or 'crafty' or not, it makes no difference. For this project all you'll need is a blank journal. If you think you might like to put some bulky items in it, I would recommend a wire bound type, or one that will be supple enough to allow for the extra depth of the items.

You will want to consider if you want a lined or blank journal. I have used both and they work fine. In lined journals, I sometimes cover the lines completely with paint, textured paper or colored tissue paper. Others I left the lines visible but added enhancements like stickers, photos, sketches, rubber stampwork, ribbons, etc. The lines are there as a guideline for writing, but sometimes my journal writing takes off as it did on one page were I started in the middle and wrote in an outward moving spiral.

For supplies you probably already have most of what you need. The basics are glue, tape, crayons, ink pad/s, Sharpies, pencil, pen, scissors, hole punch, and whatever might help you alter the pages. Those craft scissors with the wavy edges are great for cutting shaped edges on the pages.

With your journal in hand, decide if you want a theme for it or if you just want to decorate each page differently. With that in mind, gather up all the things you would like to use in your journal. Dollar stores and craft stores are great places to pick up items like scrapbooking decorations, stickers, tissue paper, crayons, glue and so on. Old magazines are great for cutting out words and pictures. Don't forget things like fabric, ribbon, yarn, beads, old postage stamps, ephemera, glitter, ink, rubber stamps, tiny mirrors, sandpaper, buttons, stencils, cheesecloth. You can even print copies of your favorite photos rather than using the originals. All these items are great for adding texture and bling to your pages. Anything you can glue to a page, you can add to your altered journal. You will find more things to use as you look around your home and even when you are shopping.

Remember, every page can be different from the next. By gluing pages together you can create a heavier page that will take paint, Sharpie's and glue without seeping through to the next page. If you glue enough pages together you can even create a little shadow-box opening to put thing in. You can punch holes through the heavy pages and tie ribbons, yarn and even create peep-holes into the next page. Fold a page over (see the Eiffel Tower photo) and create a pocket to hold mementos. The big heart photo is several pages glued together and then I drew the heart with Sharpies.

You can leave open spots and maybe an area in the center of the page for writing. Some pages I cover completely and write over the decorations. There are no limits. The enhancements you use are limited only by your imagination and found items. Your writing, in itself, can become the art.

In my case, I couldn't wait to start using my journal, so I altered a few pages and then started writing in it. Then I altered more and wrote some more. In my opinion, I enjoyed it even more this way. It kept my creative juices flowing every day and it kept me writing in my journal on a daily basis. Before I knew it, I was altering journals and filling up all the ones I had collected.

A journal is for you, no one else, that is unless you want to share it. My 'Love' journal was always meant for sharing. In it I write down everything I love, everyone I love, places, events, thoughts, sayings, music, books, films, etc. and on and on. I write in in almost every day. It keeps my thoughts positive and happy. Make your journal experience a happy one by expressing yourself in it with more than words, alter your journaling experience with your creativity. Let it flow page by page! Happy journaling!

©2012 T.Helton-all rights reserved


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    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 4 years ago from Indiana

      Very nice ideas.