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Junk Journal

Updated on December 16, 2015
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Make a journal -- fast!

What exactly is a "junk journal"? It might be easier to start with what it isn't. It's not a regular journal. It's not exactly an art journal either. It's not a scrapbook or a photo album. It isn't an altered book. However, it can be, or have, elements of all those things.

This journal is a 'junk journal' because I am using it to store all kinds of 'junk'. It will be a work-in-progress for a long time. My primary reasons for creating it are to use up art supplies - I have lots of collage images and saved art papers, I'd like somewhere to keep small personal notes and letters. I'd also like to keep photos in there that aren't good enough for a proper album but are precious nevertheless. It's not meant to be pretty or arty, however, it needs to be fun to make or I will get bored with it and throw it in a drawer and it will never to see the light of day again.

This junk journal starts with an ordinary 6" x 9" spiral bound notebook. Mine came from Paperchase, but any will do as long as the binding is fairly accommodating. You can even work in one you've already used. I'm not using paint in this one - at least I haven't so far. I want to make it quickly so that I can then begin to fill it with all my junk!

Follow along and see how to create your own junk journal. It's fast. It's furious and it is great fun!

Junk journal cover
Junk journal cover | Source
Inside my junk journal
Inside my junk journal | Source

Things You Need

Junk journal supplies - all are optional.
Junk journal supplies - all are optional. | Source

You will definitely need some of the following... start with a few things and work your way toward full-scale craft supply addiction.

  • Notebook
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive
  • Add a selection of the following:
  • Art papers
  • Magazine images
  • Acetate sheets
  • Tape dispenser - brilliant for adding collage elements and applying art papers to pages
  • Paper cutter
  • Selection of pens
  • Ephemera - tickets, photos, notes, children's drawings, magazine clippings; anything in fact.
  • Envelopes
  • Embellishments
  • Old music manuscript
  • Paint chips
  • Photocopies of previous journal pages
  • Last year's calendar

Junk journal - adhering decorative paper to the existing pages.
Junk journal - adhering decorative paper to the existing pages. | Source

Step One - Prepare the Pages

Begin by adhering art paper, images from magazines or any other decorated paper you like, to the pages. Simply cut the paper to size and stick it in. Cover both sides of the page.

Junk journal pockets and flaps.
Junk journal pockets and flaps. | Source

Step Two - Create Pockets and Flaps

Use more paper to create pockets - just place a second piece of paper over half the page but only glue three sides, leaving one side open so you can slip photos or notes inside.

If you want to create a see-through pocket, use acetate instead of paper. You can see I've used it a lot in this journal as it reflects light in the photos.

Make flaps by taping heavy paper or card to the edges of pages.

Fill your junk journal pockets.
Fill your junk journal pockets. | Source

Step three - add your junk

That's all there is to it. I've added in notes from my kids, some postcards and greeting cards I can't bear to throw away and tickets from various events to remind me of good times. I'm gradually going to add more photos - I have a huge stack of family photos to sort through. I'm also going to use this as a kind of gratitude/appreciation journal by hiding little pieces of my own writing. I have folded some art papers to make little secret books within the journal.

Scotch CAT 085 Advanced Tape Glider with 2 Rolls of 1/4-Inch by 36-Yard Acid Free Tape,Cure Pink
Scotch CAT 085 Advanced Tape Glider with 2 Rolls of 1/4-Inch by 36-Yard Acid Free Tape,Cure Pink

Scotch Advanced Tape Glider Susan G. Komen For the Cure Pink. The Scotch ATG applies a thin, strong line of adhesive that bonds instantly and goes on easily while removing and rewinding the liner. Perfect for scrapbooking, card-making and other paper projects. It features covered gears to minimize applicator jams, a transparent cover that shows remaining tape, and it holds up to 36yds of adhesive tape. This package contains 1 aTG with clear cover and pink handle (9-1/2" x 9" x 2"), (2) 36yd rolls of 1/4" wide acid-free/photo safe tape, and instructions for use. Uses 085-RAF refills only. Made in USA/Imported.

 
Junk journal - add more bits and pieces.
Junk journal - add more bits and pieces. | Source

Artist's papers

No need to mess around with paint to make background papers. Of course, making your own paper is great fun, but this project is about getting the journal up and running quickly so you can stash your stuff fast. These artists papers are just perfect for making pockets, flaps and backgrounds.

Que Sera Sera Designer 12-Inch by 12-Inch Paper Pad - Exceptional Artist's Papers

K&Company Que Sera Sera Designer 12-by-12-Inch Paper Pad
K&Company Que Sera Sera Designer 12-by-12-Inch Paper Pad

I ordered this as a Christmas present to myself. It is the most lovely paper - quite heavy and beautifully printed on both sides. You don't need paper like this for your junk journal but I am using it in mine. It's great for making pockets and flaps as you can just fold it so the reverse design is visible.

Stunning!

 
Notes from my children hide behind a pocket made from paint chips.
Notes from my children hide behind a pocket made from paint chips. | Source

My journals are a safe place to play. I can be as experi-mental as I like!

Eye-catching pieces of junk mail find a home in my junk journal. They'll probably be used in a 'proper' art journal one of these days.
Eye-catching pieces of junk mail find a home in my junk journal. They'll probably be used in a 'proper' art journal one of these days. | Source
No scissors hand? No problem - tear your papers.
No scissors hand? No problem - tear your papers. | Source

Junk journal gallery - Browse some more at and junk journals

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photo Credit: amykant via Compfight ccPhoto Credit: amykant via Compfight ccPhoto Credit: amykant via Compfight ccPhoto Credit: amykant via Compfight ccPhoto Credit: urban don via Compfight ccPhoto Credit: sushi♥ina via Compfight ccPhoto Credit: Samie Harding via Compfight ccPhoto Credit: artjunkgirl via Compfight ccPhoto Credit: artjunkgirl via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: amykant via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: amykant via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: amykant via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: amykant via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: amykant via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: amykant via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: amykant via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: amykant via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: urban don via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: urban don via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: sushi♥ina via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: sushi♥ina via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Samie Harding via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Samie Harding via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: artjunkgirl via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: artjunkgirl via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: artjunkgirl via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: artjunkgirl via Compfight cc
Remnants of old sketchbooks find their way into my junk journal. I painted that cup and saucer many moons ago.
Remnants of old sketchbooks find their way into my junk journal. I painted that cup and saucer many moons ago. | Source

© 2010 myraggededge

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    • myraggededge profile image
      Author

      myraggededge 2 years ago

      I'm sure your book is lovely. Thanks for your kind words, peachpurple (great name, by the way).

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      you are artistic indeed. Never thought of junk tturn into a journal. Mine is junk book

    • cendana1 profile image

      Samsuryani 2 years ago from Malaysia

      I like to collect beautiful cards, but it end in trash bin. Thanks for this creative idea.

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image

      Chocolatealchemy 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      You've created a wonderful Lens - thanks for the useful tips.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Fantastic and creative ideas as always! This looks like the perfect space to let myself go and have lots of creative fun while doing so. :)

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 4 years ago

      This is weird, because just the other day I was thinking I needed something rather almost exactly like this. Except, I didn't know what it was exactly or that it had a name. And, now I find that not only is it a real thing, but there are directions! Yay!

    • Di Annesley profile image

      Di Annesley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      I made myself a Junk Journal a while ago. I followed a tutorial on you tube, however the pages were all rubbed over with a stamp pad and I don't like that look now.........so thanks to you I plan to add scrapping card over the top. That will make it a lot more useable. Thanks heaps

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 4 years ago

      A well-organized and preserved collection of ephemera

      Can repeatedly make us relive ephemerally, a whole era!

    • profile image

      musicluv4life 4 years ago

      That's so creative i love it. It looks like tons of fun!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      This looks like so much fun.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 5 years ago

      How fun. My daughter would love this idea.

    • profile image

      klaird 5 years ago

      Very cool! Love it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great ideas.Thanks.

    • TheWhimsicalPea profile image

      TheWhimsicalPea 5 years ago

      I love this, kind of a "throw back" from projects we did long ago, before computers were so popular! Great work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I think my daughter would love this. Right up her alley. It may even help her clean up her room a bit. Nice lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • BetsiGoutal1 profile image

      BetsiGoutal1 5 years ago

      Interesting! I'm an art journaler and I've been wondering what the distinction is between a junk journal and art journal, I think I understand better now.

    • BusinessSarah profile image

      BusinessSarah 5 years ago

      Oooh, I do these with recipes and clippings from magazines -- my fiancé despairs whenever he sees the earmarked magazines piling up, so I solved the problem by cutting out whatever I liked that was making me want to hold onto the entire thing. Now I have ONE place for the things I don't want to use, and my fiancé gets free reign to recycle the old magazines at will. :)

      Great lens!

    • profile image

      ScrappetizerRetreats 5 years ago

      I love this idea --- fun, easy and creative!

    • mommafox profile image

      mommafox 5 years ago

      I love so many of your lenses. Thanks for sharing with us all!

    • mommafox profile image

      mommafox 5 years ago

      Love the potential to personalize each page. Such a work of art and beautiful way to keep your memories on hand!

    • MarilynImanse profile image

      MarilynImanse 5 years ago

      What a good idea to keep those bits of information and mementos in one place.

    • livinglargeandh profile image

      livinglargeandh 5 years ago

      One woman's junk is another woman's art. Very interesting. I have something like this that I created in high school---yeeeaaaars ago. But I still have it and it tells me a lot about myself and the times.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens.

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 5 years ago

      Sounds perfect for me. I keep my "junk" in envelopes and file folders now.

    • MissionBoundCre profile image

      MissionBoundCre 5 years ago

      Vey cool

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      These are awesome, great for scraps.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      LOVE the idea!!

    • Mellithorpe profile image

      Mellithorpe 5 years ago

      I love the name you gave it. I guess I've had one of these for years and just never knew what to call it. Thanks for sharing your tips and ideas.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Boy do I.. this is great!1 Angel blessed.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      I have boxes of junk that I need to put into a scrapbook or journal and this might be the best way for me to get them out of the dark and into something I can look at or even share. I'll try this out over the next few months. Thank you!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Nice idea! This sounds like a good project for me and my grandkids!

    • whitneywpanetta1 profile image

      whitneywpanetta1 5 years ago

      You have great images! I am a big visual (or junk) journaler, I've been doing it for the past three years and love it! I use old books as a base for my journal, I like incorporating the words into my images. If you are interested you should check out my site, I would love feedback! www.lookbetweenthelines.com

    • myraggededge profile image
      Author

      myraggededge 5 years ago

      @Zenchantress: Hello again! Glad you found me. It's a shame that Squidoo abandoned their fan-facility. I do have blogs but am hopeless at keeping them updated. However, they generally have an RSS feed of latest lenses in the sidebar. http:www.zenandink.wordpress.com xx

    • Zenchantress profile image

      Fayme Zelena Harper 5 years ago from Lucerne Valley, CA

      Oops, I tried to leave a comment but wasn't logged in so I hope you didn't get it twice. Thanks for inviting me here from your other article on Hubpages. I love pockets in books and made some in a wedding album a few months ago. I just wish I knew how to follow you on Squidoo. I don't want to miss anything.

    • Zenchantress profile image

      Fayme Zelena Harper 5 years ago from Lucerne Valley, CA

      Thanks for inviting me here from your other article. I've always loved the ideas of pockets in books and added some to a wedding album I made a few months ago. I just wish I knew how to follow people on Squidoo.

    • profile image

      resabi 5 years ago

      This is probably the kind of journal I could keep. Oh, the freedom of not feeling obligated to follow a routine or a design! I, too, am a collector of bits and stray pieces. Hmmm.... Thanks, as usual, for the inspiration (and for all the help on Squidoo). Happy to bless this.

    • dwnovacek profile image

      dwnovacek 5 years ago

      What a great concept! Very inspiring and beautiful lens (as usual!). Angel Blessed!

    • Retro Loco profile image

      Vicki 5 years ago from USA

      I love your idea of creating a junk journal! I like junk, especially old junk! A lot of things that I see, find or buy are considered junk to everyone I know! They just don't see the decorating or art potential in things that I see. Your journals don't look at all like junk to me; they look very pretty, fun and full of memories! Thanks for sharing your ideas and resources! ~Vicki~

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      Your journal reminds me of my sister's diary. She puts everything she wants on every page to make it more beautiful.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great idea to create a 'junk journal' as a place to keep all those tiny keepsakes, photos, etc. - thanks for this wonderful introduction and tutorial.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      A junk journal sure looks like a lot of fun. On the other hand, it's almost too pretty to be called 'junk'! Very creative and I like the appreciation theme.

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