What Is A Junk Journal?: The best place to start

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What Is A Junk Journal?

Like a lot of people these days, I do have several ‘regular journals’ that I’ve been using over the years, and they are great to look back on and read what was happening in my life at that time. I do have to say though, I’m not the best at writing in them every single day… or even every week.

However, junk journals are something very different, and I do often get asked…

What is a junk journal? It’s a book which has been created from recycled materials such as old music paper, cereal boxes, vintage ephemera, regular old books and anything that you are inspired to use within the pages to create little pockets to add journaling space and write down your thoughts and inspirations.

Making junk journals does get quite addictive, and once you delve into them you will look at everything that was once classed as ‘junk’ in a whole new light! I think of it as, recycling at its finest!

Are Junk Journals Still Popular?

Junk journals are still very popular today and a massive amount of people discovered the craft during the lockdown period when they needed something to fill their time spent at home. A lot of people turned to learning new crafts, and junk journals was one of the crafts that got a high percentage of those new crafters.

I think you might find this article interesting; Are Junk Journals Still Popular?: 15 Reasons Why People Love Them

Ephemera for junk journals

Can You Write In A Junk Journal?

Yes, you can absolutely write in a junk journal! Although they are made up of ‘junk’ and often have lots of patterns, lace and fabric in them, there are also journaling spots that can be used, such as on the back of tags, folded out pages or tucked into little pockets.

If you are going to make your own junk journal, it’s really up to you how much space you want to make for actually journaling on.

If however, you are thinking of purchasing one, then this might be one of the things to check for before you buy.

Do I Have To Write In My Junk Journal?

There are no rules here, it’s your junk journal, so you do whatever you want with it, and if you don’t want to write in it, that’s absolutely fine!

I have made some junk journals that I had no intention of writing in, even when I first started the planning of them.

Sometimes I just want to fill it with lots of pretty lace, ephemera, fabrics and artwork because I love the way they look and feel.

If you aren’t into writing in a journal so much, you might enjoy adding photos of what’s been happening in your life and adding those… They do say ‘a picture can speak a thousand words.’

You might want to add the ticket stubs if you have been to the theatre or to a festival for instance, it gives a nice visual record for you to look back on.

To me, they are just as much a work of art to be admired as they are an actual journal.

what is a junk journal books

What Can Be Used To Make A Junk Journal?

There are no rules to making junk journals, and one of the great things about them is, you probably already have lots of things around your home to make one already.

Before you throw anything away, just stop and think if it could be used in a journal.  Any type of cardboard can usually be used to make something, to decorate, cover or give structure in your junk journal.

Fabrics and trims from old clothes and soft furnishings are always great for decorating and softening edges of pages.

Broken costume jewellery, odd earrings, ribbons, lace, doilies, napkins, yarn… Just about anything clean might be able to be used to make junk journals in some way. A junk journal is really a mixed media art, so anything goes.

Old books are a great source of materials for making junk journals!

The covers can be used as the cover for your journal, the pages can be used to make pockets, and you can often find some lovely pictures too.

If you’re unsure about cutting up books to use them in crafts, you might find this article interesting… Is It OK To Cut Up Books

Does A Junk Journal Have To Be Made From Junk?

A junk journal can be made from anything at all, and that includes buying new items especially for it.

There is no end to the amount of things you can buy or use to put a junk journal together, such as paper packs, washi tapes, fabric and lace… This is just a very small sample list of some things you can use, as the list would literally be endless. It is a great way to use up some of that craft stash that hasn’t been touched for a while.

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Where To Buy Printable Kits For Junk Journals

You can use printable kits to make a whole junk journal, or just the pages so you can decorate them however you like.

There are lots of places you can buy printables for your junk journals, but my all-time favourite place is Creative Fabrica! This is always the first place I look when I’m looking for printables to use for a particular theme, or some beautiful pages and ephemera.

I have a subscription with them so I can get as much as I want from there and not have to worry about the cost because it’s all covered by their very reasonable subscription fee.

This works really well for me, because if after downloading something I decide it isn’t quite the color or image I want for my junk journal I can just find something else on Creative Fabrica and download  that one too as there is no limit on how much you can use from there. I have quite literally, downloaded hundreds of files since I subscribed with them, so it really has made a big difference to my crafting.

You can also buy individual files on there too, so if you don’t want to commit to a subscription, just buy things as you need them instead.

If you’re wondering how long it might take you to create a junk journal, you might find this article interesting; How Long Does It Take To Make A Junk Journal?

Where Can I Get Free Stuff For My Junk Journals?

I know what it’s like to want to  get stuck into a new project, but funds are tight so you really don’t want to be spending much money… Which is why I love to give back to our lovely craft community by creating some freebies for you to print off and use.

Just head over to my Freebies Library and you will see a form on there which will give you a password to enter the Freebies Library. In there you will find lots of beautiful images and pages that I’ve created for you to print off and use as you like with my compliments!

I will be adding new freebies on a regular basis, so feel free to keep checking back to see what new stuff you can use.

Creative Fabrica also has some freebies available, so you might also want to head over there and take a look.

How Can I Get Images To Use In Junk Journals If I Don’t Have A Printer?

Have a look in magazines and old books, greeting cards, postcards, napkins, even junk mail can sometimes have an image or two that you can use.

I have also designed a series of books that I created to be cut up and used in junk journals, they have some beautiful vintage images and I really hope you like them and will enjoy using them in your projects.

What Is The Difference Between A Diary And A Journal?

A diary is to write a record of the day’s events and thoughts.

A Journal can be used in the same way as a diary, but can often include pictures or mementoes of the day, such as ticket stubs, stickers or doodles, which help to remember the day better.

A journal is really just an updated version of a diary which allows for more of the writer’s character to shine throughout the pages as they can personalise them with their own individuality.

I Think You Might Find This Article Interesting… Is It OK To Cut Up Books To Use In Junk Journals?

discarded books to use for crafts

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what is a junk journal - the  best place to start