What Is a Junk Journal?

Hey there! Are you looking for a new creative outlet? Something that's not only fun but also therapeutic? Well, have you ever heard of a junk journal? Whether you're a seasoned crafter or a newbie to the world of art journaling, a junk journal might just be the perfect project for you! In this article, we'll explore what exactly a junk journal is, the benefits of junk journaling, popular techniques used, and even provide examples of stunning junk journal pages. So, let's dive in and discover the wonderful world of junk journaling!

Definition of a Junk Journal

First things first, let's define what exactly a junk journal is. A junk journal is a handmade book that's created by repurposing and upcycling various materials such as papers, magazines, fabric scraps, and other ephemera. It's all about taking items that would otherwise be thrown away and giving them a new purpose in an artistic way. Junk journals are often filled with personal anecdotes, drawings, collages, and other creative elements. Plus, since they're made with recycled materials, they're an eco-friendly and sustainable form of art!

Benefits of Junk Journaling

So, why should you give junk journaling a try? Well, let me tell you, there are plenty of benefits! First and foremost, it's a fantastic creative outlet. With a junk journal, you have the freedom to let your imagination run wild. You can explore different themes, experiment with different techniques, and truly make the journal your own.

Not only is junk journaling a creative outlet, but it's also a therapeutic and stress-relieving activity. The process of cutting, gluing, and arranging items in your journal can be calming and help you relax. It allows you to express yourself, release any negative emotions, and focus on something positive and enjoyable.

And let's not forget about the environmental benefits of junk journaling! By repurposing and upcycling materials, you're reducing waste and promoting sustainability. It's a small way to make a big impact and show off your creativity at the same time.

Techniques Used in Junk Journaling

Now that we've covered the benefits, let's talk about some of the techniques used in junk journaling. One of the most popular techniques is collage and layering. This involves cutting and arranging various papers, fabrics, and ephemera to create visually interesting layers. You can mix and match different textures and patterns to create a unique and eye-catching composition.

Another technique commonly used in junk journaling is hand stitching and binding. This adds a touch of charm and a handmade feel to your journal. You can sew pages together or add decorative stitches to enhance the overall aesthetic.

Lastly, embellishments and decorations play a big role in junk journaling. Add buttons, beads, ribbons, and other elements to your pages for extra visual interest and to truly make your journal your own. The possibilities are endless!

Materials Used in Junk Journals


When it comes to papers, the sky's the limit in the world of junk journaling! You can use a variety of materials, including scrapbook paper, vintage book pages, wrapping paper, and even newspaper clippings. Each adds its own unique texture and character to your journal.


Ephemera refers to any kind of collectible memorabilia or short-lived paper material. In junk journaling, ephemera is often used to add a touch of nostalgia and personal flair. Think vintage postcards, ticket stubs, stickers, and playing cards. These little treasures can bring your journal to life and spark memories.

Fabrics and Textiles

Adding fabrics and textiles to your junk journal adds an extra layer of tactile appeal. You can use fabric scraps, lace trim, ribbons, and even yarn. These materials not only provide interesting textures but also create a unique visual aesthetic.

Getting Started with Junk Journaling

Gather Your Materials

Before starting your first junk journal, it's essential to gather all the materials you'll need. Collect a variety of papers, ephemera, and fabrics that inspire you and will work well together. Additionally, assemble other necessary supplies such as scissors, glue, needle and thread, and any other tools you prefer to work with.

Decide on a Theme or Style

Next, decide on a theme or style for your junk journal. The possibilities are endless! You could create a nature-inspired journal, filled with pressed flowers and botanical illustrations. Or maybe a vintage-themed journal, with aged book pages, lace, and sepia-toned photos. If you're a travel enthusiast, a travel-themed journal with maps, postcards, and travel quotes might be perfect for you. Choose a theme or style that resonates with you and sparks your creativity!

Plan Your Page Layouts

Before starting to glue items onto your pages, it's a good idea to plan out your page layouts. Experiment with different compositions and arrangements. Move items around until you find the perfect layout that captures the essence of your theme. This way, you can ensure that you're satisfied with the overall design before permanently adhering anything to your pages.

Popular Junk Journal Techniques

Collage and Layering

Collage and layering are at the heart of junk journaling. As mentioned earlier, this technique involves cutting and arranging various papers, fabrics, and ephemera to create visually interesting layers. The key is to experiment and find unique combinations that add depth and texture to your journal.

Hand Stitching and Binding

Hand stitching and binding add a touch of handmade charm to your journal. You can use a needle and thread to sew pages together or add decorative stitches along the edges. This technique not only strengthens the structure of your journal but also adds a beautiful and personal touch.

Embellishments and Decorations

Finally, embellishments and decorations are what truly bring your junk journal to life. Adding buttons, beads, ribbons, and other elements can make your journal visually interesting and reflect your unique style. Play around with different embellishments and experiment with their placement to find the perfect balance.

Examples of Junk Journal Pages

Vintage-inspired Junk Journal Page

For a vintage-inspired junk journal page, you can use aged book pages as a base. Add vintage photos, lace, and ephemera like old postcards and ticket stubs. It's all about creating a nostalgic feel that transports you to a different era.

Travel-themed Junk Journal Page

If you're a fan of traveling and want to document your adventures, a travel-themed junk journal page is perfect for you. Incorporate maps, postcards, and ticket stubs from your trips. Use travel quotes and images that remind you of the places you've been. Let your journal be a visual representation of your wanderlust!

Nature-inspired Junk Journal Page

For a nature-inspired page, you can include pressed flowers, leaves, and botanical illustrations. Use earthy color palettes and natural textures to bring the beauty of the outdoors into your journal. Capture the serenity of nature and let it inspire your creativity.


Well, there you have it, a comprehensive guide to junk journaling! It's a versatile and creative hobby that offers numerous benefits and techniques. Whether you want to document memories, express yourself artistically, or simply enjoy the process of creating, junk journaling provides a unique and eco-friendly way to do so. So why not give it a try? Gather your materials, choose a theme that resonates with you, and let your imagination run wild. Happy junk journaling!

Go up

This website uses third-party cookies