Junk Journal Ambitions

Can we talk about junk journals for a minute? I am secretly obsessing over junk journals recently, but I just have so many questions! What constitutes a junk journal? What types of things would I use a junk journal for? Do you only use vintage pieces or do you add more modern pieces as well? As I dove into a little bit of junk journal research, I did begin to find some answers that are giving me a little more confidence to dive into this type of project…

What is a junk journal?

A junk journal is a handmade book full of recycled and found materials and ephemera. The biggest appeal of a junk journal is its eclectic feel…no two are the same! Because they are made from recycled pieces, they are eco-friendly and sustainable which is another big plus. Also, they give vintage pieces of paper, books, and mementos a second life, a second chance to be treasured and enjoyed. Junk journals come in all shapes and sizes, which is another big appeal because that adds to their possible uses.

What types of things go into a junk journal?

The sky is the limit! In general, paper pieces for a junk journal are found or recycled. This adds to their sustainability and intrigue. But, you do not have to limit yourself to only vintage pieces. You can grab for anything and everything in your creative space when you are putting together a junk journal. I’ve even seen one that was made entirely out of junk mail received over a month…what a fabulous idea instead of throwing the junk out with the trash. Many junk journals will have themes centered around a color scheme, holiday, season, or sentiment. In this vein, it may be helpful to collect and sort pieces for several junk journals at once. Not just paper, either! Consider saving cardboard, chipboard, fabric, trim, even plastic pieces. Let your imagination focus less on the actual material and more on the color and artistic intrigue of each piece.

What do I use a junk journal for?

It turns out that you can use a junk journal for ANYTHING! I have seen a lot of people who like to use them as a diary of sorts, writing out what happened in their days or just using it as a place to write out thoughts and feelings. They can also serve as beautiful mini-albums and scrapbooks full of photos and keepsakes to preserve all kinds of memories. I also thought it would be a great place to put inspiring quotes or Bible verses. A junk journal would be a wonderful addition to a coffee table display. Because it tends to be so intricate and “hands on” it is a great piece to serve as a conversation starter with guests. Truthfully, it could also be the quirkiest, most personalized planner ever. Your creativity is the limit.

How do I make a junk journal?

It turns out that there are also all kinds of ways to create your own junk journal as well. From my research, it looks like a popular way is to use a book binding kit, gather materials and a cover and sew the whole thing together. That seemed intimidating to me at first, but truthfully the book binding kits are very self-explanatory, so it isn’t too difficult. I’ve tried my hand at repurposing a vintage book before, and I am a HUGE fan of that process. You simply rip every third page out of the book to create space to add in new paper pieces and found papers. It is pretty simple and fun, and since it already has a cover, it comes together pretty quickly. If you are nervous about creating an actual book, you could always make a junk journal ring. For this you just need a large binder ring, a whole punch, and all of the fun paper pieces you have gathered. Punch a hole in your paper pieces and run the ring through and you are ready to go!

I would love to hear if you have created a junk journal before and what your experience was like. What have you used them for in the past? It is definitely a project that I am wanting to get into for 2022!

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

Published by Elisa

I'm a mom of 3 who loves all things creative! My current passion is bible journaling, a creative outlet that has really shaped my faith journey. I'm also excited about diving into some memory-keeping projects and dabbling in a bit of art journaling.

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