The Art of Junk Journaling & 10 Unique Junk Journaling Ideas to Try

In a world dominated by digital screens and instant gratification, there’s a charming and increasingly popular rebellion happening on paper. Junk journaling, a creative practice that combines elements of art, scrapbooking, and diary-keeping, is sweeping the crafting community. These journals, often made from repurposed materials and brimming with personal touches, offer a delightful escape from the digital world. Let’s dive into the world of junk journaling and discover the magic it brings to both creativity and mindfulness.

  • The Art of Junk Journaling & Junk Journaling Ideas to Try
  • The Art of Junk Journaling & Junk Journaling Ideas to Try

The Art of Upcycling

At its core, junk journaling is about resourcefulness and upcycling. Instead of buying a pristine, pre-made journal, junk journalers breathe new life into old books, magazines, maps, and more. These repurposed items become the canvas for their creative expressions. This eco-friendly practice not only minimizes waste but also carries a sense of nostalgia and uniqueness, making each journal a one-of-a-kind work of art.

A Visual Feast: Collage and Mixed Media

What sets junk journals apart is the delightful mishmash of materials. Collages of various papers, vintage postcards, fabric swatches, and ephemera take center stage. Mixed media techniques, such as watercolors, stamps, and stencils, infuse vibrancy and depth into the pages. The result is a visual feast that sparks the imagination and invites storytelling. It’s a deeply tactile experience in a digital age.

Creating your Own Junk Journal

Creating a junk journal is a delightful and highly customizable craft. Here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Gather Materials: Start by collecting materials that you want to use in your journal. These can include old books, vintage magazines, scrap paper, postcards, fabric, ribbons, buttons, and any other bits and pieces that inspire you. Consider repurposing items you already have.
  2. Plan Your Journal: Think about the purpose of your journal. Is it a travel journal, a diary, an art journal, or something else? Knowing your goal will help you decide what to include.
  3. Prepare Your Pages: If you’re using an old book or creating your journal from scratch, prepare your pages. You can add gesso to the pages for a uniform background or leave them as they are. Crinkle some pages for a more vintage look.
  4. Decorate and Create Layers: Start layering materials onto your pages. Use glue, washi tape, or double-sided tape to attach items like scraps of paper, fabric swatches, and postcards. Add depth to your pages with paints, watercolors, ink, or stamps.
  5. Add Pockets and Envelopes: Junk journals often include pockets and envelopes to hold mementos. You can create these by folding and gluing paper or using actual envelopes and pockets from old books or mail.
  6. Include Your Content: Write your journal entries, add sketches, or include any content you want. The great thing about junk journals is that there are no rules. You can create art, write, or both.
  7. Embrace Embellishments: Use embellishments like buttons, ribbons, lace, stickers, or dried flowers to make your journal uniquely yours. These can add texture and visual interest.
  8. Binding Your Journal: Once you’re satisfied with the content and the look of your journal, it’s time to bind it. There are various methods to choose from, including sewing, ring binding, or simply using binder clips.
  9. Personalize the Cover: Create a beautiful cover for your journal. You can decorate it with paints, fabric, or even sew your cover. Make it as expressive as the journal’s content.
  10. Enjoy the Process: The most important step is to enjoy the process. Junk journaling is about expressing yourself, so don’t worry about perfection. Embrace the imperfections and cherish the memories you create.

Remember that there are no strict rules in junk journaling. It’s a personal and creative journey, so let your intuition guide you, and don’t be afraid to experiment. The key is to have fun while crafting a journal that reflects your unique style and personality.

Embracing Imperfection

Junk journaling is a celebration of imperfection. Unlike traditional journals, which may intimidate with their pristine white pages, these journals welcome smudges, wrinkles, and unconventional layouts. This inherent imperfection frees creators from the pressure of perfection and invites them to embrace the beauty of the flawed and the real.

A Sanctuary for Memories

These journals are more than just artistic outlets. They’re sanctuaries for memories, dreams, and personal growth. Junk journalers document daily life, dreams, travel adventures, and more. The act of journaling becomes a form of mindfulness, promoting self-reflection and self-expression. It’s a deeply personal journey that spans from the mundane to the profound.

Community and Sharing

One of the joys of junk journaling is the sense of community it fosters. Enthusiasts often gather online or in-person to share their creations, tips, and inspirations. Social media platforms are filled with thriving communities where you can connect with fellow journalers. The act of sharing your creations and receiving feedback can be immensely rewarding.

20 Unique Junk Journaling Ideas

  1. Nature-Inspired Journal: Create a journal dedicated to your outdoor adventures. Include pressed flowers, leaves, and sketches of the landscapes you encounter.
  2. Recipe Journal: Compile your favorite recipes, complete with personal notes and food stains for that authentic, well-loved look.
  3. Traveler’s Map Journal: Use vintage maps and travel brochures to craft a journal that documents your journeys and dream destinations.
  4. Photo Album Journal: Combine photos, mementos, and handwritten notes to turn your journal into a visual scrapbook.
  5. Dreamscape Journal: Capture your dreams and nightmares with illustrations, descriptions, and reflections.
  6. Tarot and Oracle Journal: Record your daily card draws or readings, along with your interpretations and insights.
  7. Vintage Postcard Journal: Craft a journal using old postcards, writing your entries directly on the back of each card.
  8. Poetry and Quotes Journal: Fill the pages with your favorite poems, quotes, or lines from books that resonate with you.
  9. Garden Journal: Document your gardening journey, from seed to bloom, with plant clippings, notes, and sketches.
  10. Steampunk Journal: Incorporate gears, cogs, and vintage watch parts to give your journal a steampunk twist.
  11. Secret Compartment Journal: Create a journal with hidden pockets or compartments for storing small treasures or messages.
  12. Collage Art Journal: Create collage pages using cutouts from magazines, old photos, and other ephemera.
  13. Celebration Journal: Dedicate your journal to celebrating holidays, special occasions, and personal milestones.
  14. Music and Lyrics Journal: Collect song lyrics, concert ticket stubs, and your own music-related musings.
  15. Herbalist’s Journal: Preserve your herbal knowledge with dried herbs, information on their uses, and personal anecdotes.
  16. Scented Journal: Enhance your journaling experience by incorporating scents using scented ink, wax seals, or aromatic sachets.
  17. Constellation Journal: Document your stargazing adventures with celestial maps, constellation artwork, and observations of the night sky.
  18. Vintage Children’s Book Journal: Recreate the charm of a vintage children’s book by using pages from old storybooks and adding your own narratives.
  19. Seasonal Changes Journal: Observe and illustrate the transformations in nature throughout the seasons, from snowflakes to blossoming flowers.
  20. Ancestor’s Diary: Craft a journal as if you were a relative from the past, including stories, photographs, and historical events from that era.

Remember that the beauty of junk journaling is in the freedom to experiment and personalize. These unique junk journaling ideas are just a starting point. Let your imagination run wild and create a journal that’s truly one of a kind.


Junk journaling is a delightful way to unplug, express creativity, and capture the beauty of everyday life. In a world racing at breakneck speed, the slow, thoughtful practice of creating a junk journal serves as a beautiful reminder to savor life’s details, imperfections, and treasures. So, why not start your junk journal today and let your creativity flow through the pages of your very own artistic sanctuary?

Editorial Note: Morella&Ulalume Editors may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.
Furthermore the content of this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Prior to making any health-related decisions, including the use of supplements or dealing with decisions that can affect your mental health, it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

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