Create Your Own Junk Journal

As a crafter at heart, I need to get crafty & messy and create things to feel fulfilled.
The perfect answer to that is to create your own junk journal using pieces of scrapbook paper – or anything you may have on hand. This is so easy and fun, and can be used for a trip or event, or is a great gift to give to a crafty friend!

Get Creative

I’ve finally found the weekly/monthly planning system that works for me, yet sometimes I feel the need to get creative. My bullet journal planner is more about function for me personally, so a junk journal is the perfect space to get creative. If you’re ready to create your own junk journal, here’s how it’s done…

junk journals made with various scrapbook papers

Choose your Theme

1) decide what your goal is for your junk journal, i.e.
    a place for quotes, song lyrics, capture a specific event, or a gift for someone

2) choose your papers based on the topic, for example:
~ quotes: lined paper from an assortment of different notebooks or tablets
~ song lyrics: tear out some pages from an old songbook –
or you could print some music sheets off the internet on a lighter setting so you
can easily see your art over top of the music
~ event or gift for someone with a special event coming up, i.e.,
birthday, baby, graduation, travel
~ whatever the event you choose, you can use paper that fits the feel of that
event. Use junk mail, old birthday cards, etc

Basic Construction

3) cut the papers to size –
so that when they are folded in half, the junk journal is the size you want
(for example, a 5” x 7” tall junk journal would need papers that are 10” wide x 7” tall

4) remember the fun of a junk journal is that it’s supposed to look, well, junky !
– so vary the size and texture of your papers to add some interest

5) fold all your papers in half and make a really good crease along that middle line

6) layer the papers, opened flat, on top of each other in your desired order
~ on top of a cutting board/mat
~ middle creases should line up exactly

7) pierce 3-5 holes in the paper:
a) use an awl or a large thumbtack as your piercing tool to poke through all layers
b) poke a hole in the middle of the crease first, then space them out evenly
(for example, a 7″ tall junk journal would mean the middle hole is at 3-1/2″)
c) then poke a hole above & a hole below that at even spaces
(no closer than 1” from top of page & 1” from bottom of page)
d) for example: 7” tall journal would have 5 holes total:
middle hole at 3-1/2” inches & then 2 more holes an inch apart
(the upper holes would be at 2-1/2” and 1-1/2”)
(the lower holes would be at 4-1/2” and 5-1/2″)

8) using hemp cord and a tapestry needle, sew a saddle stitch through the holes
to bind your journal

9) have fun filling up your junk journal with mini envelopes, photos, tags, receipts,
lyrics, thoughts, whatever you want!

Options are Good

When you create your own junk journal, you decide whether to have 5 pages or 25 pages – it’s totally up to you! And the amazing thing about these is you will never have two exactly the same. You may choose to keep them simple or make them fancy by adding all sorts of embellishment goodness. If you’re a crafter, a junk journal is the best excuse to pull out your paper punches and edgers to make each page look a little different. Add tiny envelopes and flaps and tickets and tags – on and on the possibilities go!

Our daughter has become friends with several young ladies on Instagram who make amazing junk journals who have inspired her to do the same. They use fabric, lace, old paper, envelopes, even pages from old Golden Books for their baby journals. How fun is that?!

The possibilities are endless. And if you’re anything like me and the other people I know who’ve made one – the first one you make won’t be the last. The more you make, the more ideas you will have for the next one!

Your Turn

So what papers and “stuff” do you have laying around your house that would be the perfect thing to create your own junk journal? Who knows, this may actually help you clear out some things that have been sitting around for a while! This will actually give them a lovely new use in the process, whether it’s for you or a gift for a friend. Have fun!

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  1. Nice to hear from you. Glad things are going good and that you have this journal information. Thanks for sharing and have a great summer.

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