Project Home Page: Junk Journals

What's A Junk Journal

A junk journal is basically a journal that is made with a variety of papers and other materials, often things that many people would consider junk, like used envelopes, packaging and other recyclables that you find interesting. I love using my junk journal because it takes away the fear of the blank page, because you're rarely looking at an empty white page when starting. A lot of the work is done in the initial binding, so when it comes time to fill it you don't have to think too hard. This worked especially well for me when I was trying to get back into the craft room after having my son Magnus. Since it's called a junk journal, you don't have to take yourself too seriously when working in it: just kind of stick stuff in as you feel like it. And then magically it all comes together as a fun and interesting hodge-podge.

Making the actual journal may seem a bit intimidating, but is actually pretty simple and requires very few tools. In fact, the only thing you need is something that can poke a hole through a bunch of papers. I literally went to the hardware store and asked for something that would poke holes and eventually found something. You can also order an awl from Amazon if you don't want to seem like a weirdo at the hardware store. Aside from your poky tool, you just need the papers you want to include, some embroidery thread and a large needle. I have a video here that walks through the process of stitching the binding.

Some people like to combine several of the hand-stitched journals together (a single stitched collection is called a signature) into a book. I always make my signatures too full, so I just use them on their own as a notebook. Lately I've preferred to add a sturdy cover when stitching, usually a plastic folder cut to size. I also like to add a string binding so that I can close the notebook. You can make your journal any size. I usually make mine traveler's notebook sized (about 4.5x8.5 inches) and I also enjoy using a mini one (3.5x5.5 inches).

Junk Journal Process Videos

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Instagram Gallery

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Finished Notebooks

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Baby Junk Journal #1
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Baby Junk Journal #2
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Baby Junk Journal #3
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Baby Junk Journal #4
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Baby Junk Journal #5
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Baby Junk Journal #6
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Baby Junk Journal #7
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Baby Junk Journal #8
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Supplies

You can check out my Amazon store where I have the few items that I use listed. I keep a pretty minimal craft room and I print out the majority of my papers on my home printer. A lot of my elements stash comes from the dollar store.

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Questions?

If you have any questions please ask below in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.

Recent Comments

Melody Strahan
Melody Strahan Fri, 04/17/2020 - 08:26

JJ are my jam! I collect large old beat up books and rip em up for new books all the time! There's tons of different things you can do with them, and always new videos out on youtube with new techniques and ideas for ephemera. I am a very recent new member here, but my very next JJ thing is going to be to feed some of my less fragile book pages through my printer (attached to a sheet of copy paper with washi tape or weak cellophane) and printing background papers on it. I think it's going to be beautiful!

Shawna Adkerson
Shawna Adkerson Tue, 04/14/2020 - 08:00

thanks for the tut on making signatures! i've always just purchased them in the past. so much more simpler than i imagined it would be.

Kristal Daniel
Kristal Daniel Mon, 04/13/2020 - 05:18

I love JJ's. I love the fact that I can reuse so much of the paper from my husband's office. I love how pixel scrappers makes this so much easier because I can take all the wonderful patterned paper images and other images and print them on the clean side of the paper. Then I can use all the heavy weight junk mail I get to make tags and journaling cards. I also like to reuse all the envelopes I get. I never thought of filling the signatures before sewing them into the cover. I may have to try that, although I would need to have a cover in mind so I would know what size to make the signatures because my covers are not usually TN size. Thanks for giving me something else to consider, Marisa!

Linda De Los Reyes
Linda De Los Reyes Sat, 04/11/2020 - 10:18

Oh wowowowowow! Thank you for this process video! I just learned something new and different. How fun to come back into scrapping after so long to discover such creative ideas. I'm going to make a Junk Journal as soon as I can. I LOVE that you showed how to use different sized papers, types of papers, and materials to make it very eclectic and creative. I feel my creative juices starting to flow. :-)

Dorothy Orr
Dorothy Orr Sat, 04/11/2020 - 05:18

Love them!I love making Junk Journals. Such an eclectic design and feel. Thanks for sharing yours!