What in the world is “junk journaling”?

You may have seen this term floating around on social media. It sounds a bit ambiguous and maybe even crazy. So, I am here to tell you all about junk journaling. What it is, how to do it, and some ideas of what to include.

This is something I’ve recently picked up and I’ve found it’s really been a great creative outlet. It is a no-pressure way to fill up a journal and express yourself. There is no writing required, although you can write a bit if you’d like. It’s focused more on visuals, recycling, and a challenge to make something out of nothing.

It’s an edgier way to scrapbook, essentially. Junk journals are messy on purpose, filled with things that inspire you personally. Or things you come across in day-to-day life.

It is fun to express yourself or your thoughts using bits and pieces from your life, AKA “junk”, and a journal. Blank page intimidation no more! These journals are easy to fill with all kinds of things. Make it pretty or not. Just let your freak flag fly.

Here is the low-down on junk journaling:

  • What Is Junk Journaling?

    a journal page with flowers and mad libs glued on

    Junk journaling is the practice of using daily items or “junk” to fill a notebook or journal. You use recycled items such as paper or clippings from magazines, brochures, music sheets, envelopes, packaging, brown paper bags, maps, greeting cards, and postcards, to name a few. The book covers can be made from cereal boxes, old book covers, or any hard cardboard.

  • How Do I Start Junk Journaling?

    journal page with a pattern on it

    It’s quite simple, actually. Get a notebook of your choosing, an adhesive of your choosing (such as glue or tape), and some scraps. To help a blank page not feel so overwhelming, use a big piece as a background. For example, if you look at the image above, I started a page using a large piece of a restaurant paper bag. I will then add over top of it with other small pieces of my day.

  • Some Ideas

    two pages of a journal with various assorted scraps of paper taped down

    Here you can see a photo of my own personal junk journal. As you can see, it looks messy. That is on purpose! I used a candy wrapper, a note from a friend, and one of those plastic bags dentists give you with toothpaste and a toothbrush in them on this page. As you can see, nothing goes together, but it looks fun.

    Think of junk journaling as collage-making or scrapbooking. Except, it doesn’t have to look a certain way. It’s a way to memorialize the day you lived without having to write about it. I can look back on this page and remember that on February 5, I got a note, ate some candy, and went to the dentist. See what I mean?

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