Beyond Words: How Junk Journaling Boosts Creativity junk journaling pages

Beyond Words: How Junk Journaling Boosts Creativity

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Have you ever stared at a blank notebook page, feeling intimidated and uninspired? Traditional journaling can be a wonderful tool for self-reflection and mindfulness, but sometimes the white space can feel overwhelming. Enter the delightful world of junk journaling – a creative explosion waiting to happen right at your fingertips!

What is Junk Journaling?

Imagine a space where your imagination runs wild, where “junk” becomes an artistic gem, and where memories are preserved in a vibrant, one-of-a-kind masterpiece. That’s the satisfaction of junk journaling!

It’s all about repurposing everyday items – those bits and bobs that might otherwise get tossed or forgotten – and transforming them into a personalized journal.

So, what exactly qualifies as “junk” in this context?

The beauty is, it’s entirely up to you! Think concert tickets that evoke a night of music magic, postcards from a cherished vacation, or even a coffee sleeve that reminds you of a funny conversation with a friend. Magazine clippings that inspire you, fabric scraps with interesting textures, or even feathers you find on a walk – these all have the potential to become vibrant elements in your unique art journal.

But wait, isn’t that just scrapbooking?

While there are similarities, junk journaling offers a more free-flowing and less structured approach. Scrapbooking often involves carefully arranging photos and mementos according to a specific theme or chronological order. Junk journaling, on the other hand, embraces a more intuitive and playful approach. You might incorporate elements based on a feeling, a color palette, or simply a piece that resonates with you in the moment. There are no rigid rules or expectations – just pure creative freedom!

Why the Name Junk Journaling?

The term “junk” might seem a bit negative at first glance. But in reality, it perfectly captures the essence of this practice. It’s about giving new life to things that might otherwise be considered clutter. Everyday items are elevated to artistic treasures, and discarded bits become meaningful pieces of your personal story.

Beyond Words: How Junk Journaling Boosts Creativity the whitsle press etsy shop Handmade paper notebook journal keepsake letterpress plain notepad stationery cotton
Notebook from The Whistle Press on Etsy

Now, Let’s Get Crafty!

Ready to dive into the world of junk journaling? Here’s everything you need to know to get started with all of the junk journaling essentials:

  • The Joy of Minimalism: One of the best things about junk journaling is that it’s incredibly accessible. You likely already have most of the supplies you need lying around the house!
  • A Journal: This is your canvas! Whether it’s a repurposed notebook, a blank sketchbook, or even a recycled cardboard cereal box, choose something that speaks to you. A favorite notebook for Junk Journaling is from UK-based The Whistle Press on Etsy.
  • Adhesive: Glue sticks and double-sided tape are great for most items. For heavier pieces, consider crafting glues like Fabri-Tac.
  • Scissors: While not always necessary, scissors come in handy for trimming or manipulating your mementos.
  • And the Star of the Show: Your Mementos! This is where the magic happens. Gather anything flat that sparks joy or tells a story – dried flowers, tickets, postcards, fabric scraps, magazine clippings, buttons, coffee sleeves, the list goes on!
Handmade Paper Notebook - The Whistle Press on Etsy

Handmade paper notebook journal made of 100 percent cotton paper, 140gsm cartridge pages, plant dyed silk ribbon, Letterpress. The size is A5 approx 148 x 210mm (6 x 8ins). 40 pages - 80 sides


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Finding Inspiration and Flow:

  • Theme It Up (or Not!): Feeling a little overwhelmed? Choosing a theme for your journal can help guide your collection of mementos. Think travel, self-care, gratitude, or even a specific color palette. However, if you prefer a more spontaneous approach, just go with the flow and let your creativity lead the way!
  • Gather Your Treasures: Set aside a box or container to collect potential journal pieces. Keep an eye out on your daily travels, and don’t be afraid to get creative!
  • Beyond Words: How Junk Journaling Boosts Creativity junk journaling pages and photos

Let’s Create!

There’s no right or wrong way to create a junk journal. Embrace the freedom and let your intuition guide you. Here’s a basic process to get you started:

  1. Prep Your Mementos: Some items, like flowers, might need a bit of drying and flattening before they’re ready for journaling.
  2. Adhesive Time! Using your chosen adhesive, carefully attach your mementos to the pages of your journal. Layering and creating textures adds visual interest, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
  3. Personalize It: Now’s your chance to add your own voice! Write down memories associated with a specific item, express feelings, or simply doodle!
  4. Embrace the Imperfect: Remember, this is a space for self-expression, not perfection. Don’t get bogged down in neatness or worry about mistakes. Let your creativity flow freely!

Beyond the Journal: The Unexpected Benefits of Junk Journaling

The beauty of junk journaling extends beyond the pages themselves.

  • Mindfulness & Gratitude: The act of collecting and incorporating mementos can be a powerful exercise in mindfulness and gratitude. As you sift through potential journal pieces, you’re actively reflecting on the experiences and moments that have shaped your life. This process can cultivate a deeper appreciation for the little things and a greater sense of present-moment awareness.

  • Stress Relief & Relaxation: Feeling overwhelmed by daily life? Junk journaling can be a wonderful form of creative therapy. The act of putting pen to paper, manipulating textures, and arranging your mementos can be incredibly calming and soothing. It allows you to step away from screens, quiet your mind, and connect with your inner artist. Studies have shown that creative activities like journaling can lower stress hormones and promote feelings of well-being.

  • Boosting Creativity & Self-Expression: Junk journaling is a playground for unleashing your inner artist! It encourages you to think outside the box, experiment with different materials, and explore new ways to express yourself. Whether you’re layering textures, playing with color palettes, or incorporating hand-drawn doodles, this practice allows you to tap into your creative potential in a playful and unintimidating way.

  • A Legacy of Memories: Your junk journal becomes a unique and ever-evolving record of your life’s journey. As you fill the pages with trinkets and thoughts, you’re creating a tangible scrapbook of experiences, emotions, and memories. Looking back on these personalized creations years down the line can be a nostalgic delight.

Ready to Get Started? Here are Some Additional Tips:

  • Join the Community: The world of junk journaling is thriving online! Explore social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest for endless inspiration and connect with other creative minds. There are also online communities and forums dedicated to junk journaling, where you can share your creations, swap ideas, and participate in collaborative projects.
  • Make Use of Leftovers: Don’t throw away scraps of fabric from sewing projects or leftover bits of washi tape! These seemingly insignificant items can become vibrant accents in your junk journal.
  • Think Outside the Box: Don’t limit yourself to traditional “flat” items. Experiment with incorporating dried leaves, small buttons, or even pressed coins into your journal. Let your imagination guide you and explore creative ways to integrate these elements into your pages.

Junk journaling is a delightful blend of self-expression, creativity, and mindfulness. It’s a practice that encourages you to repurpose everyday items, embrace imperfection, and create something truly unique and personal. So grab your notebook, gather your treasures, and unleash your inner artist! You might be surprised by the joy and inspiration that unfolds within the vibrant world of junk journaling.

Hi, I’m Valerie!

I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.