How to Make a Junk Journal

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Learning how to make a junk journal is a terrific way to express your creativity and make use of your ever-mounting craft stash! I love junk journals because they can be made in an unlimited number of themes, sizes, and styles!

And you can use them to keep track of so many different areas of your life. You can make junk journals to use as a diary, for planning special events, to give as a gift, to celebrate seasons, to have for encouragement, and on and on!

At the bottom of this post, I share a step-by-step video on How to Make a Travel Notebook Junk Journal. So please scroll down to watch that.

But first, I wanted to answer some common questions about junk journals.

What is a Junk Journal?

In its simplest form a junk journal is a collection of mixed papers bound together to become a place for you to keep notes, ideas, a diary, dreams, and so forth. There are no rules of what you can make it out of. It can be all paper or it can be paper, fabric, chipboard, and even plastic.

How do you bind a Junk Journal?

They are traditionally bound with heavy duty thread. I like to use Crochet thread #10. In the video I show you how easy binding with thread is. The important thing with binding is to securely hold your papers because as you add on your ephemera your pages will get heavy and you need them to stay in place.

I'm excited to tell you about these resources for making junk journals. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.

What supplies do you need to make a Junk Journal?

The main supplies you need to make junk journals are:

  • Cardstock (for the cover)
  • Papers – any kind will work: text weight, book pages, ledger sheets, and more!
  • Unusual papers – these add interest and texture: doilies, paper bags, vellum, snack bags, and more!
  • Binding thread – as I mentioned, I use Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread #10 in Cream
  • Craft needle
  • Glue – my preferred glues are: Fabri-Tac, Aleen's Tacky Glue, and Mod Podge
  • Awl – this makes binding so easy!

What is the difference between a Travel Notebook and a Junk Journal?

Traditional junk journals are made up of little booklets, called signatures. Journals can have one signature or a dozen – the choice is yours! The bigger you make your journal the more there is to decorate which can make it more time consuming to make, and it will become heavier so it will be more of an at-home journal.

Travel Notebooks on the other hand are designed to be portable – that's why they're called travel journals! Typically these are one signature though again you can make yours any size you prefer.

There are no set dimensions for journals – you can make them tall or short, thin or epic – you get to decide!

How long does it take to make a Junk Journal?

Making the base of the journal takes only a few minutes. Truly in 15 minutes or so you can have the “bones” of a junk journal ready to go. The embellishing though, that's a different story. That's the part that can take hours, days or more to make.

Are Junk Journals Easy to Make?

Yes, yes, YES! Junk journals are very easy to make. As I mentioned above, the main journal itself comes together in minutes and embellishing is so much fun. Not only have I fallen in love with junk journaling but my nine-year-old loves to do it too. I do recommend that you help little ones with the binding part though.

Can you Junk Journal with Friends?

Another fun part of junk journaling is that while it's fun to do on your own you can also do it with friends! Whether you're gathered around the craft table together or virtually (like in my Facebook Group: Celebrating Junk Journals) creating these journals is absolutely fun to do with friends and other creative mavens.

Much like a cookie-exchange it would be fun to have friends bring craft stash items together so everyone can play with some new ephemera while chatting and crafting.

Watch and learn how to make a junk journal

Ready to make your first Travel Notebook Junk Journal? In this video, I walk you step-by-step in making one! This is a beginner-friendly tutorial to help you master the basic skills. Once you master this, the sky is the limit!

I hope you will give this wonderful craft a try and let me know how you like it.

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Want papers and tags to embellish your junk journals? Please visit my Celebrating Journals Etsy shop.

Happy Celebrating!

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