What Is A Junk Journal?

What Is A Junk Journal?


I’m a big fan of journaling. It’s a great way to get your thoughts out on paper, jot down things you want to remember, and process big moments in your life. For years I looked forward to picking out my journaling notebook for the year.

It never crossed my mind that I could make my own journal. This one is called a junk journal. If you don’t know what this means, no worries, this blog post will introduce you to this unique form of journaling.

What Exactly Is A Junk Journal?

There is no official definition of a junk journal. The way I like to describe it is as a DIY journal. I know that is a very vague way of defining it, but don’t worry we will get more into exactly what it is.

The main difference between a junk journal and a regular journal is what it is made of. A regular journal comes pre-made with blank pages waiting to be filled. A junk journal is something that you create as you go, and you are not limited to just plain paper.

You can use cardstock, recycled newspaper, book pages, paper scraps, pretty much anything you can think of. You can find more ideas here.

What Do I Need To Make A Junk Journal?

I’m sure right now you’ve got a few questions about junk journals, one of the big ones being how to make one. There is no right or wrong way to create this journal, but there are a few supplies you’ll want to purchase and things to consider.

The first thing you’ll want to figure out is what you are using the junk journal for. That may determine what kind of material you want your pages to be made out of.

For example, if it’s a travel journal you may want to use postcards as your pages as a way to document where you have been. The Artful Geek Girl has some other great suggestions on how to use your junk journal.

The next thing you want to consider is how you are going to bind your pages. You’ve got a few options here, one of them being using an old book. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about creating a binding.

Sewing the pages together, among others, are ways to also bind your junk journal. Once you have figured all that out it’s time to gather supplies. Here are some that will come in handy when creating your junk journal.

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Cardstock
  • Plain paper
  • Postcard
  • Tissue paper
  • Newspaper

Depending on how creative you want your junk journal to be, you can include a bunch more items to this list. In fact, The Art Journalist has a scavenger hunt/list of supplies you can view for more ideas.

Why Should I Have A Junk Journal?

The simple answer to this question is because it’s fun, but in case you need more convincing, here are some other, more practical, reasons.

  • Less Pressure: Sometimes a journal full of blank pages can feel intimidating. Junk journals are more interactive and on the go. You aren’t staring at a bare blank page, you are creating a full, unique page.
  • More Creative Freedom: There is only so much you can do in a regular journal. By making your own journal you are free to use different materials for pages and writing, drawing, etc. Watercolor painting and most markers are out of the question with most journals because of the paper quality. With junk journals you can use almost anything you want.

Getting Started In Your Journal

You’ve gathered any supplies you need and have a pretty good grasp on what a junk journal is. Now it’s time to get creating. The first thing you want to do is create the binding based on the method you chose. 

Now that that’s out of the way it’s time to add your pages. You can do this in two ways. You can make the pages all at once. This works best if you are making a themed junk journal.

For example, if you know that you are making a travel journal from a vacation, you might want your pages to be from travel brochures. The next option is to start with one page at a time and take it page by page.

The time has finally came for you to start journaling, unless you want to create some awesome layouts first to add some flair. This is the best part of the process. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different layouts, formats, themes, etc. until you find a process you like.

This can be a great activity to stretch your creativity. More than that, I believe it’s a great way to take some time for yourself and make your journaling time more special.

Now that you know more about junk journals, will you be creating a junk journal? If you do, share it on social media and tag us, @gentwenty so that we can see what you create.

About the Author

Kelly Clark

Kelly graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Even though it took her a little while to find her career path, she was always meant to be in Communications. She remembers writing poems and songs when she was a little girl and pitching to my parents the reasons why I should have a cell phone when I was a teenager. She currently has a blog (budding-joy.com) where she talks about her weight-loss journey, mental health and personal development. Her hope is to encourage and inspire readers and let them know they are not alone. Reading blog posts like that are what helped her in tough times and she wants to pay it forward. She loves dance fitness, listening to music, and creating layouts in her bullet journal. She’s a big fan of planning, especially when cute notebooks and pens are involved.
Her dream job has changed so much over the years; right now she’d love to co-own a dance studio.

Website: budding-joy.com