DIYIssue 38

DIY Junk Journal


WRITTEN BY: JORDAN SEVERNS

JOURNALING CAN BE A USEFUL, INTROSPECTIVE, AND THERAPEUTIC HOBBY THAT MAKES YOUR LIFE FEEL MORE MANAGEABLE, BUT DID YOU KNOW IT CAN ALSO BE AN OUTLET FOR CREATIVE EXPRESSION, AND A SHOWCASE FOR YOUR ARTS AND CRAFTS ABILITIES?

With a junk journal, you can turn anything from your diary to your planner to your sketchbook into an impressive work of art all its own.

The idea of a junk journal is to replace a generic, store-bought journal with something classy, vintage, and tactile, all while being cheap and environmentally conscious. They are ideally made entirely from things you have around the house, especially if you’re already the type of person who’s into making things.

To start with, you need some kind of cover. Popular choices include hollowed out books or some kind of file folder. You can easily bind pages to these things with twine, thread, string, binder rings, or whatever suits your fancy, really.

For the pages of the junk journal, you can use anything from blank 8.5×11 printer paper, to journal pages, to envelopes – there are no real rules to this! – but typical practice is to brown or blacken the pages of your book to help give it the weathered, lived-in quality we’re going for.

To start off, brew one pot of strong coffee or about ten bags of black tea. Pour the drink into a shallow cooking pan that can easily fit your paper of choice. The hotter the brew, the darker the pages become, but make sure you’ve waited long enough to touch it without burning yourself! The darkness of the coffee and the number of bags used will impact the color of the stained paper, so experiment with different techniques to find what suits you best. After soaking for about a minute, let your papers dry. Using a blow dryer or drying it in the oven can create wrinkled or crisping effects that add to the texture of your pages.

And voila! You have the beginnings of a junk journal! From here, you may add more personal touches that make this book a truly unique work of art. Some people include scrapbooking elements, pasting in things like movie tickets or postcards, and some people will decorate the front with flowers, or add pockets. There are boundless possibilities to make each journal stand out.

So there you have it. The next time you’re feeling crafty, put together a junk journal to make all your journaling, note-taking, and other written activities more exciting and beautiful than ever before

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