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What is a Junk Journal?

an opened aesthetic junk journal surrounded by journaling materials

Ah, how I love junk journals! To me, this journaling method is the epitome of all things creative and free. Do you believe that you can make a junk journal from basically anything! Have a bunch of old cardboard boxes and magazines? Upcycle them into a creative junk journal. Can't decide what to do with old greeting cards and letters? Add them to your junk journal and turn them into a lasting memory. In today's blog post, we are going to learn more about the phenomenon of junk journaling.

A Brief History of Junk Journaling

Junk journaling may seem like a modern concept, but its roots can be traced back to the centuries-old practice of keeping commonplace books. Commonplace books were used by scholars, writers, and thinkers as a place to collect quotes, notes, and ideas from various sources. These books served as a reservoir of knowledge and inspiration and were often made from recycled materials, such as scraps of paper or old notebooks.

Fast forward to the present day, and the concept of commonplace books has evolved into what we now know as junk journals. Junk journals take the idea of collecting and preserving memories to a whole new level. They are essentially a blend of scrapbooking, art journaling, and traditional journaling, with an emphasis on creative expression and the use of recycled and found materials.

an opened aesthetic junk journal surrounded by journaling materials

What is the Point of Junk Journals?

At first glance, you might wonder what the point of a junk journal is. After all, it's not your typical diary where you jot down daily events. The beauty of junk journals lies in their versatility and the personal connection they foster. As I've mentioned above, it is the ultimate place for creativity, where you can visualize anything you want on a paper.

  • Creative Expression 

Junk journals are a canvas for your creativity. They allow you to express yourself through collage, drawing, painting, and more. It's a space where you can experiment with different artistic techniques and styles.

  • Memory Keeping 

Junk journals are a treasure trove of memories. They provide a unique way to document your life, experiences, and travels. By incorporating ticket stubs, photographs, letters, and other ephemera, you create a visual representation of your journey.

  • Therapeutic Benefits 

Like aesthetic journaling for stress relief, junk journaling can be also therapeutic. It offers a safe and non-judgmental space to process your thoughts and emotions. The act of creating and crafting can be a soothing and mindful experience.

  • Sustainability 

Junk journals align with the principles of sustainability. They often feature recycled materials, making use of items that might otherwise end up in landfills. This eco-conscious approach resonates with those who want to reduce waste.

an opened aesthetic junk journal surrounded by journaling materials

The Most Popular Types of Junk Journals

Junk journals come in a variety of styles, each catering to different preferences and interests. At times, it is hard to distinguish the line where a regular journal ends and junk journaling starts! For instance, here are a few of the most popular types you'll be interested in:

Art Journal: These journals focus on artistic expression, often incorporating drawings, paintings, and mixed media techniques.

Collage Journal: Collage journals are characterized by the use of images, cutouts, and magazine clippings to create visually stunning pages.

Memory Journal: As the name suggests, these journals are dedicated to preserving memories. They often include photographs, ticket stubs, and handwritten notes.

Travel Journal: Travel junk journals document journeys and adventures. They feature maps, postcards, and other mementos from different destinations.

Quote Journal: Quote journals are filled with inspirational quotes, poems, and personal reflections. They are usually used as a  source of motivation.

Sticker Journal: Sticker enthusiasts love these journals. They showcase an array of stickers, washi tape, and other embellishments.

woman's hand with manicure holding junk journal material between fingers

Popular Material for Junk Journaling

The essence of junk journaling lies in repurposing and reusing materials. Everything papery that surrounds you can be repurposed in your junk journal. And, if you don't have enough material, you can always print your own junk journal pages. But, if you don't know where to find your first junk journaling materials, here are a few common things used inside of a classic junk journal.

  • Old magazines and newspapers: These are a great source of images and text for your journal. You can cut out images or words that you like and glue them onto your pages.

  • Receipts and ticket stubs: These can be used to document your experiences and travels. You can also use them to create collages or to add texture to your pages.

  • Paper scraps: This includes any scraps of paper that you have lying around, such as old notebook paper, greeting cards, or wrapping paper.

  • Found Objects: Buttons, charms, seashells, and other small trinkets can be incorporated into the journal for a tactile experience.

  • Stickers: Stickers are a great way to add color and personality to your journal. You can find stickers at most craft stores or online.

  • Washi tape: Washi tape is a type of decorative tape that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It can be used to add borders, create patterns, or hold things in place.

Wrapping Up...

In conclusion, a junk journal is a creative and sustainable way to document your memories, thoughts, and experiences. It can be made from any recycled materials you have on hand, such as old magazines, newspapers, receipts, and ticket stubs. Junk journals can be as simple or as complex as you like, and there are no rules about what you can put in them.
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