A junk journal is an amazing hand made book, a type of “scrap” book which uses a variety of material, most of which can be found around the home. It is the ultimate in recycling and upcycling.

Above: My Vintage Shabby Chic Journal made with an old hardcover book

There are a huge variety of materials used in a junk journal, such as scrapbooking papers, scrap papers, music sheets, old ledgers, laces, beads, cards, buttons, tags, old photos, the list is endless.

No two journals are the same and can be as simple or as detailed as you like. Some may have many blank pages for writing and others may be jammed packed with tags, journaling cards, charms, pockets and laces among other things.

A junk journal is comprised of the cover, the signatures and ephemera. The cover can be made from cardboard, chipboard, envelopes, and old books covered with paper or material. I have also made them using Little Golden Books. An example below is is one I made using the Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas book.


Signatures refer to the papers that are folded and bound into the book. A group of pages is a signature and you can have as many as will comfortably fit into the cover. Be aware that once you start filling the pages will all your ephemera, it can bulk out pretty quickly.


Ephemera means “paper items (such as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ephemera

Ephemera is the fun part, decorate your pages with whatever takes your fancy. Photos, book pictures, laces, cards, envelopes, tickets, anything your imagination can produce.

Different ephemera tucked into journal pages

One of the things I love about these journals is there are no rules, they are easy and fun to make. Every Journal is unique with a treasure trove of things to discover. You can use your journal for daily writing, art journalling, special event memories and so much more.

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