How to use junk journals

How to use junk journals

Have you wondered how to use a junk journal? I’ll show you several ways to put junk journals to use.

Write on the pages

The simplest thing you can do is write in it. The maker of the journal included spaces for writing. Either on the pages directly, or on the journalling cards and notelets tucked into the book.

Mini journal in pocket, corner tuck
Mini journal in pocket, corner tuck

Draw in the journal

Drawing is a great way to decorate pages in a junk journal. Perhaps you think you can’t draw. However you can probably doodle. Or you can put stickers on the pages instead! The journal below has stickers, some doodling. Too easy!

owl themed junk journal book page envelope
Book page envelope

Save your daily bits of paper

Keep your daily ephemera in your journal. Pockets or envelopes are attached to the pages. Use these to slip tickets, dockets, magazine tear outs, recipes …

You can divide the journal with tabs, and separate the ephemera into categories. You will easily find any piece of paper you need .

Write a story for a baby

If you are having a baby, you could write about your feelings as you wait. You can tell stories of your childhood. Perhaps record your hopes for the future of the baby.

Make a special memory book

A special event in the life of a family member or friend is ideal for a junk journal. Write the story of your friendship. As well, you can add ephemera which contributes to the story. An example would be theatre tickets to a show you both went to. Photos of course, add to the pages.

Use junk journals as travel journals

Record your trip in a junk journal. Either every holiday a new journal, or a larger journal for all your short and long trips. That’s what I have done with our travel memories.

Page 3 of my travel journal
Page 3 of my travel journal

A pain journal is a great tool

Instead of a mundane notebook, use a lovely junk journal. Each day write how much sleep you had. Record your pain level from 1-5 (5 is high). Write or paste a picture to depict your mood. List your medicines and your doses. Use pretty stickers or drawings to mark the sections. Write in coloured pens or markers. All these measures can really help your mood. Additionally, you can take the journal to your doctor to show your sleep and pain patterns.

Record your dog’s life

We travel around with our mini foxie and sometimes need to show her vaccination certificate and spaying details. I made a junk journal to keep all these papers in. Her name is Poppy, so there are poppy flowers on cards, and decorative papers. It is much nicer than a manilla folder.

I gave the junk journal below to my friend who is travelling around in a caravan with her husband and her dog. She uses it to keep Augie’s info in.

How to use junk journals: dog record
Record of her dog Augie’s life

Guest book with a difference

Provide a junk journal for guests to a wedding or other celebration to add their thoughts. What a unique opportunity to add an interesting book for them.

Johanna Clough made a guest book junk journal for her sister’s wedding.

Johanna shows you

Gratitude journals

These journals are amazing. You write each day, or week, three things you are grateful for. There are quotes about happiness. About being grateful. Also there are tags with prompts for you to think about. The practice of gratitude changes people’s lives. A specially designed gratitude junk journal is a wonderful way to implement the practice.

Gratitude journal page
Gratitude journal page

There are many sites where you can get inspiration and printables like this one.

Gratitude prompt sheet
Downloadable printable journalling cards

Recipe book

As a very young wife with no disposable income, I cut recipes out of magazines and glued them into notepaper. I still have this folder 50+ years later. If I had known about junk journals then…

Imagine the family heirloom a journal with decorated pages containing traditional family recipes. My children joke about getting the ‘secret’ recipe for a Christmas treat I make. Most families have these family foods.

How to use junk journals

There are many more ways to use junk journals than these. Can you share some of the ways you have used junk journals in the comments below?

I have had many careers in my 70+ years, but always creativity was at the forefront. I am passionate about using less and wasting less. I love design, painting, decorating, and now I am combining all that into making junk journals. Creating is like breathing for me!

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