Karen from Tasmania asked me to create a custom junk journal for her. Her colours were to be greens and blues. Additionally, she wanted botanical imagery, vintage bird images and maps to be included in her personalised family sayings junk journal. Karen also specified an A5 sized book.
The search for ephemera
Each junk journal I make has lots of ephemera, both for decoration and use. This entails searching for things that suit the theme of my current junk journal project. When a client wants vintage imagery, my first stop is online digital collections of public domain images.
Such an archive is New York Public Library where you can search for a topic, whilst specifying “only in the public domain“. Below are some of the botanical cards I sourced from the NYPL.
The base for the new custom journal
I chose a vintage book that was about the right size and prepared it for altering into a junk journal.
Initially I removed several of the pages to make room for all the extra things I wanted to add.
Next comes collating coffee-dyed and other suitable fancy and plain papers into my ‘work box’ — an empty pizza box — and any other suitable trims, laces, envelopes and so on, that may suit the personalised journal.
Printing out the digital images I sourced online, followed by cutting them to size. Cutting the papers ready to paste into the altered book is the next task, after which I glue them in where I have chosen each to go.
Finally I begin the actual design of the new custom junk journal. Space needs to be allowed for writing in the journal, but it can also be provided in journal cards and tags. I also add suitable papers in the pockets and flip outs.
Producing tags from cardstock, medicine packaging and other ‘junk’ card is very green! After harvesting these, I collage over them, decorate with die cuts and stamping, and add ribbon or cord for pulls.
Another favourite thing I like to add is an envelope flip or two. (Below.)
Now for the cover
The cover design comes last. I wait until I have decorated the book before deciding that, because it must relate to the inside.
Finished at last
Eventually the personalised family sayings junk journal comes together. I ready it for posting to Tasmania, hoping Karen is as pleased as I am.
Guess what? She is thrilled!
Want to look inside this custom junk journal?
More custom junk journals
I have made several custom journals for friends, and two now for clients.
Read about the wedding one.