What’s inside a junk journal? First and foremost, there are pages! You need pages to hold the content in junk journals.
Pages to write on, to attach photos to, to tuck ephemera into. Pages to enjoy reading after the journal is filled to the brim.
Without pages you can’t add your keepsakes or your story.
How many pages are in a junk journal?
That depends on who is making the journal.
A micro mini journal made from one 12″ square piece of cardstock has 16 pages.
The mini journals below all have 30 pages each in a single signature.
Read how to count the pages.
Pages are grouped into signatures.
Signatures are groups of pages joined together with thread or staples. (In the printing industry, called ‘stitching’.) A modern method of stitching involves no sewing at all!
How many signatures are in a junk journal?
As few as one or as many as ten, sometimes even more!
The number of signatures depends on the width of the spine. Because the number of pages in each signature varies, the thickness of signatures varies also. When making a junk journal cover, you need to account for this.
Also inside junk journals are:
Junk journals have special places — pockets — to keep letters, photos, or other keepsake ephemera. Paper bags or envelopes are glued or stitched to a page, as are pockets constructed from old book pages or patterned papers.
Pocket envelope made with an old book page
Triple pocket: a book page pocket, with a corner tuck on the lower front
The picture below shows a thumb notch on a simple side pocket. (Half circle cut out at the edge of a pocket.)
Pockets pictured below:
On the left: An old book page collaged with a paper napkin. The napkin is cut out on two edges, while three sides are glued down.
On the right: A purchased die-cut journalling card is cut in half and attached with glue and washi tape.
Another type of pocket is secret. Two pages inside a junk journal are glued either on the top and bottom, or outside edge and bottom. The pocket formed is not visible unless it has thumb notches. Notebooks, journalling cards, tags and writing paper are hidden inside.
Hidden under a card in this Christmas journal is a stencilled envelope with notepaper inside. (Below)
Where’s the pocket here?
Lift the flap and …
Carol from The Crafty Emporium designed the original version which inspired me. Carol calls it a “Flippy Flappy Thingy”
These tucks are formed by attaching a card on two adjacent sides only. Another type of tuck spot is when you glue a folded square of paper along the two short sides. This allows you to tuck something behind the triangle. You can lift the flap to write inside this tuck also.
When an envelope is attached to a page in a junk journal, it forms a special kind of pocket.
A tuck spot is a place in a junk journal for tucking in such items as cards, photos. Also, you can use these spots for ephemera — theatre tickets, brochures, …
More content in junk journals
An interesting name! When a strip of cardstock is attached top and bottom to a page inside a junk journal, you have a belly band.
Scrap patterned papers and a die cut decorate a strip of cardstock. This band acts like a belt across the ‘belly’ of the page. Insert notes, ephemera, or booklets under the band.
Writing short items or sayings on journal cards is easy. No long stories to pen, just quick notes to jot on the back.
Cardstock or thickish patterned papers are best for journalling cards. Rounded corners are common, sometimes fancy rounded corners. Handmade or purchased, these cards are great.
I love making tags! Cut up pretty boxes into tags. Punch a hole in it. Round the top corners and tie a cord or ribbon. You can buy luggage or price tags to decorate.
Ephemera is all the odds and ends of paper that you accumulate in your life. Dockets, tickets, brochures, pictures, notes and so on.
There are sites online where you can get free printable images to put into your junk journals. You’ll find page backgrounds, journal cards, tags, ephemera, and images to fussy cut.
Print them on quality specialty papers to ensure they last in your junk journals.