What Is A Gluebook?

vintage scrapbook page

What are gluebooks? The best definition of a gluebook is probably a cross between an old fashioned scrapbook, a collage book and a junk journal.

vintage scrapbook
Vintage scrapbook image courtesy of New York Public Library

Gluebook or Scrapbook?

When I was a child, a scrapbook was a big book made of newsprint or brown paper pages. We stuck pictures in, not always very artistically. They were meant to keep us busy on rainy or very cold days, and served their purpose well.

Nowadays, a scrapbook has a different meaning and these are usually quite stylish and colourful.

What Are Gluebooks Then?

They are either purchased journals/notebooks or handmade junk journals. You glue pictures into the pages in any style you want.

There are no rules, but here is what Tori Weyer wrote:

GLUEBOOK: A “gluebook” is a glued collage journal. The basic steps for glue booking are as follows.
1. Find a book, any size, weight, paper or type will work or you can make a book. (I will show you how to make one from recycled materials below.)
2. GLUE! One of the key things you are looking for in a glue for a glue book is something that won’t wrinkle the pages. To me this is the most important part. 

Tori Weyer
tori weyer gluebook

Another definition by Debbie-Anne of The Vintage Garden:

This glue book is one of my favorite junk journal projects so far. A glue book is when you create collages on your journal pages. It can be a combination of things you like and collect – vintage ephemera, magazine images, items such as buttons, lace, fabric. Anything goes!


Shannon Green’s Unique Take

on gluebooks

They are:

journals for no reason

Shannon Green

Shannon has a few videos on her style of gluebook. Enjoy this one.

Free eBook on Gluebooks

Gretchen Miller has a free booklet you can download from her website.

Do Gluebooks Have A Style?

They are meant to be freestyle. You can have a theme for the entire book, or just on each page. There are sites for gluebook prompts which might be useful to get started.

The idea is to have fun! All you need is scissors, pictures and glue. You stick pictures in your book that appeal to you, in any order or size. You tear them out of magazines, junk mail, or other found materials.

One example I thought was wonderful was a double page spread covered in used postage stamps. Very colourful.

Join A Facebook Group

This group is for anyone who loves gluebooks.

So, What IS A Gluebook?

A book to enjoy playing in, whether it’s raining or cold, whether you are confined to the house, or whether you just want to glue some pictures in a notebook. Pages like this one from Moon Stars and Paper.

dinner dilemma gluebook page
What to make for dinner?

Have you tried making a gluebook yet? Tell us all about it in a comment 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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