What is junk journal ephemera?

Ephemera in pockets, tuck spots, rose imagery

I explain what ephemera is and outline some ways to use it in your own junk journals.

First, what does the word mean?

From Dictionary.com :

things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time.
“there were papers, letters, old boxes—all sorts of ephemera”
collectable items that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.
“Mickey Mouse ephemera”


Junk journallers love to use vintage ephemera in their keepsake journals. There are many internet sources for printable ephemera both free and to buy. But you have lots available if you just know what you are searching for.

Here’s a free lesson from Johanna on how to use ephemera.

Johanna shows how

Here is a great journal made by Debbie-Anne at Vintage Junk Journals which has stamps and ephemera as its main inspiration.

What do you use ephemera for in a junk journal?

They make lovely page decorations. They are great to attach to a page as a tuck spot. They are wonderful inserted into the story about where you went and what you bought while there.

Not So Shabby Junk Journal - 02
I filled this journal with lots of beautiful ephemera

(You can buy the Not So Shabby journal above in my shop.)

What about modern day ephemera?

We are fast becoming a digital society, with e-books, e-receipts, and downloadable appliance manuals. In the not too distant future people will be amazed to see some of today’s paper bits and pieces such as in these pictures.

Visit these ephemera links

I found this page from ArtJournalist by asking Google for junk journal ephemera. It’s a scavenger hunt list that is very extensive and I just loved it.

And here’s a Pinterest board from Julie B about ephemera in junk journals.

Diane H shares her treasures with you

Ephemera adds interest to junk journals

Now that you understand what all the fuss about ephemera in junk journals is about, you can start keeping the bits and pieces of your daily life to add to your next creation!

You will never again throw away:

  • supermarket dockets
  • envelopes
  • stamps
  • clothing swing tags
  • old notepaper
  • bus tickets
  • old business cards
  • lolly papers
  • stickers (even ‘unpretty’ ones)
  • lottery scratchies
  • inserts from medicine packets
  • operating instruction booklets

I’m sure you can find plenty of wonderful ephemera in your house or workplace. Once your friends know you are a “junk journal junkie“, they’ll gladly save stuff for you!

Tell us in a comment below what you found on your hunt, please.

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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