Junk Journaling and Scrapbooking Tips and Tutorials For Beginners


Several members of the Artisan Shopping Directory make and sell junk journals and scrapbooking supplies, and they also have blogs and YouTube channels. So I’m rounding up some of their best tips here to give you a head start if you want to get into this hobby!

diy junk journal ideas and tips for beginners

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Table of Contents

Supplies you’ll need to get started with junk journaling.

biding pages in a book

This article by Cindy of The Scrapologist goes over the supplies that you’ll need to get started with junk journaling as a hobby.

It has a full list of supplies and will give you the info that you need to shop for your supplies (or just round them up from the craft supplies that you already have on hand.)

A Junk Journal Supplies ListOpens in a new tab.

Cindy also wrote this article about making a punching trough for your junk journal construction, with a step-by-step tutorial.

Basic skills for junk journals.

junk journals with paper covers

This article by Lisa from Ila And Alice shows you how to make a junk journal cover from paper that you probably already have around your house.

Make a Soft Cover for a Journal or NotebookOpens in a new tab.

Junk journal cover ideas.

old books

Nanette, owner of Old Paper Shop, shows you how to upcycle an old book to make a junk journal in this article: How To Dismantle An Old BookOpens in a new tab..

Junk journaling is a way to reuse and recycle old paper and books into usable notebooks and albums, so it’s a fun hobby but it’s also a sustainable activity that keeps things out of the landfill!

For an article about making mini notebooks, click here.

Supplies to journal with.

colored pencils

Jessica is an Artisan Shopping Directory member who sells vintage colored pencils. This is the kind of thing that you’ll appreciate once you have your own artist pencil set collected and you can doodle and color in your junk journal.

You can see what she has in stock here: That 90’s Thing on Etsy

Coffee dyeing paper for a vintage look.

This video from Ila and Alice shows the process of dyeing paper using coffee to give it a vintage look. This is a good, basic skill that you’ll use a lot when if you get into junk journaling.

Using wallpaper for junk journal covers.

This video shows how to make junk journal covers out of wallpaper samples. It talks about making masculine designs, but since wallpaper comes in lots of designs you could make any number of journal covers using this method.

Printing digital paper ephemera at home.

In this video, Lisa goes over information about printing digital paper at home. Digital designs are good because they’re less expensive than buying the physical products, but then you have to pay for the ink to print everything, and that could add up. Lisa goes over the facts here.

Using digital clipart for junk journals.

mandala clipart

Speaking if using printables, you can get some printable clipart to add to your junk journals at Esoteric Being on Etsy.Opens in a new tab. Marissa designs clipart that you can download and use as often as you want to, and it also has an unlimited commercial license so that you can sell the things that you make with it.

Making junk journals from kits.

Premade journals

If you want to make your own scrapbook but you only want to decorate it and not start from scratch, you can buy kits to do that. Cindy sells pre-made journals that you can decorate yourselfOpens in a new tab. using paper ephemera that you have, printable digital paper, or fabric and other materials.Opens in a new tab.

Click here to shop for junk journal supplies.Opens in a new tab.

Complete junk journal assembly tutorial.

This tutorial shows how to make a junk journal step-by-step…It’s a long one, but stick with it and you’ll learn how to assemble the pages and you’ll end up with a book that’s ready to decorate!

Organizing for your junk journal hobby.

In this video, Lisa goes over some ways to organize your supplies. If you get interested in making junk journals you’ll end up with a lot of odds and ends that will need to be corralled, so this will give you some tips on what to do to stay organized.

Organizing dos and don’ts.

before organizing with the "no" circle symbol with line crossed through it

For more about organizing, you can read this article by Andrea of My Very Crafty LifeOpens in a new tab.. She has lots of tips for crafters on her website, and this goes over some basic things to remember before you get into your organizing projects.

Make accessories for your journals.

Paper ephemera from junk journals with paper clips

Lisa goes into how to make altered paper clips for your journals in this article. Opens in a new tab.One of the fun things about making junk journals is adding little pieces of paper ephemera into the design of the book, but you might not want the paper clips to show. Making them hidden or cute is one way to deal with them.

Basics of how to do collaging and layering.

In this video, Cindy goes over some tips for making attractive collages for the pages in your junk journal. Making journals is rewarding because you can use your artistic skills to create pretty pages for the book, and you end up with a useful journal.

You can also read this article about collaging that Cindy wrote: Mixed Media Journal Ideas

These tips will help you get started in junk journaling, and if you want to develop your skills further, there are lots more videos on Cindy and Lisa’s channels that will teach you more design and construction skills. Junk journaling is a fun hobby that will give you a creative outlet and let you make albums to use yourself or to give as gifts.


Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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