Wednesday 13 August 2014

Filling a Junk Journal: Inside my 'Summertime 2014' album *Part 1*

Hi you.

This year my junk journals are like buses; you wait forever for one and then you become so desperate to get home that you blindly get on the next one that comes which turns out to be the wrong one and then you have to get off and walk in the rain. No, hang on ... I'm confusing junk journals with my life ...  ;-), what I meant was: you wait forever for one and then two come along at once. Yes, that's what I meant.

My 'Summertime 2014' journal ...
... is the second I've shared here recently after sharing my 'May 2014' one in the last few weeks here, here and here.

Plus there's a full step-by-step tutorial here all about how to add a spine feature to a junk journal / mini-album as I did to today's journal.

 And I'm sharing them with you this summer for two main reasons:
  1. I like how they turned out. Woo! Yay! It's always nice when a project goes to plan!
  2. And ... I get asked by customers and people interested in the junk journal 'bits' in my shop [all one-of-kind packs, filled with genuine ephemera and oddments!] if I can show them any examples of the kind of things they could make with their packs. [They do ask that!! I swear!]
And it can be tricky to offer up simple examples as each pack I sell  is different ... so I can't show a pre-prepared sample ... or else I'll have used up the kit and it'll be gone!

But I can at least use my books to demonstrate a few possibilities and general approaches you can take with the 'bits' packs you've bought from me[or your own ephemera].

So, if you've ever asked ... and even if you haven't ... here's what you too could do with a small pile of paper, a hole punch, two book rings and something sticky. [Like glue or tape I mean. Not honey. Or a stick.]

My starting point:
I created this 'Junk Journal Bits' pack for myself which - like many I sell - contained a mix of 20 or so colour-coordinated items of ephemera:
For some reason I was inspired to use a colour scheme I don't think I've used before: green, yellow and peachy orange and [fortunately!] it seems to have turned out OK in the end!

BTW: My golden rule whenever I'm trying to get a colour scheme to work is: be brave and just keep adding. A few items in a weird colour mix will stand out and look odd. But, thrown in a lot of odd colours, several times across the project, [a yellow page here, a yellow label there, a strip of yellow washi somewhere else] and you've got yourself a deliberate colour-scheme!

The basic assembly of my original 20 pieces involved nothing more taxing than punching holes along the sides of the items I planned to use as pages and at this point it looked a bit naked ...
The cover:
To house my journal I followed the techniques I've detailed in this tutorial, to create a book-style cover ... leaving it better dressed than before! [See above] To personalise the cover I added a vintage collector's card and old postage stamp featuring butterflies, a strip of vintage wallpaper and a few word snippets on a summer theme.

The pages:
 As it's intended to be a document of my summer it contains:
  • photos of my July city break;
  • plus pockets of ephemera [tickets, leaflets, receipts] from the holiday;
  • notes about what we ate ... we're foodies; eating out is one of the highlights of any trip and definitely needs documenting!
  • plus it was the obvious place to house the photos I've been taking throughout summer for the 'Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt'.
To store all of this I used a mix of page bases and you really can use anything you fancy to fill a junk journal [the clue's in the name!]. 

Here's a page from an old book which I've done nothing more to than add a few scraps in the bottom corner. When you've got a fabulous illustration like that there's no need to cover it up! Just allow it to add a unique feel to your journal:
I even used the back cover from of the old map that I used on my front cover and, rather than trim it down and cover over the holes in it, I simply kept it whole, punched holes for the book rings and stuck a photo on top: 
Another page was made from an old mileage claim form [from my ephemera collection] which happened to fit my colour scheme and subject matter perfectly!
Then there are lots of pages made simply by chopping up sheets of patterned paper:
And they really are all chopped up. Not carefully measured and trimmed. Chopped / hacked at with scissors. 

In fact, the whole book is a particularly higgledy-piggeldy, randomly eclectic project; no two pages are the same size ... it's quick and wonky and that suits me just fine!

As much as I love playing with paper I really want a book about my summer to be completed in my summer! There's no hanging around for perfection here! 

And, when the end result is a fun patchwork of colour, shape and moments ... then the lack of straight lines or carefully measured edges really doesn't make any difference!!


This glimpse into the basic make up of my summer junk journal is just Part 1.  

There are several more to come in the days ahead all aimed at offering up general ideas which YOU can adapt into your own book. I'll be covering:
  • a variety of ways to store ephemera, leaflets, tickets etc
  • plus a few creative techniques you can use to add in some more unusual page styles
  • all with examples on how I've used the methods in my journal.

If you're inspired by any of the ideas from today then please do pin / share them with like-minded crafty-types. Your support really does help my blog and shop reach new sets of eyes and it's always very much appreciated! 

Right ... I'll be back soon with those further ideas on how you can fill a junk journal. See you then then!



  1. A great post as always Julie. I love seeing other peoples journals as they are always so unique and different. Junk journals really offer the opportunity to be fun, creative and resourceful. This post will be really inspiring to those who buy your kits. And by the way i love your colour combination.

  2. Of course I love all the bits. What an engaging mix of stuff, but there's a little bit of magic happens when you add the book rings. What is it about the rings ? My favourite way of pulling stuff together

  3. Love this book. I love that you are sharing your tips for Junk Journals. I'm a simple scrapper and cannot wait to make a JJ. It loosk like so much fun.

  4. Looks like the type of album I would love to look through!

  5. Love your junk journal. Looking forward to more ideas from you as I still have to something with mine:)

  6. I like your comment that the summer journal has to be completed IN your summer - that really resonates with me. This is looking lovely ...


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