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Junk Journalling 101

Parents and friends like to ask me this question, "So what do you do with all the artwork that you and your kids make?" These are 3 things I do with them:

  1. Take photos of the artwork and then throw them away

  2. Keep the really precious ones

  3. Turn them into something else

Decluttering is a never-ending process in my home and I keep my 'turn the artwork into something else' pile in a box. Anything that doesn't fit into that box, goes into the trash bin/recycling bin. But I've recently discovered that not all kinds of paper can be recycled, especially paper that have been doodled on with crayons!

Then I saw other creatives on social media extending the lifespan of those scrap pieces of paper, artworks, packaging, magazine paper, wrapping paper, etc. - making them into journals and since they are made out of trash, they are called "JUNK JOURNALS". I love the idea because it means I don't need to buy new books anymore to journal. And since it's made out of junk, it might be easier to let them go when it's time to declutter.

Blank Page Anxiety

Perhaps journalling is something you've always wanted to do but you have been procrastinating for a long time because whenever you look at the blank page, you don't know what to write or draw. You've also already bought all the expensive fancy materials and equipment but there is so much fear of making mistakes that you can't bring yourself to even make a mark on the page.

Then put aside that perfect looking journal, and create a junk journal. There is no pressure and there are no expectations to create something perfect. You are free to create: write or draw anything that comes to your mind.

Starting Your Junk Journal

So far I've made 5 junk journals: 2 for myself and 3 for my kids. Here are some ways to start a JUNK JOURNAL of your own!

  1. Gather about 7 to 10 pieces of paper. I recommend starting a small journal first so there is less stress to fill it up.

  2. Sew the pages together with a simple stitch. You can also staple them together.

putting your junk journal together

3. To get motivated, start designing your cover page and make your junk journal uniquely yours

junk journal cover page

4. Here are some journal prompts and ideas to inspire your journalling journey. From top left to bottom right:

a) Write song lyrics that you've listened to.

b) Use markers to write daily reminders. c) Write interesting quotes from books.

d) Draw a mirror reflection of the other side of the artwork.

e) Use colour pencils to colour in the page.

f) Make a sticker collage of a place that you visited. My kids and I brought our junk journals along to Cameron Highlands and did a simple entry there.

g) Cut out a heart (or other interesting shapes) from a page.

h) Research on one thing you've always been curious about and write it down. For me, I've taken a liking to drinking tea and wanted to find out the optimum amount of water and time to soak the tea leaves.

i) Tear scrap paper (try not to use the scissors) and paste them to create a collage.

5. Take your time to journal with creative freedom. Although it was just a few pages, I took about 3 months to complete it because I didn't want to rush through. Now I just started on my second junk journal and have only done the cover page and 1 entry so far but it's okay, it is a not a race to finish fast but an outlet to express myself.

Too much junk paper lying around in your home? How about make some junk journals for your friends or your children as well and get started on journalling together!


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