Junk Journal with 7gypsies Architextures and Cardboard

What is a junk journal?

A journal filled with old junk?  A journal made with old junk? Or maybe a combination?  We think a junk journal is the perfect combination of something old, something new, something borrowed and well, some things, that might seem like junk, but we think not.  While a traditional journal is perfect on all sides, clean pages on the inside, maybe a leather cover on the outside, blank and ready for your thoughts, notes, doodles and ideas, a junk journal is filled with a variety of different pieces and parts, such as blank paper, lined paper, painted paper, envelopes, pockets, art, drawings, words and more.  You can build your journal and add to it or you can build your journal as you go, the amazing think about a junk journal is that you can create it any way you wish.

steampunk style journal Junk Journal 7gypsies Architextures Cardboard

How do you make a junk Journal?

There are many ways to make a junk journal, search on YouTube, Google it or find a great book on book bindings, you decide what works best for you.  Some are permanent, giving you little room to add or remove pages or make any changes, others are very flexible, like the one we are featuring today with Binding rings.  Just open and add, remove or move your art around.



The size is one of the most important decisions to make and the best place to begin.  Do you want it small so you can take it on the go, do you want it larger to hold artwork and bigger items or somewhere in the middle.  There are a few standard size journals out there or you can let your junk help determine the size.  You can also fold items to make them smaller or let a few of them stick out here and there.


You have a pretty big decision to make here and you can make it at the beginning or wait until you gather everything and decide how you want to pull it all together.  Think of the cover as the jacket that keeps everything together.  It can absolutely look like a book cover, but it can also wrap, tie, belt, stretch, etc. around your junk.  Consider using something old, like an old piece of leather, fabric from a vintage jacket, packaging from a box you got in the mail, book board or maybe just a couple pieces of cardboard.  The way you bind the book will help with this decision, but don’t let them binding hinder you, look for ways to adapt your cover and binding to work, where there is a will there is a way.  You can then decide to design your cover or leave the beauty of the found object.


Where do the insides come from in a junk journal?  They can come from anywhere.  Junk mail, old letters, a box at a thrift store, packaging from purchased goods, old magazines, your craft stash, the sale aisle, vintage store finds, the garage, the attic…..so anywhere is a great place to find junk for your journal.  Keep an eye out for unique envelopes, papers of different thicknesses, unique art, unusual stamps, objects you love, they are perfect to slip right in.  You can start gathering them mixing the sizes and shapes as you wish.  You can make your junk journal a “perfect” size or every single page in your book can be a unique size, it really does not matter.

There are a few rules of thumb when building a journal and you can decide what works for you, build as you go or build and then add to your journal.  If you love to keep scraps of projects, background papers left from a painting project, etc., you may want to build as you go having a wonderful place to stash your wonderful creations or you may want to build a wonderful place filled with nooks and crannies and add these pieces to a finished book.  A finished journal may even inspire you to create things to fill it in the right sizes and shapes.


What goes into your journal is completely up to you and it does not have to be one thing or another, it can be everything you want it to be.  A place for your favorite photo of the week, a whimsical idea that crossed your mind, a doodle on a napkin while eating at your favorite burger joint, maybe a tiny pieces of scrap from your latest project, a quote that says exactly how you are feeling, a comment from a friend that made your day, a handmade card you received from a great friend, old photos you want to keep safe, recipes you are gathering for the upcoming holidays, your holiday shopping list with photos and notes, an appointment, the score of the game, a passage from bible study, lyrics of a song you cannot get out of your mind, your thoughts for the day,  a daily art piece, shall we go on?  you can make a junk journal for everyone of these ideas and more or make one a week that captures the week’s adventures.

Here is a fun simple journal that might inspire you to create your own, but please don’t think this is the way it is to be done, search the web, YouTube, blogs, etc. to find a wide variety of ways to make a junk journal.  There are so many different ideas out there and they are all amazing.  Find one that works for you or put a few ideas together and make it your own.

how to make a junk journal

Let’s start with what we used and what you might want to us, but keep in mind you can gather anything you like, any theme you like and any size you like.

Canvas Corp Printed Cardboard – Time; Printed Cardstock – Ivory and Black Journal Lines, Ivory and Black Dot Paper,  Miscellanies Gold and White Mini RosesKraft Skinny Envelopes, Black e-flute; Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, Chalkboard Mist & Simply Sheer Mist Paints Doubloon, Pure Steel,  Chalk, & Copper Token; Tattered Angels Mixed Media Origins Mini – Artsy,  Mixed Media Origins – Daily Sketch; Tattered Angels Mistable Paper – Brushed Cotton7gypsies Architextures Junque Pack – Cabin, Architextures Treasure – Drafting Stool; 7gypsies Antique Silver Binding Rings; Around the Block Antiquing Tool Set

We also used scraps of Origins Papers, Cardstock Paper, Packaging and other goodies.  So gather what you have, collect what you love and if you need to pick up a few CCB things, visit the shop.  Don’t forget $5 or more and we ship it for free anywhere in the USA and international it will never be any more than $25 and if less we only charge the cost it is to ship it.

ideas for junk journals

The front and back covers measure about 6″ wide x 9.5″ tall and are made from a misted Canvas Corp Printed Cardboard sheet.  The 12×12 cuts right down the middle to make any size cover up to 12″ – perfect.  The metallic inks misted onto the cardboard look amazing and are a great start for a front and back cover.  Next we layered some of our favorite papers including a slice of the Daily Sketch paper here you will find the ideal ruler art you can color any way you wish.  We inked the black e-flute with the silver inking tool and it looks amazing, added a few pieces from the Cabin Junque pack and topped it all off with the Drafting Stool, one of our favorite Treasures and the prefect focal point for this journal.

junk journal paper

We cut or gathered a wide range of papers that were anything from 6″x9″ down to 2″x9″ and everything in between.  With a Crop-A-Dial, we punched 3 holes in the same place on the cover and all the papers.  A great hint is to use a piece of paper and decide the holes, then use that as a guide over each group so that the holes are in the same place each time.  You probably have your tricks too.  The tool makes the perfect size holes for binding rings.

junk journal cover

If the papers are different sizes and shapes, it actually makes the journal more interesting.  Glue two pieces together to make pockets and places to stash photos, journal entries, cards, etc.  Also don’t throw any packaging away, it is great to add them as actual papers, cards, like the packaging of the Drafting stool is an amazing piece of vintage art.  Add a saying, like… “Sometimes You Have To Let The Art Out!!!  Set It Free And Show What Is On The Inside.  Nothing’s Right, Nothing’s Wrong, It Just Is What It Is!!!”

art journal ideas

You can make your own tabs with cardstock paper to separate the theme of your journal, maybe by day, maybe by category, your journal, your way.

junk journal pockets

Make pockets with envelopes or paper so you have places to stash things.  We used the packaging of the Cabin Junque pack to create this page and a piece of cardstock to make the actual pocket.  The artwork from the packaging is so cool and a great place to stash a little bit of you.

washi tape 7gypsies

The art in the Junque packs is adhesive, textured and so cool.  Use as it is to decorate pages, envelopes and the cover and also cut up any left over pieces and use them for corners or as washi tape, nothing is wasted.

extend paged in a journal

E-flute is a great way to extend pages in your journal.  Make sure the flute runs up and down and glue to the journal page and then glue to another sheet the same or smaller.  the flexible fluted paper will you you open and clothes the sheet and fit it right into your journal.  You can then use the front and back of the pages and even tuck a page inside.  So easy and so clever.

tattered angels origins paper

Now you can color, paint, ink, draw, write and create art and memories to fill your journal.  Maybe you are in the mood to just paint, not make a project, well just do it and slip it in a pocket for later or forever.  We love this new Tattered Angels art piece from the Artsy Collection.  That pink eraser brings back great memories.

art journal trends

So start with the cover, maybe start with the guts, maybe start with a piece of art….whatever inspires you to create a junk journal, don’t be afraid to just try different things, maybe sew a few of the pages or try a little more detailed binding.  Create your own style, look and feel that you can use any way you wish.

Happy Junk Journaling!!!


Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'Junk Journal with 7gypsies Architextures and Cardboard' have 6 comments

  1. November 15, 2017 @ 9:00 am Linda Israel

    Love this article! Love the items used in the junk journal and the thoughts shared here. Just as the article said, there is no wrong in making junk journals. Thanks for sharing these thoughts so that others can play too.


  2. November 15, 2017 @ 10:24 am Vicki

    Loved this! So many ideas and thoughts in my head now, can’t wait to try and put some into action! And thanks to Friendly Junk Journal for sending me over here 🙂


  3. November 15, 2017 @ 11:05 am beth byrd

    This is gorgeous!


  4. November 15, 2017 @ 11:12 am Alta Olden

    So many yummy textures and patterns! With the right supplies, anyone can do this. p.s. Linda Israel send me…


  5. November 16, 2017 @ 3:46 am GIBONIK

    Great Journal! I love the process description and your JJ definition:)


  6. November 20, 2017 @ 7:11 pm Julia Cotrim

    Soooo inspiring your junk journal! Love all the elements, the texture and colors! Great job! 🙂


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This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.