Five (Plus) Things to Save for Art Journaling


I mentioned the other day that people might be hesitant to start a new creative hobby like art journaling because they feel like they need to go out and buy a lot of supplies before they get started.
journaling with junk

But the truth is you have a lot of things in your house that will serve you very well in your art journaling. Here’s a list of just a few to get you started.

1. Mail

This is not permission to keep every piece of mail you receive, but give it a quick look before you throw it in the recycling bin. Sometimes you’ll find interesting paper in there that you’ll want to use as a background on a piece, or there might be a graphic on an ad that would look good in a collage.

Look at big words in interesting fonts that you might use on a page. Consider shapes and images on greeting cards you might use for another purpose.

Don’t forget the stamps on envelopes, too, which can have fun images.

2. Newspaper and Magazines

Again, don’t save everything, but you can use newspaper for nice texture in your backgrounds (or you can use a wadded up newspaper to give texture to a painted background) as well as to protect surfaces while you’re working.

Magazines are of course great for collage elements and you can often find words that strike you that you can use in your designs if you don’t love your lettering.

art journal supplies
Some stuff I collected around the house without much effort that I can use in journaling.

3. Old Credit Cards and Bubble Wrap

Plastic cards can be used to move paint around and add texture to the background of a page. You can also stick foam stickers to it (or a plastic bottle cap) to make them into stamps.

Bubble wrap can be used as a stamp, too, or rub it across a wet painted surface for extra texture.

4. Cardboard

Both paperboard and cardboard boxes can be useful in art journaling, whether you use them as a surface to build your “page” on, cut them out to use as stamps with paint, or even glue the shapes onto your page.

You can also use paperboard to make pockets if you want to store something special with your journal.

5. Old Books

You can alter old books and use them to do your art journaling on (which would technically make them altered books, but we’re not big on semantics here) or you can tear out the pages and use them as backgrounds.

The idea of ripping pages out of books can be a little difficult for some book lovers to take, but if you’re not going to use the book for reading, or the book is already falling apart, this is really a better use for it, don’t you think?

If you’re an art journaler, what common household things do you use in your art? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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