Junk Journals can seem a bit overwhelming at times considering that to make them look fancy you need to use multiple supplies, and as a newbie, it might feel like it’s going to be a burden on your pocket.
Well, that's not how it is and that’s not how it should be.
As the name implies, JUNK journals can be made out of actual junk.
In this article, I am going to walk you through a plethora of supplies you can grab for free and can easily find around you.
What are free supplies can I use in my junk journals?
You can use recycled materials, pages from old books, fabric pieces from old dresses, cardboard boxes, old jewelry, postage stamps, collectibles, pressed leaves and flowers, tissues, napkins, playing cards, old used tea bags, used wrapping papers, etc. This list can go on and on.
After this article, you will start looking at things with a different set of eyes. You’ll be inspired to get on with your journaling journey. You will realize that most of the things that you thought are just good to go straight to the bin can turn out to be real gold for your journal.
So let's dive down into it.
1. Old Stationery items
- We all have a pile of old notebooks and stationery products we have hardly ever gotten rid of. I have a collection of notebooks with gorgeous covers and I found out the best way to use them was to use them in my junk journal.
- Pages of old books can be used too.
To add an extra element to it, you can burn out the edges of it and give it a beautiful old rustic look.
- We are often left with one or two pages from our fancy cute looking notepads and have no idea where to use them. Well, this is the perfect place to use them.
- Use old bookmarks by just revamping them a bit according to the theme of your journal.
- Used or old craft papers are the perfect junk supplies. You can write on them and use them accordingly.
- If you have old Casio books or music notes then the pages of the same can also be used and would give a beautiful look to your journal.
2. Discarded clothes and bags
- If you have any old discarded piece of cloth lying around then have a good look at it and see if the fabric of the same can be used in the junk journal.
- Zippers and buttons make up for great charms.
- Small belts of bags and other such studs or decoratives on it can also be used.
- A lot of clothes come along with decoratives as well, like beads and fancy threads. You can use them to paste into your journals and give a beautiful look to them.
- If possible then you can even visit a boutique or your nearby seamstress and ask for the discarded fabric pieces and offcuts. They anyway end up in the pile, so it’s better if you can get your hands on them. You will get a wide variety of fabric all for free.
- The pockets can also be cut out from your discarded jeans and jackets and used as a pocket in the journal. This will add a beautiful element.
- Used stamps and envelopes can be used to give a vintage.
- If you have a collection of old maps then you have the best thing to give your journal the perfect vintage look.
- Old postcards will give a bit of personal touch to your journal and if available they should not be missed.
4. Nature’s gifts
- Our mother nature never fails to amaze us with its beauty. It has a lot to offer us. You can use sticks from branches.
- Dried and pressed flowers and leaves can also be used and you will be amazed to see how beautiful they will turn out to be. This one has to be one of my personal favorites.
5. Best out of waste
A. Napkins/ tissue
- You can start collecting napkins and tissues from your next visits to restaurants and meal outings. You can use them in your journal in various forms.
You can use them by crumbling them a bit and gluing them on a cardboard surface and then painting them with the color of your choice. It will give a beautiful leather look and can also use this technique for making the cover of your junk journal.
- If you got your hands on any fancy-looking napkins like the colored ones once or so then you can use them directly as well in your journal.
- If you want to give a beautiful vintage look to your journal then you can look forward to using used tea bags. Dry it out, get rid of the tea leaves and then you can paste the bag into your journals. To give a textured look you can even use the loose tea leaves and paste them over the paper. It will make it look as if it’s handmade paper.
C. Bills and tickets
- You can start collecting the bills and tickets from your next visits and use them in your journals as a memory stamp. It can be your hotel bills, metro tickets, tickets from your visit to amusement parks or museums, etc.
D. Playing Cards
- If you have an old card kit lying around then the cards from the same can be used in your journals like the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack cards would look lovely.
- From now onwards make sure to collect all the tags on your clothes and bags. You might not have noticed before but they come in various shapes, sizes, and textures and look lovely in junk journals.
F. Ice cream sticks
- You can use them as it is or even paint them over them and paste them in the form of a pattern like a flower.
G. Wrapping papers
- The transparent wrapping paper that you get from the florist often comes along with beautiful designs imprinted on them and it can be used in the journal too
- The regular wrapping papers can also be saved to make pockets in your journal.
- If not already existing supplies then you can create them too. It’s quite easy to create beautiful-looking papers using your art supplies. You can paint sheets of cardboard with the colors of your choice and then use them as per your wish.
- You can use various things to give the pages a handmade look like using the thread and paint technique or even using a sponge as a stamp and giving a texture using the same.
7. Cardboard boxes
- Boxes can be converted into holders for your junk journals and as a cover too.
- You can even cut out different shapes from these boxes and use it
- Boxes of Mcdonald's fries can also be used as pockets
8. Packaging materials
- Bubble wraps can be used to give texture to the sheets used in your journal.
- Plastic bags - You can use them for making a lamination of your bookmarks or for storing your pressed flowers and leaves and then pasting them in the journal.
9. Mail supplies
- The brochures and pamphlets that you generally receive in your mailbox can be revamped and used in the journal. You can cut it out in different shapes and make origami out of it or flowers out of it and use it for decoration.
- You can also cut out pictures from the magazines and brochures that you feel would look good in your journal. Apart from pictures, you can even cut out words, quotes, and lines that you feel would look good and relatable when pasted on in your journal.
- We often even end up receiving a lot of greeting cards in our mailboxes which we generally discard. From now on you can have a good look at them before discarding them and see how they can be used well.
10. Shopping, grocery, and gift bags
- These days we get a wide variety of bags from our purchases and if we look carefully at them then I am pretty sure that you will find out how to recycle most of them. Especially the gift bags with beautiful prints over them can easily be turned into the covers of your junk journal.
11. Shells and stones
- These can be used on the cover of your journal or can be used as a charm in a bookmark
12. Calendars and Wedding Cards
- I have always loved collecting wedding cards and old calendars because of the beautiful prints and maybe because I don't have the heart to discard such beauties. You can use the pictures from calendars and paste them into the journal and use the sheets of the wedding cards as paper.
13. Sample paint shade cards
- I recently made a lot of runs to the paint stores and ended up collecting a lot of shade cards from different places. It was only later that I realized that they would look so good in my journal and ever since then I made up my mind to never get rid of them and keep collecting.
14. Old jewelry, broken jewelry, belts, and bracelets
- All these are great collectibles and can be used as charms. The beads from the jewelry can be used in the ribbons of your bookmarks and the rest can be used to paste here and there for decoration.
And with this it’s a wrap.
This was just a compilation of lists of free stuff from my end, but definitely you can come up with hundreds of other such free supplies that can be used in the junk journal.
I would love to hear it from you about the free supplies that you use. Please share it in the comments below.