6 BEST Junk Journal Ideas [2024]


What is a junk journal

We are dedicating this post to the junk journal enthusiasts out there, the planners and the journal spread designers and anyone else who is wondering what is a junk journal.


A junk journal is a handmade book made from scrap papers, special papers, music sheets, maps, postcards and anything that makes the creator happy.

A junk journal keeps memories organized while still maintaining creativity.

This organization includes notes, thoughts, keepsakes, favorite recipes, doodles, artwork, planning notes, or something as special as a piece of lace from your grandmother's wedding dress.

Do you remember that romantic restaurant date? That dinner receipt goes right into your journal too! Just tuck it right in with a little note to remember what you loved about that night.

junk journal ideas

The beautiful thing with a junk journal, is that there are no rules. You can use your junk journal (aka smash book) for whatever you want.

The only thing that matters is the overwhelming feeling of happiness and contentment with every turn of each lovely page in your own junk journal.

A custom junk journal is usually created with a mixture of crafting supplies like washi tape, vintage paper, junk mail, fabrics, and/or ephemera images.

And of course, no junk journal is complete without perfect charm accents.

What is a junk journal

The best junk journals are extremely chunky and made to look like it's had decades of wear and use. It also gives you lots of tucked away spots and empty spaces to write personal notes.

This takes a good eye and the ability to use a multitude of materials and design to bring it all together.

Junk Journal Ideas

1. Junk Journal Embellishments

Ephemera Packs On Amazon

Crafters use all kinds of items to make their junk journals. The ephemera packs by Tim Holtz are extremely popular as well as vintage sticker packs.

Create junk journal pages with what you have on hand like old maps, coffee-stained paper, and paper bags.

You may be interested in reading our article, about the best junk journal supplies for ideas and inspiration!

Read Junk Journal Supplies right here.

Junk Journal Supplies


2. Coffee Stained Paper For A Junk Journal

You know, creating coffee-stained paper is easy and a fun craft you can make right at home! Follow our tutorial below, and be sure to go to YouTube and subscribe to our channel!

Junk journaling has become an increasingly popular hobby among DIY enthusiasts, scrapbookers, and creatives alike. It's a fun and creative way to repurpose everyday items such as ticket stubs, postcards, photos, and other ephemera that might otherwise end up in the trash.

How to stain paper with coffee for a junk journal


3. Upcycled Picture Mats For A Junk Journal

Picture Mats On Amazon

There are so many places you can find items and ideas for your junk journals. One of our favorite places to find junk journal material is in the thrift store!

You can find some old picture frame mats, which you can turne into beautiful frames for your junk journals. 

Explore some inspiring junk journal ideas to help kickstart your creative journey. From making lavender flowers to whimsical poppies, there's something for everyone in these videos.

Whether you're a seasoned junk journaler or a beginner looking to try something new, these ideas are sure to spark your creativity and inspire your next DIY junk journal project.

Check out the video below to get inspired! You can find picture frame mats likely at any thrift store, and you can decorate them in any style for your junk journals.

How to use old picture mats in a junk journal


4. Doodle In Your Junk Journal

Check Out FREE Tutorials

There's some videos on our YouTube channel called Simple Floral Doodles. It is a series of 8 simple floral doodle videos to give you ideas to doodle in your journals, create floral borders and more.

Doodling in a junk journal can be a fun and relaxing activity for a number of reasons. For one, doodling allows you to tap into your creativity without the pressure of creating something perfect or polished. You can simply let your pen flow and see where your mind takes you.

In a junk journal, you have the added benefit of using unconventional materials as your canvas, such as old book pages, vintage postcards, and other ephemera. This can spark your creativity and challenge you to think outside the box when it comes to your doodles.

Simple floral doodles for a junk journal 


5. Upcycle Old Book Pages

Check Price On Tombow Brush Markers

Lastly, this is one of our favorite thing to do. We use our Tombow Dual Brush Pens as watercolors to give a beautiful, painted effect on the mediums we paint on. Our preferred medium? Old book pages found in old bookstores!

We love the whimsical, dreamy effect that these create, and you can use this idea for your own junk journal.

Here is our junk journal page tutorial:


6. Printable Paper For Junk Journals

Download printable junk journal papers

We have a huge selection of FREE, printable junk journal paper that your can print right from your home printer.

Printable paper is a fantastic option for junk journaling for a few reasons. It offers a wider variety of designs and patterns to choose from compared to traditional store-bought paper.

You can find printable paper with unique designs & vintage patterns.

free junk journal printables

There is so much time and care that goes into each junk journal you create, they become treasures of beautiful, tangible memories. Every junk journal is its' own unique piece of art and made to last for a lifetime of enjoyment. A treasure to be passed down.

Make a junk journal for your wedding, one for each of your babies or pregnancies, birthdays, or just lovely moments in your life.

💖 We hope you learned plenty about what junk journals are and that you are ready to start your own junk journal or smash journal!

More Crafting Articles

Junk Journal Page Ideas

Best Gifts For Crafters

We would love to hear from you if you are starting a junk journal: what you will be using as a junk journal, how you plan to decorate it and if you used any of our ideas!

Be sure to Pin any of our images to your favorite Pinterest board!

What Is A Junk Journal

Have a beautiful day!

2 Responses


October 08, 2018

Beautiful Journal! I’m inspired now.


October 08, 2018

Thanks Maria

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Crafts & DIY

Best thermal label printers
Best Printers for Making Personalized Labels At Home

Choose the best thermal printer for your craft!

Continue Reading

How To Draw Lavender
How To Draw Lavender | Easy Step By Step PLUS VIDEO

How to draw lavender. Easy step by step instructions.

Continue Reading

Our 5 FAVORITE Products From JDiction: Resin DIY Ideas!


Meet JDiction resin for all your resin crafting needs!

Continue Reading