You Did What? 5 Secrets About Junk Journal Making

Junk journals have a big secret... they recycle and repurpose things you would normally just throw away.

You would be very surprised to learn about some of the materials that are salvaged from your pantry or waste paper bin, and used to create these gorgeous and useful handmade notebooks and journals.

For example, would you have thought any of these would be in the book that you just saw in the picture above?

1. Dyed copy paper made with foods!
Can you imagine using the juice from your tin of beetroot to dye copy paper a pretty pink?

Or boiling avocado peels and stone to dye papers? Or using onion skins to create pretty patterned pages for a junk journal?

Tea and Coffee are the two most common food items used as dyes used to create the distressed effect on new hand dyed copy paper!

All of those and more are used to hand dye and stencil new and old pages to create pretty and colourful pages in new junk journals.

2. Junk mail envelopes turned into pretty book pockets!
You may not like the bill that came inside it, but the envelope will be a treasured bit of junk journal materials to be creative with!

Folded and dyed or stencilled, they make really pretty pockets and tucks when decorated with papers and laces.

Who would have thought it, hey?

3. Book Covers can be made from cereal boxes!
Any thin cardboard boxes can be used.

I sometimes double it up to make the cover a bit firmer, but I definitely use every scrap of cardboard that comes out of my pantry to make junk journals and tags and journal cards with!

Some makers even use thick corrugated cardboard from packing boxes, and big parcel envelopes with bubble-wrap inside them.

When you next handle a junk journal, ask yourself, what could this cover have been before it was repurposed for this book?

4. Recycled clothing - Decorative Lace and Buttons and Fabric Flips that come from old clothes!
All those old clothes you throw out in the rag bag should first be stripped of all buttons and trims like laces, as they are used to be glued in junk journals as embellishment for the ephemera like journal cards, tags, pockets, tucks, snippets and clusters.

Who would have thought that you raid your closet to find materials to make a BOOK with?

5. Old books get to live again! Discarded old books are repurposed into new book pages!
Have you ever been sad to throw out an unwanted book and wished you had another use for it?

Even a penny-dreadful novel from the dollar shop still seems a waste to just throw it away... Well here it is.

They get used for glue pads used when making up ephemera to stop glue getting everywhere, then when the page is gunked up the glued up pages get folded and used for future journal cards and tag bases.

You get a two-fer use from the old book pages that way.

And the pages in nice big books get cut out so that they can be folded up to be sewn into the handmade junk journals and there become brand new pages!

Old atlases and illustrated books are especially treasured to create interesting 'blank' pages in junk journals, as are magazines and even some junk mail - hence the name "junk journal" for these books.

So now you know some of the secrets behind the making of these novel books - this is what helps to make each one a totally unique creation, with no two books alike in the whole world.

Your book is a one-of-a-kind creation unique to you!

You can learn more here about the fascinating hobby art of handmaking junk journals here Junk Journals By Helene Malmsio

I also publish junk journal signatures in paperback form, that can be simply tied into a journal cover alongside some dyed plain papers, to create an 'instant' no-sew journal!

And for your ephemera you can never have enough colour coordinated scraps and theme curated images for your collages, so check out my series here: Decoupage Collage Scraps

A preview of some of my self help publications on Amazon and Lulu
Amazon: Strategic Publications
Lulu: Helene Malmsio

Did you find this post fun, informative and useful? If so, please share it with others!
If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!
Cheers, Helene Malmsio
Related Reading: Junk Journals By Helene Malmsio

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