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What To Do With A Junk Journal

Updated: Jan 17

What to do with a junk journal

What To Do With A Junk Journal

Maybe you've heard of junk journals?

(Click here for a beginner's tutorial.)

They are these cool, beautiful handmade books created from bits of discarded "junk"... things like receipts, old book pages & papers, doilies and other ephemera.

(See our Glossary of Terms)

Some are made of fabric, some of paper, old grocery bags, file folders, cereal boxes. If you spend any time on Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram, you have to agree these junk journal things are beautiful!

But what do you DO with them?

I once asked the same question. And I think anyone with an interest in creating these pretty journals is probably wondering the same thing.

Well, here are a few ideas for what you might do with a junk journal:


The most obvious use, at least to me, is to make a good old fashioned journal. Record your thoughts and feelings in the pretty tea-dyed pages.

Art Journal/Sketch Book

If you make junk journals, you probably already have an interest in art on some level. Why use blank white pages when you can sketch and draw out your ideas in a book that is already creative and inspiring?

Memory Book/Photo Album

Gather pictures of that new baby, or postcards and letters from your grandparents, or just memories of your friendship through the years... concert tickets, receipts, fun memories scribbled on tags or bits of coffee-dyed paper. What a pretty collection of memories & photos!

Travel Journal

Go on an adventure, and take a junk journal with you! Fill those pockets with ticket stubs, luggage tags, that weird candy you ate in Nepal? Save the wrapper! You'll never forget that memory. That postcard from Florida? That train ticket to Paris? Each bit of "junk" from your journeys can be saved as a memory. And don't forget a few Polaroid photos, too!


You hang pictures on your wall, you decorate your shelves with boxes & knick-knacks... why can't a journal be a piece of art in your home? Fill up a bookshelf with journals of every theme! Place one on your coffee table as an interesting conversation piece. Fill it with the things you love, and your guests can get to know you as they flip through its pages.

Wedding Guest Book

Perfect for a vintage, woodland or other themed wedding. The junk journal guest book can be themed to match! And guests can write not only their names, but also well-wishes and memories for the happy couple.

Prayer Journal

Record your prayers and favorite Bible passages. Draw a picture to go with what you've read. Your time with God can take on a new creativity, reflecting the talents he's blessed you with!

Botanical Journal/ Field Guide

You love nature. Your garden. Your walks. Pluck a few flowers or leaves and preserve them in your journal! Find out their names or properties. Or draw pictures of what you see... be it bird, bug or beast.

Day Planner

Keep your chaotic life in check. Make those grocery lists, track sleep or weight loss... like a bullet journal, but with a shabby, coffee-dyed creative twist.

Creative Planner

You love to make projects... sewing, cooking, mixed media, refinishing furniture, gardening, etc. Whatever your hobby, you need to be organized and plan out your future projects, and a junk journal can be just the place to do that! When inspiration strikes, record your ideas and maybe sketch a little drawing to go with it. Or cut out pictures from magazines as inspiration.

Recipe Journal

Whether it's your great-grandma's homemade noodles or that cake pop you loved from Pinterest... pictures and ingredients combine to create a recipe journal! Make it kitchen themed with images of vintage 50s appliances. Or food themed with scrumptious cakes, tea & desserts! Record memories of those special times in the kitchen, with grandma or grandpa, mom or dad or your babies & grandbabies.

Flow-ish/Gift Journal

You're not the only person who loves to create! So, share your journal in a swap. And include pretty bits of art supplies, papers and tags within the pages and pockets for your friend to use in HER journal!

SHARE YOUR JUNK JOURNAL You've made your journal, now how can you share it? Here are 20 Ways to Share Your Junk Journal with others!


If you sell or gift journals, please enjoy this FREEBIE! It is a vintage-style card that lists the ideas in this article. You can include it in your journal for your customers and friends.

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