JJs Journals – Now What?

So, you’ve received your junk journal, or maybe you’re just curious … what the heck IS a junk journal, anyway. First and foremost, it’s a way to preserve and celebrate ephemera, which wikipedia describes as: “transitory creations which are not meant to be retained or preserved.” Examples include: menus, newspapers, postcards, posters, sheet music, stickers,  admission tickets, valentines and other greeting cards, etc. So, that’s the “JUNK” part of the equation. Now, add “JOURNAL” and it becomes much more personal.

Whether you’re starting from scratch, using one of my Basic or Bare Bones journals, or preparing to add a personal touch to one of my Premiere Journals, this page is here to help you get started on your Junk Journal Journey.


The variety of styles is vast, from journals primarily made of fabric and lace, to those, like mine, that are all about the paper. And, of course, those with a mixture of both styles. Starting from scratch involves assembling your signatures (the pages of your journal) and binding them into a book. There are many options on how to do this, and they’re all explained in detail on various youtube videos. (Or, if you want to avoid the time and effort of creating a journal from scratch, purchase one of my journals and skip this step!)  


Here comes the fun part. There are hundreds (maybe thousands?) of videos on youtube with ideas on how you can create a junk journal that suits your personal taste and theme preference. If you’re working with one of my journals, start by modifying pages with images you don’t like or won’t fit your theme. You can use paints, fabric, lace, and doilies, or other papers to hide them. Then start adding pockets, tucks, tabs, clusters, collages, tags, cards, etc. I’ve provided just a few tips below, but your best bet is to snuggle in and binge those videos on youtube. 


Be sure to leave plenty of space to write. This is a journal, after all. Don’t think of this as a diary. Let’s face it, no one wants to read about your mundane daily existence. After all, you’re not Anne Frank.  Instead use the pockets and tucks to store the ephemera of your life, and when the spirit moves you, write about your thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Dig deep, using the images and and ephemera in your journal as inspiration. Or, share your journal with others. However you decide to use it, fill it with mementos and memories to enjoy for years to come. See the list below for different ideas on how to use your journal.


  • As you begin, choose random pages in different sections, rather than working page by page from beginning to end. Otherwise your journal could become front-heavy with embellishments
  • Save your junk mail. All those cards and envelopes you get in the mail can be covered and made into awesome journal art.
  • Ask family and friends for their ephemera. Old photos, post cards, books, magazines, trading cards, doiles, lace, etc. etc.
  • Collages are your friend
  • Any mistake can be fixed. As a last resort, you can always take a page out. Just be careful on how you decide to remove it!


  • You don’t have to start and the beginning of the journal and write to the end. Just pick random pages for your thoughts.
  • If you’re using one of my Premiere Journals, be sure to look for hidden journaling tags and notes tucked into unexpected places.
  • Use the images, words and phrases in your journal as inspiration.
  • It doesn’t have to be a personal journal. Remember high school yearbooks? Why not invite family and friends to add their own thoughts and comments? You could place the journal on a table during a party; or bring it to a wedding or baby shower; or leave it on a table in your guest room.