Junk journals

A junk journal is a journal made of…you guessed it, junk! But it isn’t really junk after all. Much of what we consider "junk" can be made beautiful.

I usually gather up bits of broken toys and jewelry, stickers, and more, and keep them in a bag for various projects. This is the perfect project for those items!

A note: you’ll want to keep most of the items you use relatively flat, but feel free to use what you’ve got.

This is a wonderful way to use your creativity AND recycle. The choice of papers, the discussion about where each piece comes from, and the process itself can be very soothing and meditative, so be sure to emphasize mindfulness aspects while instructing or doing this: the sound of the scissors and papers, the various colors and patterns visible, the feel of paint or cardboard or feathers, the smell of the different papers or the glue or paint. Notice also any frustration or excitement or thoughts that arise in the process. How is your body positioned? How is your breathing?

It’s important to note if you are doing this in class: DO NOT BUY ITEMS to make your junk journals (aside from, perhaps, glue, needle/thread, staples/stapler if you don’t have those). The purpose is to use what you have available around you, that might be considered junk. It could be worthwhile to ask students to bring envelopes or other items from home, or save them up over some time.

Some items I used:
– a newsletter from the Human Kindness Foundation (lots of pretty drawings, and an envelope that I used as a pocket) – any newsletters or magazines would do

– cardboard box of ice cream sandwiches (could use cereal boxes, pasta boxes, cardboard from shirts, or any paperboard)
– GOOS (good on one side paper) from our paper bin, including construction paper from art projects, graph paper from math class, used notebook paper, cursive practice sheets, office papers (check the back for personal info), mail envelopes (the insides can be particularly pretty, and some have beautiful windows to see through)

– trinkets, like stickers, artificial flowers, a worry doll, a feather, sticker gems, an old styrofoam airplane, beads and more

– raffia, bits of ribbon (I have a little ribbon bag where I keep these). You could also use cloth scraps, worn hairbands, twisty ties, or really anything else you have around the house!

Give it a try:

What do you do with them after? Give as a gift, use it yourself, or sell them!

Link below if you’ve made one.

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