Marketplace Journals

I’ve been playing with journal construction for more than a year now and have developed what I, with some artistic ego, call my own style.  I continue to use recycled materials including upholstery fabric for the covers, old ledger paper, graph paper, calendars, junk mail envelopes, etc. for signatures.

I can even find fairly high quality photo paper at my local seniors thrift shop.  A packet of 35-50 sheets for forty-nine to ninety-nine cents which, with discount if I spend more than $10, turns into a comfortable forty to eighty cents!  When printed six to a page, my own flower photos become high quality tags inserted into pockets and tuck spots throughout the journals I construct.

Augmenting my journals with a few professionally produced pages in various genres that match my esthetic has become easier.  I no longer have to take open source illustrations and combine them with my own pictures to make some semblance of cohesiveness in my page construction.  A number of digitally talented fellow journalists have made available copyright free full page inserts and ephemeral graphic art available for download at nominal fees.  A few of those digital pages are included in the following journals.

Three recent completed journals

Recycled maps and dictionary pages

Recycled maps and old dictionary pages make interesting signature pages.  When the page is too wide, it can be folded into a tuck spot for a journal card.  The journal card replaces journaling space lost with pages too “busy” on which to write.  Sewing the fold adds interest to the page as well as structural integrity.

Pockets with inserts on back cover



The well constructed digital downloads that I purchase traditionally have dual page layouts including themed pictures and lined layouts made for documentation.  I print a digital on both the front and the back of the page…usually an image on the front and something on which to write on the back.  My eco-printed or coffee dyed papers make a good base for writing as well.

Back cover has two pockets

Caption on back page with pockets on cover

Triple pocket on back cover

All three of these “junk journals” have been made uniformly.  The covers and spines are recycled cereal boxes glued in multiples of 2-3 and cut to 6 x 8 1/2  inches with a 2 x 8 1/2 inch spine.  The three pieces are joined using fabric for flexibility.  Upholstery fabric forms the outside of the journal and cotton quilting fabric the inside lining.  A recycled electrical outlet switch cover has been utilized as a cover name plate.

Each journal contains three signatures with 196+ pages (front and back).  The signatures are secured using a five hole pamphlet stitch hidden in the spine.  I use scrapbook papers in addition to my recycled papers.  The digitals for these particular journals came from as well as MyPorchPrintsEtsy.  In addition to purchased digitals, these journals are augmented with my personal photos, open source or other non-copyrighted provider’s images.

Of course, no craft is complete for me without the addition of beads!  I always include some sort of “bling” to the journal spine.  My goal in these interesting times is to make something beautiful.  Weaving and journal making keeps me grounded and sane as well saves me from creating mischief.


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