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Today’s post is a guest post from Megan at Compass & Ink. In this post, she will be sharing how to incorporate junk journaling techniques in your bullet journal. Megan has some wonderful tips to help you get started with these techniques. I’ll let Megan take it from here.
Junk journaling techniques are easy ways to spruce up your bullet journal and add some artistic touches without really needing to be an ‘Artist’. There’s still art involved, but the easy kind where you can experiment and try new things without feeling any pressure – mainly because there is no “wrong way” in junk journaling. Mistakes don’t exist, just “happy little accidents” as Bob Ross would say.
So What is Junk Journaling A
Junk journaling is a branch off of the scrapbooking, mini-album and smashbook world. Junk journalers either modify existing books or create their own, adding in new pages, mixed media art, and color at will. There’s a big emphasis on using art supplies and papers you already have access to in your home, even things that you might consider “junk”. Old magazines and photos can be repurposed into illustrations in your journal. Unused stickers and washi get new life as accents or page holders. Your imagination is the only limit.
Junk journalers often incorporate bookbinding techniques in order to create handcrafted journals. This usually involves putting a variety of hand-picked pages
In addition to junk journals, I still really love my bullet journal for planning purposes. There’s just not much that can replace it. But my junk journaling techniques have definitely spilled over there, and honestly, they make my life a little easier.
How Do I Use Junk Journaling in My Bullet J
The biggest worry I hear bullet journalers talking about is that they love bullet journaling, and they love looking at other people’s spreads but they’re intimidated because they don’t see themselves as artists.
With junk journaling, you don’t have to feel intimidated at all! It’s all about creating mixed media art which is just putting together different elements, building layers and experimenting until you have something that YOU love.
Here are just a few ways to get started:
Using Distress Sprays
If you love the look of watercolors, the touch of color and the free flow look of it but the idea of actually
Grab a piece of plain paper, a piece of wax paper and your distress sprays. Spray the surface of the wax paper with different colors. Then take your paper and dip it in to the color and you’ll get a gorgeous watercolor/tie-dye-esque effect.
Then let it dry. You can then hand-letter your month over top of it. Or, you can do like I did and pre-print the month on the paper before dipping (just make sure your ink is dry first!) Then just paste it into your journal.
Collaging is another way to add visual interest to your spreads. Love the idea of a gorgeous spread that features your favorite movie characters or an elaborate landscape but don’t think you have the talent to make it look the way you want? That’s exactly where collaging comes in.
All you need to do is collect some of your favorite images and print them out. Then start playing around with the order you’d like them on your page. The key to a good collage is overlapping the images so they start to look like a cohesive whole. To make this work you can trim corners or rip edges.
Once you’ve got the images where you like, the next step is gluing them down. You can use your favorite glue stick you have on hand, your favorite tape, or if you want to get fancy you can use collage medium.
While some bullet journals have a pocket in the back to store things like stickers or receipts, there are plenty that don’t. Pockets are another favorite of junk journalers. Hidden tuck spots for everything is practically a motto of the junk journal world.
So, find some pretty scrapbook paper that you have lying around. Create tabs on three of the four sides of your piece of paper.
The easiest way to do this is to draw three lines on the back of your square and snip off two corners. Then fold them over, put a strip of glue on the tabs, and glue them down. Voila! Instant pocket. I tucked a couple bookmarks and scrap pieces of paper in here for collaging on the go, but there are a million ways you can use these.
I love using pockets in my budget spreads to help keep my receipts and other slips of paper I need close at hand. They’re also great for memory pages where you might want to slip a couple of instant photos or tickets.
You’ve probably already heard stamping suggested as an easy bullet journal hack. There are mini-month stamps and stamps for the days of the week that will make your weekly setups super easy. But you can also use stamping to create beautifully decorated spreads in your journal too!
For instance, if you’ve got a travel theme, you can use a postcard stamp and some travel stamps to add some interesting structure. Pair that with some old-fashioned lettering and a few pieces of washi and you have a beautiful month page.
Creating Your Own Bullet Journal
If you’re feeling really adventurous, another way to use junk journaling techniques is to start from scratch on your bullet journal. If you’ve ever felt limited or frustrated by the options out there for ready-made bullet journals this is a definite option to try.
Creating your own bullet journal from scratch lets you pick your own paper which means you can easily incorporate some that won’t ghost on you, or use your favorite bullet journal printables. You can order the pages however you like, and it creates a 100% custom journal.
To create your own, you’ll just need to grab some printables and paper. You can follow this tutorial on how to make a junk journal but instead of using miscellaneous papers to fill your junk journal, use your favorite dot grid papers and printables instead. A favorite technique of mine is to break up the months by using different brightly colored pages for each.
Have you ever tried junk journaling before? Let me know in the comments below.
More About Megan
Megan is one-half of the journal crafting team at Compass and Ink. In love with history, tea and traveling, journals give her a way to recreate a piece of it all in paper form. You can find more of Megan’s work on her blog and be sure to give her a follow on social media, too.