Oct 2, 2011

How to Make a Junk Journal

You've got something in the mail and your head is telling you to throw it away. However, something inside of you wants to keep it around the house. Then again, you already have too many things. Since you hate clutter, you walk over to the trash can. Just before tossing it out, you look at it again. It's pretty, shiny, and you just love the colors. You just love your ephemera!

Ephemera is material that is usually thrown away. This would include things like movie ticket stubs, greeting cards, small catalogs, ads, newspaper articles, invitations, personal letters, recipes, invoices, stickers, and receipts. Most people would rather assign this stuff to the trash can but you see value in these items. You just need a way to file this stuff away neatly.

I have great news, you don't have to throw your ephemera away! Save it in a junk journal! A friend told had me about them. It's the latest craze in the scrap booking world. She has been saving things in her junk journal for over a year. She kept all her Christmas cards, movie ticket stubs, favorite articles, and a whole bunch of other things. I saw her junk journal and I decided to make one of my own.

First, get a little composition book. The same old ones you used when you were in school. Remember the little notebooks with the black and white spotted cover? They are perfect for junk journals. Make something to cover over the black and white spotted cover. You can use anything you'd like, but I am going to recommend using self sticking vinyl shelf paper or contact paper. Your junk journal will be handled many, many times and contact paper will hold up very well.

Now take each page and crumble it to the crease of the book. Then press it back down so that it is flat again. Be very careful not to tear the pages out. This may take a while. This might be good to do while you're watching TV or something. When you're finished, it will make your journal very thick and full.

Next, cut five strips of ribbon 28 inches long a piece. I have found that 28 inches is just long enough to make a tight knot without wasting any ribbon. Look at your composition book and divide it up into five sections. Then take one of the ribbons and fold it in half. Take one section from the book. Place the crease of the ribbon at the bottom of the junk journal. Take one side of the ribbon through the crease in the book and the other side of the ribbon around the outside of the book. Join the two ribbons at the top of the book and make three tight knots. Then do the same thing with the other 4 sections of the journal. This is very important because as your book fills up, the pages will get heavy and will pull away from the cover. The ribbons will prevent this and will help keep your book together.

Now it's time to accessorize. You can choose some decorative scrapbook paper and cut it down to fit your pages in your junk journal. Make sure that you leave a little space between the crease and the scrap paper. If you jam it into the crease, it will make it hard to turn the pages in your journal. For my project, I did this to about 20 pages throughout the scrapbook. You can also use newspaper, magazine pages, wrapping paper, and paper bags as well.

Make sure to leave a lot of the pages blank. You want to have a nice mixed of covered and blank pages. You can even color some of your blank pages. I've seen some people rub ink across the pages. Personally, I would recommend color pencils, crayons, or watercolors to color some of the pages. Ink is very, very expensive. To add even more character to your junk journal, rub some color on the ends of the pages. This will give it a cool effect, much like gold coloring on edges of an old Bible. I usually violet and red-orange crayon to tint the edges. I like how those two colors work together. I start with the red-orange then I go over it with violet. However, you can use any color of crayon.

Now, here comes the fun part! You get to fill up your junk journal with anything you like. Add some inexpensive flowers or some lace. It's the time to pull out all those scraps that you have lying around the house. You now have a place to put all of your ephemera. Save all your Christmas and birthday cards! In my junk journal, I save recipes and articles. I love doll collecting but it's very expensive so I take the advertisements for the limited edition collector's dolls and I glue them in my junk journal. I also took the box of one of my favorite perfumes and cut the logo off the front and put that in my journal. I then decorated the page with matching flowers and stickers.

Imagine the value of one of these books a hundred of years from now? It will be a historical reference for future generations. They will know what we did during the 21st century. Like a time capsule, it will display our great love of scrap booking!