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Jumping into JUNK JOURNALING: Creativity Made Easy

by Ambassador Team 03 Mar 2024 0 Comments

Hi, Emm from @planwithemm here! You can find me on Instagram and YouTube. Today we’re jumping headfirst into the world of junk journaling, a fun amalgamation of scrapbooking, journaling, and every other creative medium you can think of. Seriously, the sky’s the limit! Junk journals can be used as a method for memory keeping, a place for unbounded creative expression, or even as your daily planner. All that matters is that you find joy in the process of creating your journal pages.

Let’s dive in!

Supplies for project


  • Notebook I used an B5 size notebook to make sure I had tons of space, but pick whichever size is your favorite. The strawberry notebook and other items are exclusive to the quarterly sub box so you may want to check that out too! 
  • Notepads: I used 3 different notepads for various ripped papers.
  • Calliographs
  • Stickers : I specifically used the January Kit club and alphabet stickers.
  • Your pen of choice
  • Washi Tape
  • Scissors
  • Gel pens
  • A pencil for any sketching
  • Corner Rounder (optional)

Make sure to use my affiliate code PLANWITHEMM10 to save 10% at Archer and Olive.


Figuring out what you want to create can often be the most difficult part! This is when I usually scroll through my saved posts on Instagram or my camera roll for pictures I’ve taken that resonated with me. If you don’t have something in mind already, some questions you might want to ask yourself are as follows:

  • What do I want to create with? If gouache, watercolors, or paint pens are calling your name, you should absolutely make something with them! However, forcing yourself to create in a medium that you’re just not feeling that day may not be the best choice. 
  • How long do I want to spend on this page? If you only have 5 minutes to spend, maybe pick a quicker project like rough sketches, gluing in ephemera, or playing with stickers. This could also mean starting to plan out a longer project - creating your color palette, making a moodboard, or drafting where you want lettering to go.
  • What type of art is inspiring me? If I want to make a framed quote page, I usually lean towards papercrafting. On the other hand if I’m feeling particularly doodle-y, I’ll pick up some calliographs instead.

Still stuck after answering all of those questions? Never fear! I’ve created a printable full of prompts to get your creative juices pumping and to spark some artistic inspiration.

Printbale for junk journaling inspiration

These prompts are not the be-all and end-all for your creative process. Maybe thinking about your favorite season reminds you of a meal that you only eat then and that inspires you in some way Another great idea is to save stubs, brochures, magazine pages, or anything that catches your eye in a bin that you’ll reach into when it’s junk journaling time. Let your imagination run wild until you’ve landed on something fun, and then run with it. 


Junk journaling cover page

From the second I got this metallic paper in the December subscription box, I knew I wanted to rip it up for my junk journal! It gives me all of the art deco feels, is oh so glowy, and still has the dots if you want to do detailed designs on them. Then comes the most important part... Writing your name in! I always feel like I’ve committed to a journal once I start lettering. I also really love labeling the specific purpose of each journal - it helps me get in the mindset for that particular journal. I used the typewriter letters in different fonts and some gold foiled leaf stickers to add a bit of whimsy.


Paper was definitely my inspiration for these spreads, starting with the wintry scrapbooking paper from January’s Kit Club. Winter is a difficult season for me due to the lack of light and low temperatures keeping me indoors and worsening my depression. And when you’re in a dark place, it can be difficult to remember that it will pass. So when I saw this quote about winter giving way to spring, it was perfect. 

Close-up of corner of journal

I started by creating a frame with paper in each corner. This can be as symmetric or asymmetric as you want - I used 2 different types of paper and alternated their placement to make the asymmetry really pop. Then comes the stickering!I felt like these penguins really fit with the theme, as well as some snow and sparkles just for flair. Then keeping with the whimsical letter feel, I stuck in the alphabet stickers for “every winter has its spring”. Here I purposefully chose different typefaces, colors, and thicknesses to add even more interest to the page.

Every Winter has It's Spring collage

It would be really fun to do this each month as a cover page, or even just intermittently with each new Kit Club theme! 


Want to journal in your journal, but with a bit more flair? Try experimenting with creating columns and fun backgrounds! I went for a neon checkerboard theme using a neon paperpad and black calliographs and just went wild. You really can’t mess it up! I started by gluing in ripped neon paper in color order, then sketched out a wavy checkerboard pattern. All you need to do is draw lines horizontally and vertically on your page - they don’t need to be straight, it’s even more gorgeous when they have more movement. Once you have your pattern drawn, it’s time to start coloring the squares!

checkerboard journaling spread

While the goal was to have them alternate between black and white across the page, it just didn’t happen. And you know what? That’s fine! The process of coloring felt so cathartic and that’s ultimately what matters. Even with a few imperfections, I love the freedom that this page made me feel and can’t wait to write in it. 



I can’t put my finger on why I gravitate to mountains, but there’s something about how being in nature feels that calms me. Going for hikes, hearing the wind rustle through the leaves, that sense of feeling lost but also finding your way out of a forest? It’s everything. Here I wanted to mimic a bit of that feeling by creating a mountain landscape out of paper. 

All it took was 2 paper pads and a dream! There was so much ripping, re-ripping, and then little adjustments to make the shapes that I want. It felt like a little rage room I could go into while planning! We’re creating the sky, ground, and all bits of the mountain - the rock itself and any highlights or lowlights we want to add - all out of ripped paper. I started by laying out the ground, then gluing in each piece of the landscape. From here, we go ham with some white gel pen. Whether it’s doodling in stars to the midnight sky or shading in the peak and lettering, it adds a little bit of brightness to the page.

Papercrafted mountain, ground, and sky.

And voila! We’ve created a junk journal as a creative outlet. Try to make time weekly to play around in your journal: whether it’s 5 minutes or 4 hours, it’ll feel so good. Remember that your journal is for YOU and what matters is that you have fun creating inside of it. Be sure to check out the associated YouTube video for these projects and check out this blog for more junk journaling inspiration.

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