Artsy Things Upcycled Art Journals

Published on July 15th, 2015 | by Julie Finn


12 Upcycled Art Journals

Get ready, Y'all, because upcycled art journals are my. New. THING!

Get ready, Y’all, because upcycled art journals are my. New. THING!

I’m in the process of prepping an upcycled art journal to use while Out and About, so you know I went into serious research mode and researched, like, every possible way to upcycle yourself an art journal.

I threw out the ideas that don’t look like they’ll actually work, and the ideas that don’t actually use upcycled materials, and the ideas that just seemed, you know… bad, and so what I’m sharing with you now are the golden ideas that I was left with.

Here are art journal tutorials that look like they will absolutely work, and that 100% use upcycled materials, and that seem, you know… really good! I’ll be trying out many of these techniques, myself, so I’ll keep you updated, but until then, here are my favorite possibilities:

1. book into binderI like this idea because it allows you to create pages separately, then add them to your art journal later–great for traveling!

2. book page prepI haven’t done the stamping or writing yet, but this is the process that I’ve been using to blank many of the book pages in my DIY art journal.

Get ready, Y'all, because upcycled art journals are my. New. THING!3. brown paper bag journalIt’s not the most sophisticated of art journals, but to me, that just means that there are no expectations, so you can feel free to play!

4. cardboard. Although this would work best for a journal cover or a page that can be added later, I love this method of altering old corrugated cardboard into artwork.

5. circle a poem. Scroll down the page to see how easy it is to take a book page and create your own original poem from it.

6. composition book. I’d suggest scavenging your old school supplies for a partly-used composition book, rather than buying one new. If you’ve got that, though, then it turns out that a composition book is an EXCELLENT starting point for an art journal!

Get ready, Y'all, because upcycled art journals are my. New. THING!7. food packaging notebooks. My Girl Scout troop uses these cookie box notebooks at all their meetings–you could use an entire cereal box to make a large-format book.

8. journal cozyProtect your journal while you’re toting it about to all the great places.

9. magazine page collageFor me, this would be an awesome road trip activity, since that’s the time that I tend to indulge in reading my stack of collected magazines.

10. masking tape resistI like this idea especially for creating an art journal from an old book, since you can tape off sections of text or graphics that you’d like to keep, then paint over the rest to make a blank canvas for your own work.

Get ready, Y'all, because upcycled art journals are my. New. THING!11. photo album pages. This is one of the coolest things that I’ve seen for an art journal–how to create photo album pages inside a book!

12. smash bookThis is less journal than on-the-go scrapbook, but it was a lot of fun to create and it used tons of upcycled materials.

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

One Response to 12 Upcycled Art Journals

  1. These are all so awesome! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

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