Journals, Journals, Journals: Recycled, Upcycled, and Handmade

recycled paper journalAh, the journal. I have about 5.2 billion of them scattered throughout the house, much to the annoyance of some other people who live here and don’t understand that when I ask for “the green one,” I mean that green one and not that green one. I have a journal for notes on films, a journal that reminds me what to look for when thrift shopping, and a couple of journals with notes from conferences I’ve attended in the past couple of years. Journals are so lovely.

Kelly has written about Ex Libris journals and Night Owl Paper Good journals, and Tara tipped us off about her friend Nicole’s recycled wallpaper journals from Freshly Blended Press. I took a spin through Etsy to see what other upcycled, recycled, and handmade journals I could discover…

Holy cow, it’s insane over there!

I had to narrow it down to journals that use recycled, found, or scrap paper inside as well as recycled material in the covers, because otherwise my brain was overloading. I didn’t even scratch the surface, but here are some of my favorites:

Lilypad Lounge has quite a few journals and notebooks that are a combination of vintage papers and found papers. The vintage postcard one looks intriguing.Ivy Lane Designs has tons of notebooks made with various themes: food, drinks, music, games, pets. I particularly love the Lime Fruit Bars one and the Crayon one and the Sweethearts one (even though I can’t eat them because they’re not vegetarian) (the candy, not the notebooks), and the root beer one and the motorcycle.

Nightjar Books makes some lovely things. The Avocado and Wool handbound journal and the two small notebooks are just gorgeous. There’s also a found paper notebook.

Cabin + cub has cute little 4×6 notebooks with squirrels, swallows, and chipmunks on them.

lamidesign makes some smooth, pretty journals. The bonsai and the blossom are my faves. (Eeek, I just admitted on the internet that I like something pink!)

If that’s not enough, here are even more to choose from:

And this journal roundup would not be complete without mentioning a couple of journal makers outside the land of Etsy.

Papergeist makes notebooks from reclaimed office paper. They’re so serious about recycling, they’ll buy back the coil from your journal when you’re done with it so they can use it again in your next one. You can choose from blank, lined, a weekly calendar style, and a to-do list style. Available covers are shown in the store.

Great Green Goods just posted about the gorgeous tree-free journals from Ecopaper. I’m not entirely sure what Mango Paper and Lemon Paper are, but they sound really good.

And finally, the Rowan Morrison found paper journal. I may have to buy one of these today.

I’m sure I should have some amazing closing statement here, but all I can say is “Wow!”

Written by Skye Kilaen

Skye Kilaen began sewing at an early age and eco-rabble-rousing shortly after that. Many years later, someone finally told her that there are books about how to make quilts. Life was never the same. In fact, she spent more on her sewing machine than her car. Bringing her green and crafty passions back together, Skye is now happily discovering ways to create beautiful and useful objects using thrifted and sustainable materials. No, that's not just an excuse to visit Goodwill more often. Honest.


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  1. Skye,
    I just came across this amazing post! I am also a lover of notebooks and I made a New Year’s promise to myself to only use ECOJOT journals this year. I had no idea there were so many other great environmentally friendly journal choices. I can’t wait for 2009 so I can start using some of the others you recommend here. Thanks again!

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