How to Make a Junk Journal for Beginners? {Step By Step}

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Are you a reader who likes to store memories of the books you’ve read? Or do you prefer to keep a record of everything?

Try using a journal! But how about making the process more creative and fun?

A junk journal is the best solution. You can recycle papers, craft materials, and stationeries to create a junk journal. It’s a good way to reduce waste, along with adding a creative element to your objects.

Hi! I am Priyanka from Hooked to Books, and today, I’ll help you learn how to make a junk journal by using simple steps.

I enjoy making junk journals! I have two: one for keeping a record of the books I’ve read and another for storing the best moments of my life.

So, without further delay, let’s get started with the post!

What is Junk Journal?

What is Junk Journal

A Junk Journal is a handmade book or journal created using recycled papers, ephemera, and other craft materials. You can use it for various purposes, such as to record book-related things or as an art journal, planner, scrapbook, etc.

You can ‘DIY junk journal’ by simply using all your craft resources that otherwise might have been in the dustbin.

Once you learn how to make a junk journal, the execution is easy, and you can also be innovative by giving a personal touch.

How to Make a Junk Journal?

Let’s start with the basic steps to make a junk journal. I have added the required materials and instructions separately for clear understanding.

Required Materials

Check out the list of materials you will need before getting started with the process.

  • Cardstock/Cardboard
  • Papers (Both regular, unused, and fancy)
  • Craft Needle
  • Glue/Tape
  • Binding Thread
  • Awl/Screwdriver
  • Cutting Tools (Scissors, Paper Trimmer, ruler)
  • Paperclips
  • Decorative tools

Step-by-Step Guide

These are the steps you need to follow to create your own junk journal:

Step 1: Gather the Materials

Gather the Materials

The very first step is to gather all the required materials in one place and separate them accordingly to avoid clutter.

Now, get only those materials required to finish the next step, i.e., to make the outer cover.

Step 2: Make the Outer Cover

Open the cardboard box and flatten it completely. Decide the shapes that will become your journal’s outer and inner covers. If you want to add a flap, leave an extra half-cut shape.

Cut all the chosen shapes (leave extra folds) and glue them together using the folds to strengthen the spine. Later, remove any extra folds and fold it into a book shape. You can wrinkle or crease the edges to give it a vintage look.

If you do not want to use cardboard, simply use an old book’s hardcover. Remove the pages carefully, and glue colorful pages on the inside cover to make it pretty. Wrap a beautiful cover on the front and back, and the outer cover of your journal is ready.

Step 3: Decorate the Cover

Decorate the Cover

Now, you can use your creativity to decorate the cover from inside and outside. Either you can wrap it with a pretty cover or paint it. You can also stick pictures or anything related on the front cover. Or can also write something on the front that represents you or your journal.

Step 4: Creation of Pages

When the cover is done, measure the height and width of the outer cover and collect all the pages you want to include in your journal. The pages can be of any color, type, size, and weight. Using varied types of pages gives a unique look to the book.

Once you have gathered all the pages (depending on how thick you want your journal to be), cut them 1cm less from the noted size of the cover. So, all the pages will be inside, giving an appropriate look to the journal.

Next, fold all the pages in half and assemble them on top of the inside cover of the journal.

Step 5: Binding


The binding process might sound difficult, but it’s not. Follow the steps correctly, and you are good to go.

Use the paper clips to secure the cover and papers together during binding. Evenly mark three dots on the inside and outside covers, and using the awl, make holes through the cover and papers together at the marked slots.

You can use a ribbon or colorful fabric to thread your needle. Insert the needle through the center hole and push back from the bottom hole, again push through the mid hole and then through the top hole, and finally tie a knot in the middle.

Suppose you are using the old hardcover of a book as your journal cover. In that case, one simple way to bind is to either glue the middle section of all the pages together and then stick it to the spine or take a ribbon/colorful fabric and place it along the center of the spine (with all the pages properly placed on the top) and tie a knot in the middle securely.

Step 6: Add a Personal Touch

Finally, when the binding is over and your journal is ready, you can add your creativity to make it prettier. Use the leftover craft resources to add pockets, tags, flaps, and more! As it is a junk journal, you can add whatever you want.

Step 7: Tie a Ribbon

Tie a Ribbon

For the last touch, you can tie a ribbon on the journal. The first option is to tie it through the spine. Another method is to glue the middle of the back cover, stick the ribbon on that area, and tie it securely when closing the journal.

Different Ways of Using a Junk Journal

Junk journals can be used in various ways, depending on the person using them. I have listed a few ways you can use them; have a look!

Regular Journal

A regular journal is used for recording everyday stuff of life. You can either use it to write about your day or vent your feelings. People also use it more creatively by displaying little bits of their lives, such as tags from the things they bought, a receipt from a cafe they went to with a friend, etc.

Memory Book

Using it as a memory book is a great way to store your special moments of life. Things you can reminisce about in the later years of your life. Or you can use it to showcase the memories of a person. How about displaying your parents and grandparents’ lives through a handmade journal?

Theme Book

Many also use these journals as theme books. It’s more fun to add a specific theme to your journal, for example, a junk journal with a gardening theme, including content, decoration, everything.

Art Journal

People with artistic talents can use junk journals as their art journals. They can display their best paintings or showcase their art supplies innovatively.


If you know someone who likes crafty things, then gifting a junk journal to them would be a great idea. You can also make it more personalized and relatable according to that person. Christmas, birthdays, and graduations are suitable occasions for gifting journals.


If you work with a planner or always refer to your to-do list for daily/weekly tasks, then a junk journal can be helpful. Either make the journal in a calendar format or simply use it to record and track your projects.

Wind Up

Did you like this idea of junk journals? Making a junk journal will bring out your creativity and come in handy for various purposes. I hope this article on how to make a junk journal was helpful.

So, grab the supplies and bring out your ingenious mode now!

Use your unused craft materials and tools to create a beautiful junk journal!

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