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27 Ways to Use a Junk Journal

Junk Journal

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So you’ve made a junk journal, received one as a gift, or maybe you’re getting ready to start selling your junk journals. Now you have to figure out what to do with it, and how to explain it to others.


People that have never seen junk journals before often have a similar reaction, something like “Well that’s beautiful, but what do you DO with it?”


I’ve got a whole post up on the purpose of a junk journal, which goes into why they’re valuable, what you can put in them, and gives a short list of ways you or a friend could start using one. So if you want the whole run down, I suggest starting there and then coming back to this post.


Today, we’re just going to chat about a few different uses for junk journals, and by few, I mean 27.

(Transparency note: I often link to resources in my blog posts that I believe are useful and these are sometimes affiliate links. That means if you choose to purchase through my links, I may make a small commission with no extra charge to you.)


27 Ways to Use a Junk Journal


Travel Journal

Turning a junk journal into a travel journal is one of my favorite ways to use them. You’re always picking up bits of ephemera on your vacations, whether its a menu from a restaurant, a photo at a beautiful place you visited, train tickets, or some hotel stationery.  A junk journal with all its tuck spots and pockets is the perfect place for this kind of thing!


Gratitude Log

You can turn almost any junk journal into a gratitude log. Journaling cards make the perfect spots for writing down the things your thankful for, and tucking them away makes it that much more fun to review them later.



Daily Planner

You’ll have to plan ahead a bit when you make your junk journal for this one to work, as you’ll likely want to include some calendars or pick up some cute calendar stamps like these.  But otherwise using your junk journal as a custom daily planner is a great way to get use out of it!


Goal Tracker

If you’re the sort of person that likes tracking the goals you’re working towards, keeping them in a journal is the perfect way to keep track of them. And since you’re making the journal yourself, you can customize the junk journal theme to match the goal you’re tracking!


Memory Scrapbook

What better way to make use of all your old scrapbook supplies that are lying around than to put them to use in your latest junk journal?  Track your memories from your latest anniversary or birthday party in your junk journal!


Art Journal

I’d argue that a junk journal is pretty frequently also an art journal. And since many junk journal supplies can also double as art journal supplies, it’s very easy to turn a junk journal into an art journal.  Create some gorgeous art journal spreads with some Tim Holtz spray inks and stamps, or use some mixed media medium to get the perfect collage.


Scripture Diary

If you need a place to document your scripture readings and reflections, your junk journal can make the perfect place. There are even some great kits on Etsy for just that purpose!


Baby Book

There are lots of gorgeous junk journal and scrapbook kits out there designed for baby books, and your junk journal can make the perfect one. Grab some vintage ads for baby supplies, and you could have a really unique baby book for yourself or a friend!


Wedding Guest Registry

If you know someone having a vintage or rustic themed wedding, a junk journal can make the perfect addition to their wedding decor and become a treasured keepsake.


Shelf Art

Lining a shelf with junk journals makes for a gorgeous home decor option. You can line them up by color or style or size. Just think about all the gorgeous bookbinding and signature stitches you can create!


Coffee Table Book

I’ve said it before – junk journals make perfect coffee table books. They give visitors something fantastic to look through, and the tactile nature of all the tucks and pockets gives them something to explore!



Planning an upcoming event? You can theme your junk journal and plan out your pages to go along with it. Paste in inspiration ideas, lists, invitation and so much more. Best of all the planner can become a keepsake for the event and you can turn it into a memory book!



You’ll have to plan ahead and make sure you leave some blank pages and journaling cards, but if you use a heavier weight paper a junk journal can make the perfect sketchbook. You can even alternate pages, putting images in to help inspire the sketches you create on the next page!


Daily Memory Log

Maybe a simple scrapbook or gratitude log isn’t enough for you. Maybe you want a place to document your daily life, and a  journal makes the perfect daily memory log. Not only can you document your daily thoughts, but you can add bits of ephemera from your day to add an extra touch.



Make a custom yearbook out of a junk journal for a kid in your life. You can create tuck spots for their friends photos, and create pockets where they can insert notes from their friends. In an era where everything is going digital, its nice to have a place to keep the paper copies of these memories.


Letter Keeper

One of my most treasured possessions is a notebook full of letters I have from a friend of mine as we were growing up. We also kept a lot of ephemera from places we hung out together and things we did like concerts. I have plans to create a letter keeper journal to put all of that together in one place where I can keep it neatly organized and reflect on.

You could even make copies of the letters and create a twin journal to give to other person.


Business Planner

Regular business planners can be, well, business-y. If you’ve started your own craft business or are in the process of creating your own craft blog you might want a more creative space to keep track of everything. That’s where the junk journal business planner comes in. Business in the front, party in the tuck spots!



Make your own calendar in book form using junk journaling techniques. Grab some vintage images, create a calendar printable and stitch them all together. You could even use spiral binding to make it so you can hang on the wall just like the ones you buy at the store!


Dream Journal

Have you ever had a really interesting or strange dream that was super vivid, but by morning you can’t remember it anymore? You can use a dream-themed journal that you keep by your bed to write it down as soon as you wake up!


Movie or TV Journal

Outlander fan? Harry Potter movie nerd? You could create a themed junk journal that would let you track all the episodes you’ve watched, rate them, include quotes… the possibilities are endless!


Habit Tracker

Along the lines of a goal tracker, creating better habits can put you on the right track (ha!). If you don’t want to turn the entire junk journal into a habit tracker, you learn how to create a bookmark habit tracker.


Glue Book

A glue book or paste book is something like a book of collages. Once you’ve created your junk journal, you can use it to paste in different pieces of inspiring ephemera, images, and quotes you find.


Letterboxing Logbook

If you’re an ardent letter boxer, you probably enjoy exploring the logbooks. Why not make them a little bit more creative with a junk journal logbook?


Costume Prop

If you’re getting ready for Halloween or just a costume themed party, why not make a witch’s spellbook or a magical tome from a junk journal?


Doodle Diary

Learning to doodle? A junk journal can be the perfect place for doodling flowers and jars and more! Make it a full on doodle diary or just practice your doodles in the margins to add a little flair to your journal.


Garden Planner

I love a good botanical theme for a junk journal, but what would make it even better would be to actually use it as a garden planner. Sew or paste in some graph paper to plan out your garden plots, keep a chart of the growing season, or just have a list of plants growing in your garden. You can even make seed packets to keep heirloom seeds from your garden in your journal!


Wish List Keeper

Whether its a wish list of junk journal supplies, a bucket list of things to do or a list of places you plan to travel to, a junk journal can be the perfect place to keep track of them all. Plus you can paste in some inspirational pictures to go along with your notes!



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