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Junk Journal Cover plus Insert Pages

Hi everyone, today I’m on The Crafter’s Workshop Blog with a fun and different project. For a long time now I have wanted to create my own journal, but how, and what size and what materials to use? So I started thinking about what I like about the journals that I already have: I like A4 size, I like ring bound, but I also found that I wanted my journal to be slightly different from the ones that I already have, and then a while back I watched some junk journal video’s on YouTube and I knew that was it: I want to combine “normal” blank pages with junk journal pages as my ring bound inserts. Now, if you know me well then you also know that I’m a very organized and neat crafter so my version of a junk journal will probably look neater than most others do, but it’s totally me!

Step 1:

In my closet I found this old ring binder that I first cleaned with isopropyl alcohol. I cleaned it first to make sure that the gel medium I will use later on will adhere well to this plastic binder.

Step 2:

Or course I want the outside part of my junk journal to look nice and I wanted to cover it with fabric: I could choose between canvas and denim and I choose denim. I cut a piece a bit larger than my ring binder and temporarily adhered one side to the cover with a clamp. Where the spine of the binder is I cut the fabric inwards using scissors BUT I didn’t cut these parts of, I folded them inwards underneath the spine.

I also cut the denim fabric of where the corners of the ring binder are, be careful with this, don’t cut of too much!

Now I’m ready to adhere the denim fabric to the ring binder using The Crafter’s Workshop “Matte Gel Medium” and a brush (wash your brush afterwards because the gel medium will act as a glue).

I did the left part first, let it dry completely and than worked on the right hand side. Each time let the binder dry closed because in that shape you need the most denim fabric and it’s easier this way for the gel medium to adhere to the outside spine.

Step 3:

Next I looked for some nice scrapbook papers in a color scheme that matched the denim but with a slightly vintage look to them. I cut them to size (don’t throw away the remains) and edged them with Distress ink in “Vintage Photo” on three sides, using a foam applicator tool, before adhering them to the binder also using The Crafter’s Workshop “Matte Gel Medium” and a brush. How do you know the gel medium is dry: when wet it will feel cold to the touch.

Now that the inside of the ring binder is ready I can insert my blank and junk journal pages. For my blank pages I combined a mix of watercolor paper, scrapbook paper, canvas and denim pages. I used a white/creme/blue/brown/green color theme.

For my junk journal inserts I used stuff that I have been saving for some years now, that look nice and of which I figured I might want to use them sometime: paper bags, small bags from the market, old book pages, old envelopes, but also the left over parts of the 12x12 paper used for the inside cover, some rib card stock and anything else from my stash that I liked and that I had for years. To some parts I adhered lace, I added buttons, I coffee dyed some tags and added those, frankly you can add anything you like!

Step 4:

Of course I also want to decorate the outside of my junk journal: for this I picked two stencils from the new TCW stencil line. On the cover and the spine I used a The Crafter’s Workshop stencil called “Wheat Stalks” (TCW912) and on the back I used a The Crafter’s Workshop stencil called “Natures Circuitry” (TCW925).

I placed the large “Wheat Stalks” stencil on the cover where I wanted it to go (keeping in mind that I wanted to add a metal bookplate above the stenciled design). I also added some Americana DecoArt Acrylic Paint in the color “Oyster Beige” on my glass work surface.

Holding the stencil in place with my left hand I now add a little paint to a dry plat topped stencil brush and tap over the stencil design covering the whole design slowly. Don’t add to much paint in one go because the paint will go underneath your stencil and mess up your design.

This way I covered the entire design on the cover of the journal. It will be dry almost instantly, but make sure it really is before starting working on the back and the spine in the same way. I wouldn’t recommend drying the paint for a long time with your heat tool since the binder itself is made of plastic and can melt.

For working on the spine I held the cover between my knees, holding the stencil with my left hand and working with the brush with my right hand.

Lastly I added some metal/ribbon decoration for the outside, because I felt it looked pretty!

Step 5:

I knew I wanted to use some kind of bookplate with the words Junk Journal but what to use for this. Then I remembered that I bought some Ikea boxes a while back to store my stamps in and they came with these metal labels that you could screw into the box. I didn’t used them but kept them because they might be of some use some other time!

For the actual label I adhered some layers of paper to each other using The Crafter’s Workshop Gel Medium and when dry dyed the paper with coffee, I even added some coffee splatters to make it look more aged. Because the metal label plate was fairly thick I had to bridge the distance between the paper with the cover of the journal, for his I used some left over denim. I adhered the denim to the paper again using the gel medium.

Because I couldn’t use the actual metal screws that came with the metal label but I did want to cover up the holes in the metal I created some fake screw tops using The Crafter’s Workshop “Light & Fluffy Modeling Paste” and a mould shape. You can find out more how to use this modeling paste with the clay mould HERE, but to make it short you apply the modeling paste over the mould, let it dry and you can pop the fake screw tops out.

I colored the fake screw tops using Lindy’s Stamp Gang Spray in “Buccaneer Bay Blue” (to reach the deep ridges) and created a metal look by using some Treasure Gold metallic wax in “Onyxite” and Pebeo “King Gold” metallic wax. Don’t they just look like the real thing?

Step 6:

Now that my cover is ready I also wanted to create junk journal inserts as a sort of base page, not finished but to create a fun project on on a later date. This is not something I usually do, I create a page from beginning to end, with a set idea in mind, now I’m only experimenting with a basic idea but I have no idea how these pages will be finished on a later date!

For this project I used some sheets of Ken Oliver by The Crafter’s Workshop “Watercolor Paper”. One side is textured and one side is smooth. For each page I first dyed the page, to create a vintage look, using coffee, tea and water (but I felt the coffee worked best). Because of heat drying the paper the paper will warp slightly. You can flatten it out first (in a thick book) if you like but didn’t. That also means that you have to hold down the stencil we’re going to use next with your hand, if you don’t like color stained hands you might want to were gloves for this!

For this first page, spray over your stencil of choice using any spray you like, I used Lindy’s Stamp Gang Spray in “Buccaneer Bay Blue”. Then I took the stencil, turned it around and used is a stamp to fill in any area’s where I felt the design was a little empty, for example the place my hand held the stencil. Dry with your heat tool. For this particular design I used a new The Crafter’s Workshop stencil called “Striped Mandala” (TCW899s).

Then I edged the page using first Distress Ink in “Antique Linen” and then “Vintage Photo” with the use of a foam applicator tool. Now I feel this unfinished junk journal page is ready to go into my junk journal to be finished on a later date!

Step 7:

My second junk journal insert is created in much the same way: I dyed the paper first using coffee or tea, than place my stencil of choice on top, covered up the area around it to prevent sprayed hash edges and sprayed over the stencil, using Lindy’s Stamp Gang spray in “Bachelor Button Blue”, while holding the stencil down. For this page I choose a new The Crafter’s Workshop stencil called “Jellyfish” (TCW917s). With what left of the spray on the front of the stencil I created marks on the paper and then, while still wet I ONLY sprayed the marks with water, dabbed of the excess with a paper kitchen towel and then dried the page with my heat tool.

To finish this unfinished page I created some additional splatters using tea and distressed the edges using the “Antique Linen” Distress Ink color.

Step 8:

For my third and last unfinished junk journal page I first dyed the page with coffee and/or tea, and then sprayed through another gorgeous The Crafter’s Workshop stencil using Lindy’s Stamp Gang spray in “Curiouser Chartreuse”. Here I forgot to cover up the bottom side of the stencil and this created a hard edge. I went with the created look and added the same design on the bottom half of the page. After that again using the top side of the sprayed stencil as a stamp to create marks (not spraying with water this time). For this page I used a The Crafter’s Workshop stencil called “Vineyard” (TCW482s).

To finish this last unfinished page I created some splatters using the “Buccaneer Bay Blue” color from before, and edging the page with both “Antique Linen” and “Vintage Photo” Distress Ink.

Step 9:

After creating holes for the binder ring these fun pages are now ready to go into my junk journal to be finished on a later date!

And that's it for today! I might go into a little bit more detail about this junk journal project in general in the future, until then I wish you a creative day!

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