Journal Page Tutorial

This step by step visual journal tutorial was the first one I shared here at JoyfulArtsStudio. The inspiration for the FREE “Write It Down” workshop came from this personal journal page. I thought I would go ahead and re-post it for those of you who have started following along more recently. Enjoy!!

Journals are wonderful. They are places for creativity, getting in touch with ourselves, stress relief, healing, pure fun, working through ideas, and uncovering ideas we didn’t even know we had yet.

Below is a step-by-step look at how I create a simple journal page. It is not elaborate, fancy, fine art, just a simple magazine collage that anyone can do. This non-intimidating approach is a great starting point into journals with images. While this process is quite simple, it still offers all of the benefits that keeping a journal has to offer.

I am currently working in a spiral bound artist pad filled with drawing paper. If you don’t have a journal yet it’s okay. Anything you can throw paint and glue on will work for this project.

My paint box. I used basic craft paint here. Any water soluble paint will work including acrylic, tempura or watercolors. No paints in your home? Dig out some markers, pens, crayons, construction paper, etc anything that can leave a splash of color.

I picked out a lovely blue then poured the paint directly onto the page. Choose a color that you feel drawn to right now and let it flow.

I used a brush to quickly fill the page. You may choose to do a single page or do a double page with the book spread open.

Once the page is painted set it aside to dry.

Now it’s time to get some images. Choose 3-4 magazines and start flipping through. If you don’t have any magazines lying around you may use newspapers, greeting cards, old letters, advertisements, mail, collage paper, scrap book ephemera, drawings, doodles, or handwritten words.

*Using copyrighted images such as those found in magazines is okay in your personal journals. However, you may not reproduce or sell those pages.

Look for words, phrases or images that you are drawn to. Do not analyze them at this point. If it strikes you, tear it out. I like to tear the entire page out. It keeps me flipping quickly and keeps my magazines from being all tattered.

Once you have gone through your material, cut out the individual words and images. Sometimes I use scissors, sometimes I just tear around them with my hands. (You may wish to keep a box for unused portions of the pages or simply recycle them.)

Next, I spread everything out. Sometimes at this point I start to notice themes or colors that are repeating themselves. No matter how many times I do this I am always amazed by the cohesion of thoughts that comes from this process.

Then I start gluing them down onto my painted page. I used a craft glue stick. Anything that will stick the images down will work, white glue, mod podge, tape, staples if you like.

There is no right or wrong way to do this. I typically start with some of the larger images. The work generally flows without much thought.

Sometimes I hold the image up to the page to see where it feels the best fit.

I like this one up top.

Don’t forget to date your page. Journal pages can be an important tool in reflecting on our personal journey.

The completed page. For me an inspiration to continue teaching and highlighting the importance of “writing it down!”

Thank you for taking the time to share my experience with me. I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave comments on this site or e-mail me about your personal journal experiences.

A special thank you to Rose for the inspiration behind this post. In a recent conversation she said she would really like to journal, but didn’t know where to start. I hope this helps to get you all going!

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