Notes on Paper's headless horrors!

It's time to welcome the first guest to our Spooky Weekend party - it's papercrafter extraordinaire Julie Kirk from Notes on Paper. Hi Julie, help yourself to some pumpkin punch! Read on for Julie's marvellously macabre art journaling idea, plus prompts to help you create your own creepy journal pages... 

To tell you the truth … I’m not an especially Halloweeny kind of crafter. I don’t go in much for carving pumpkins, stringing up skulls or constructing elaborate costumes (unless you count the pumpkin dress two years ago? But even then, I actually bought it to wear all year round until it’s exceptionally orangey and pumpkin-esque overtones became too strong to ignore!). But, all that aside, having a good excuse to create something a little bit spooky, a touch odd and a tiny bit macabre ... well, you can definitely count me in there!

This page, in my largest art journal, is very much in my current style. I’ve used the usual stencils and masks with the usual shades of paints and inks. I’ve left plenty of ‘white space’ and all of my focal images and sections of text are all snipped from old books, my favourite, and possibly signature, technique. And like many of my pages, those focal images are of people. So far so regular. And yet …

…  on closer inspection, it’s when you realise that the text came from a 1940s murder mystery and that, ooooh yes, those figures are actually headless then you’ll begin to see, pardoning the pun, my nod to this spookiest of seasons!

My headless ladies began life as illustrations in a costume history book which I flicked through with relish to find those which would work best minus their main features!  But hey, I’m not all bad as I did return their heads to them. They just have to carry them now!

So here’s my challenge to you … go and mess with some heads! 

Create an art journaling page that uses this fun head-swap technique...

If you like to use ephemera you could look in:


junk mail

and old books 

Or else look through:

your rubber stamps

die cuts

decoupage images 

or even toppers

Basically you’re looking for something you can easily behead and then get creative with! 

You could: 

Transplant a head across from another image, and this needn’t be another human. My journals are littered with part human / part animal hybrids! 

swap its head for something else entirely like a TV, a telephone, a flower. Really it can be anything you find that fits!

You could even draw or stamp an alternative.

Whatever you choose to do just have fun with it. Sometimes the term ‘art journaling’ frightens people off from what is essentially cutting and sticking and, ideally, relaxing! It shouldn’t be scary at all. Even when you’re decapitating things!

Happy Halloween to you.


If this post has whetted your art journaling appetite you might also like these related articles of mine: 

Art Journaling Collaged Characters

An Art Journal page from start to finish 1

An Art Journal page from start to finish 2

Also, if you find yourself completely headless or you’d just like something interesting and new to work with in your journal then visit my shop

Wow, thanks Julie! If you're having a go at Julie's art journaling challenge, tell us about it and show off your photos in the comments below!

Come back soon for more Spooky Weekend treats, and don't forget you can save 50% on Halloween projects over on The Making Spot now!