Papercraft fun: Try art journaling

Ever feel like your head is filled with too many ideas? Always fancied keeping a diary? Fancy doing a bit of snipping and sticking just for the fun of it? Then you might enjoy art journaling!

Art journaling is very similar to scrapbooking, but while scrapbooking is often about capturing moments and preserving memories, art journaling is about what you're thinking right now! It's a great way to try out techniques, get a bit messy, and create something that's totally you. Read on to find some of our favourite links and tips, and get started today...

Choose your book

First, you'll need to find a book to turn into an art journal. Any book will do - a school jotter, falling-apart paperback, anything the kids have grown out of - but if the pages are very thin you might have to stick a few together to make them strong enough to hold paint, ink and glue without wrinkling. Many crafters like to use vintage books for the distressed pages and sturdy hardback covers; check out your local charity shops to see what you can find - and perhaps check eBay to make sure you're not snipping up a priceless first edition!

If you want something special, you can invest in a plain high-quality sketchbook from your local art shop, or look out for the fantastic K&Co Smash books or Amy Tangerine Daybooks from American Crafts, which give you a kick-start with accessories like patterned papers and funky stickers. Beware, though, that your inner perfectionist might be afraid to 'ruin' the pages of a new book!

Get started

There are no rules to art journaling - just express yourself! - but it's common to start by first decorating a double-page spread with collage, painting, inking or stamping, and then adding words, photos or cut-out images on top. Be creative, say what's on your mind, or just celebrate your favourite things.

There are some great bloggers out there to help and inspire you. Kelley at artjournaling.blogspot.co.uk has some good tips for beginners, and be sure to check out Julie Kirk's tips on creating collaged characters. We also like Tammy's Art Journaling 101 which has links to lots more brilliant art journal blogs.

Experiment!

Get out some art supplies and try everything! If you make a page you don't like, just stick a bit of paper over it and start again. Your journal will be filled with thoughts, pictures, doodles and more, and will probably end up far too chunky to close properly, but that's part of the fun!

Here are some ideas from The Making Spot that you might like to try:

Add doors to your pages (pictured above)

Cut a niche in your book

Stitch a paper book cover

Handwriting on your pages

Make a teeny-tiny fold-out book!

Happy journaling!

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