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what is collage journaling

10 Ideas for Creating a Stylish Journal Collage

Are you looking to start your own collage journal but don't know quite how to get started? Are you new to collage journaling and want to get a few helpful tips to get you started properly?

Well, you are in the right place, for this is precisely what we will be exploring today, offering forth 10 great tips for getting started with your own collage journal.

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Refillable Heart Journal
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1. A Theme & a Color Scheme

One of the best collage journaling tips you can get is to stick to a theme and/or color scheme throughout the leather journal. Art journaling is obviously far more than this motto clearly inspired by home decor, but art journals are still beholden to themes and schemes like this.

If your collage journals have a genuine aesthetic focus, then chances are that you had already intended to stick to a particular scheme in your next handmade journal. Still, it is worth noting, just in case!

2. Blocking Designs into Sections

Once you have a particular theme and color scheme, you can begin to conceive of making your own stickers with Washi tape. But before all that you might think about how you would like to organize the pages.

You might already have an idea of how you want the pages to look, but it is the advice of many self-care journalers that each page should be laid out as different as possible. Placing paper and photos in the same places on each page can end up appearing a little redundant. Using different layouts on each page will not only make the journal feel more lively but will also invoke the memory more strongly.

3. Colored Paper

Common advice among journalers of this kind is that, instead of using words to create boundaries on the page, you should use colored paper to structure it. In this way, you can create large sections of color on the page upon which you can still add other collages, images, and writing.

The thinner the paper the better here. Copy paper should work fine, though try colored tissue paper for more unique and colorful stamps on the collage journaling format. This is your own life after all!

4. Art & Writing

When a page of a notebook is full of words, then it is commonly considered a journal. On the other hand, when it is full of art it is more commonly considered a sketchbook or art journal.

The magic happens when you combine the two. Occupying any sort of liminal zone between the two will allow you to occupy your own space within this spectrum more than simply adhering to either of the two poles.

By not strictly adhering to the same places on each page, by mixing up the placement of the words and images on each page, you can carve out your own place in this world and write your own history.

Refillable Classic Journal (Lined)
Refillable Classic Journal (Lined)
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5. Positivity

Sure, a journal is a place for honesty, for bearing as much of ourselves as we can possibly muster, free from the prying eyes that might otherwise scan our feelings so mercilessly (or so we think).

However, this is the type of notebook that we are likely to keep for a long time, potentially forever. In this way, it is best to keep positive, lest we give a poor notion of ourselves later in life to the future self which is scanning this document for something.

6. Personal Detritus

Words and images can do wonders for the recollection of memory. What else has the past however many centuries of cultural and artistic history been for if not for this purpose?

However, in an age of ever-greater sensationalism, it can take other types of detritus to really evoke a time or place. This detritus often takes the form of ticket stubs, movie passes, printed pictures, dried flowers, and other things.

Surely no one can deny the vivid power of such objects to take us back to a time. It is especially powerful to touch something that once existed in this previous time, almost acting as a direct physical through-line to that moment in that place.

7. Other Detritus

Just as you might layer your scrapbook with colored paper to structure the pages into clear sections that make the entire notebook all the more unique, you can also do the same with other more unique materials.

Some examples include stamps, alphabet stamps, magazine clippings, pages from previous notebooks, art paper, old fabric, and plenty more depending on your own preferences and desires. More than anything, this should be a representation of you, so try to make it feel like one for goodness sake!

8. Stickers & Washi Tape

Likewise, anything with a sticky back will be great to use in this enterprise, as it not only operates as an adhesive to the pages of the notebook but also as a mode of expression in itself.

Collage journalers are often inclined toward the use of Washi tape and other similar types of stickers. This kind of tape might be more familiar to you in the form of masking tape, a form of tape that can also be drawn upon, written upon, and otherwise decorated to fit the bounds within which it is housed.

collage journaling

9. Doodles

Again, the whole point of having a journal like this, at heart at least, is for it to be a personal reflection of who you are and what you are about.

You might not be inclined to doodling or even toward the visual arts all that much either. Still, no matter how bad you think you are at this sort of thing, it is a great way to express yourself and let yourself be known. There is, after all, only the pen between your entire being and the page itself, and you can use this pen however you like.

10. Calligraphy

Something rather common these days, especially on sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, is the use of bold and stylized calligraphy to get the point across.

Calligraphy seems to occupy an interesting intersection between writing and drawing, lending artistic license to the writing of words in such a way that enhances both the visual and linguistic qualities simultaneously.

So, why not learn some calligraphy yourself, using it to fully explore whatever you happen to be writing about, to provide a 3-dimensional image of the thing you are writing about rather than simply writing about it?

Final Words

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to get started with your own collage journal.

FAQs Collage Journaling


You can use just about any journal you like for art journaling. Some people prefer to use journals that are already blank-paged so that there is more space to create freely. That being said, there are also plenty who also like the lines upon a page, and they may rely on them if they want to write something particularly neatly for example.


Art journaling is a form of journaling that largely eschews the use of words in favor of visual artistic expression. This is often in the form of collage and scrapbooking, collating various meaningful scraps of detritus to paint a picture that will evoke a memory, time, and/or place. Words are not altogether eschewed, though, as calligraphy is often called upon in these kinds of journals, itself a fusion of visual art tendencies and linguistic play.

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