Thursday, June 27, 2013

Upcycled Art Journal--A Summer Art Journal Made from Stash and Trash

Create a rag tag art journal from supplies and materials already on hand.

The cover as it was coming together, made from an old file divider.

Rule No. 1--Oops. There are, of course, no rules in art journaling or in creating art journals! So the rest are "nonrules."

NonRule No. 133--Cannot buy anything special for this project. And by the way, you can number NonRules however you wish!

NonRule No. 52--Upcycle as much as possible--make what was trash into usable stash.

The old file drawer dividers after trimming them up.
NonRule No. 51--Put your first upcycled journal together in less than a week, so that it (1) doesn't drag on and on (2) lets you get started using your art journal and (3) ensures you'll actually get it done. See NonRule No. 8 below for a great tip on making this happen.

NonRule No. 8--Put your pages together quickly, and don't overthink them.  Just grab papers, sacks, packaging, tags, stamps, glue, vellum, paint, stickers--go crazy. The pages will just come together and be fun and whimsical. For example, I glued part of a vintage dress pattern to some deli paper on a piece of scrapbook paper and added a few dress tags at the top. I loved it. Make your supplies do double-duty. I used a brown ink pad for a lot of my stamping, and also used it to ink around some page edges to give a vintage look.

Remember--you are creating, in essence, a "blank" journal with fun and whimsical backgrounds, so keep it moving.

Here are a few photos of my upcycled creation--a mishmash of stash, trash, and most importantly, no extra cash! I am using it already and can't wait to make the next one.

Front cover made from vintage file dividers
Inside front cover
A page made with a vintage dress pattern package and tags
A page made with embossed deli paper, embossed scraps, stickers and stamping
Scrapbook paper scraps, dress pattern tissue, papersack, lace
Envelope made from scrapbook paper stash
A piece of aida cloth...for a day when I can cross-stitch in my journaling
A vellum sack that's been stickered and stamped--I can tuck a tag inside with my journaling
Tags are added to the rings throughout the journal
I love this page using clothes tags, dress pattern tissue and scrap paper.
The back cover--white paint used on the file divider, then tags, scrap paper, washi tape, stamping and paper ribbon.

NonRule No. 3--Mix upcycled design with no design. In other words, make your journal a mix of arty whimsical pages, and pages that are nothing but an index card or some scrapbook paper you like with nothing on it yet. These plain pages will let your doodling, creative mind go crazy later and give places to put things like to do lists and ideas. Although I type my to-do lists on other things, like those sewing instruction sheets in the vintage dress patterns.

NonRule No. 10--Actually use it and art journal it! Draw in it, paint, stitch, sketch, write lists, layer onto it, appointments, goals, and anything that makes you happy. Take it with you to the coffeeshop, the park or the library--it is a conversation piece.

Materials I had on hand and used to create my art journal:
  • Deli Paper (from my kitchen)
  • Foil Lid Liners (from coffee cans in my kitchen)
  • Paper Sack from Panera Bread
  • Starbucks Coffee Warmer
  • Old watermarked paper
  • Index cards
  • Scrapbook decorative paper stash and scraps
  • Plain card stock
  • Vintage file drawer dividers (decades old!)
  • Vintage dress patterns
  • Clothes tags
  • Aida cloth
  • Art tags I've made
  • Product packaging
  • File folders
  • Ribbon and trim
  • Paint
  • Stamps
  • Gelato colors
  • Markers
  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Glue Dots
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Thread

Tools I used (already on hand):
Sizzix Embossing Boutique
Paper cutter
Scoring board (to make envelopes--I could make envelopes all day! That's another story.)
Bone folder

 Nonrule No. 16--Have a great time! Have fun! Let your mind go free. Upcycling is freedom!

I think that any time you upcycle, use something that would have been thrown away, and make the most of your stowed-away stash, you should feel good about yourself and your art! However, if you want to buy one or two things for your journal--if your stash is low--remember, there are no rules. You are still upcycling and being green! I was pretty stocked up on things when I started this project. I hope to make one every season!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Upcycle

1 comment:

  1. I love recycling stuff for my art journal. My most recent journal I used an Oreo cookie box for the cover and instead of sewing signatures I taped each page into the journal. It's about a half inch thick with about 30 pages. More recently I've been sewing paper collages on my sewing machine. It's a lot of fun.