There are plenty of ways to be creative with scrapbooking and journaling, but I thought I’d share four ways that I use my journals and sketchbooks for memory keeping. Some of these methods might work for you better than others, some you might really get stuck into whereas other just won’t cut it. For me, I like all of these but they all have their own purpose.
You’ve probably heard of this one the most as it’s been in the hobby and craft shops a lot longer and the products are expansive. As I mentioned in my past posts about scrapbooking, this one has seen a recent increase in popularity for the younger generation. I’ve included Project Life in this ‘scrapbook’ method but it just shows that each method I share in this post has their own little variations within. Being a more traditional method, I think it’s favoured by people who like to create pages based on events and is extremely photo based, unlike the others. Obviously it will depend on person to person, but generally this one’s for those special occasions and memories we want to preserve. Although I create monthly PL spreads too, this one for me is presented in a more professional way than the others and more of a family keepsake for years to come.
This idea has had a surge of popularity in recent years too. You may have heard of ‘Smashbooks’ or ‘La de Dah’ journals, and seen these or similar ideas in craft shops. The premise is simple – brands provide a journal or notebook that you fill with whatever you like – to do lists, postcards, general ephemera. It is a much looser method of creativity to traditional scrapbooking, with less precision and more scraps. I use a ring-bound, ribbon-tie sketchbook from Hobbycraft for mine – don’t feel like you have to buy all the journals and add-ons before you start getting creative. Of course, it’s up to you whether you buy a blank book or buy one a branded one – some of the journals I mentioned above have printed pages and themes to help you start.
I fill mine with bits and pieces I keep – I am such a hoarder. I have a big box of old birthday cards, postcards, business cards and tickets from days out. This is a relatively new style of journaling for me as I only started this year, but I love it. I just group things together and some pages have no theme at all. I don’t do anything in date order or keep things as I received them, I just glue it all together and make it look nice! I much prefer having it like this than buried in a shoebox somewhere in my room where the memories can be forgotten.
This journal is another new style for me as I started this one in November last year. This one isn’t as creative as the others – it’s more of a diary really. I use an A5 kraft sketchbook that I bought from the London Graphics Exchange and use a very simple layout for each page. I use washi tape to stick a 3” square photo I print out at home to the right of the page and draw pencil lines to the left – then I simply journal some thoughts over the top in pen. Usually it’s just a line or two, and I follow it with the date. As I said, it’s a lot more simple and diary-like than the rest but it’s not one I feel I have to fill, I just write in it when I want to.
And finally, my art journal. This one is my favourite and the most long-standing journal technique I’ve kept up with. I actually have one full journal already, and the one I’ve pictured above is my second. I started this method in 2011 and filled it with mixed media and art in general. I filled the pages with snippets of my life – my thoughts and feelings – for a full year and a half and then slowly the pages became less frequent. I don’t fill my journal anymore but I absolutely love looking through it and reading it all – it’s something I wish I kept up with and something I want to start again. Sadly I have a mental block whenever I try – I feel like it has to be perfect and I don’t know where to start, whereas back in 2010 I just filled it without thinking. The pages are covered with paint and scraps of paper, doodles and pictures cut from magazines. Some pages are simply pictures I’ve collaged together, others are whole pages filled with text. I love this one and it’s so dear to my heart that I never want to lose it. I think these journals are like sketchbooks and diaries intermixed, and it’s definitely a personal one to me.
What sort of journals or scrapbooks do you keep? Which is your favourite? I found it really hard to narrow down photos for my mixed media art journal, so I might share some a flip through post of that one soon. I’ve posted inside my scrapbook before, and you can also find my Starter Guide to Project Life here.