A List of the Best Junk Journal Supplies for 2023

Last Updated on March 29, 2023 by Dee

Looking for ideas on junk journal supplies and where to find them?

Welcome to 2023 – the year of brave new artistic possibilities! As we head further into a world of advanced tech and new ideas, it’s important not to forget about the basics of what makes creativity flow—junk journal supplies.

Whether you prefer sticking with tried-and-true classics or incorporating fresh additions to your toolbox, there is no shortage of options for just journaling supplies that will help spark those creative juices this coming year and beyond. Plus with junk journalling its so easy to be eco-conscious – reuse and recycle! Check out these great article on beeswax wraps for more sustainable ideas!

From traditional favorites such as pens, pencils, and notebooks to more modern must-haves like unique planners and inspired art journals, this blog post offers up some insight on items guaranteed to make crafting a delightful journey all year long!

So let’s dive into the best junk journal supply shopping spree for creatives in 2023.

Table of Contents

  1. Looking for ideas on junk journal supplies and where to find them?
  2. Junk Journal Materials and What to Put in Your Junk Journal…
    1. Paper:
      1. Old Books:
      2. Tickets & Slips:
      3. Doilies, cupcake paper holders, wax paper, or baking paper:
      4. Tracing paper and vellum:
      5. Newspaper or newsprint:
      6. Magazines:
      7. Museum or gallery flyers or pamphlets:
      8. Old photos:
      9. Printables:
    2. Embellishments
    3. Washi Tape
    4. Masking tape or other tapes
    5. Distressed Oxide (and applicator)
    6. Mod Podge
    7. Use your imagination
  3. Junk Journal Tools
    1. Glue
    2. Paper Cutters or (Paper Trimmer)
    3. Sewing Needles
    4. Waxed Thread
    5. Book Awl
    6. Book binding kit
    7. Junk Journal Kits
    8. Ephemera
  4. Where can I buy junk journal supplies?
    1. Check out my Digital Paper Collection HERE!
    2. Other Online Junk Journal Supplies
  5. What is Junk Journalling?
  6. Junk Journaling is Sustainable & Eco-Conscious
  7. Why is Junk Journalling so good for you?
  8. Conclusion

**This page may contain affiliate links to products I have used or recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.**

Here is my recommended list of junk journal supplies that you need to get started:

Junk Journal Materials and What to Put in Your Junk Journal…

Junk journaling can be a fantastic outlet for creativity and self-expression.

Incorporating exciting and unusual materials into your junk journal gives your pages even more life and personality.

Whether you have a special affinity for vintage ephemera or enjoy adding texture through fabric swatches, the options are limitless!

Adding these elements can make your pages look fabulous and often serves as an important reminder that no matter what hardships life throws at us, we should always strive to stay creative and inspired.

What is important is that the most heartfelt moments become a part of our stories and that our journals provide us with stability in the chaos of this world. So here’s to creating journals full of memories, love, beauty, adventure, and light!


You will need a variety of different papers to compose the signatures in your junk journals. You can buy patterned paper, and you can also use your own paper scraps. (Think wrapping paper, paper towels, old greeting cards, cereal boxes, etc…)

You can alter plain paper to make is interesting or give it a vintage feeling.

Staining with tea or coffee, burning the pages, smoke staining, and tearing are some of the ways to alter plain white paper for your junk journal.

Old Books:

Look through your bookshelves for old textbooks or books that have yellowed pages. Although it isn’t considered good practice to tear up books, if you have a textbook or a really old irreparable book then I wouldn’t feel too bad about tearing out pages for your junk journal.

You can also ask your local schools, libraries, and post offices if they have any old books and paper they will be recycling.

Tickets & Slips:

Look through your handbag and purse for till slips, plane, tickets, bus tickets, movie tickets, invoices, receipts, and other papers you may find in your bag (I know I tend to collect a lot of random paper stuff in my handbag and purse!)

Doilies, cupcake paper holders, wax paper, or baking paper:

Have a look through your kitchen cupboards to find other interesting papers to add to your collection.

Tracing paper and vellum:

Having a mix of different papers in your junk journal is lovely.

Vellum or transparent tracing paper adds a different consistency to the mix.

It often works well with other patterned paper because it’s one color and quite a subtle material. You can also use tissue paper to get a similar effect.

Newspaper or newsprint:

Use coffee or tea to stain your newspaper and create a more vintage effect. You can also use plain newsprint and stamp patterns onto it.


Having a collection of magazines you can cut up and tear out is always helpful. You can cut out a whole page with interesting text or you can cut out single letters or pictures to add interesting images to your journal.

I have collected a lot of these through the years on my visits to art galleries. At every museum and gallery, there will be a leaflet of sorts that could make a lovely addition to your junk journal pages.

Old photos:

It’s always fun to go through old photo albums and relive memories. Find random photos you can cut up or photocopy to add to your collection.


You can download these pages online and then print out on your own printer at home. This is especially helpful if you can’t get to the craft store.

If you enjoy designing and being creative on a PC or an iPad, you can also use apps like Procreate to make your own ephemera or junk journal printables. The possibilities are endless, and this makes it really exciting!


This can add another level of aesthetic interest to your junk journal. Go on a hunt to find charms, beads, tokens, hat pins, feathers, broaches, diamond dots, semi-precious stones, and other items to sew, stick or tie to your junk journal.

Washi Tape

You can do so much with washi tape! You definitely want to stock up on some different patterns, colors, and themes to create interesting edges, tape down images, and make tags.

Masking tape or other tapes

It is always useful to have other tapes for taping edges and other things.

I use standard masking tape quite often because it has a vintage quality to it being in a cream color.

Distressed Oxide (and applicator)

This is another item that will help you make your pages looked aged and more vintage. The Distressed ink comes in a range of color variations so you can choose one that fits in with your junk journal color scheme.

The blending tool helps you to easily and effectively apply the ink to your cover or the pages in your junk journal.

Mod Podge

Use your imagination

Most importantly – anything goes. There are no rules about junk journaling. You do you! This is a great opportunity for you to play and use your creativity as an adult.

Enjoy exploring your environment to find unique and unusual materials to add to your junk journal supplies.

Junk Journal Supplies Online

Junk Journal Tools


There really are so many glue options out there so you want to choose a glue that is easy to work with and dries quite quickly – but not too quickly. Having a liquid glue and a glue stick on hand is the best combo.

This is so you can move paper around if need be. I would recommend using Elmers glue because it does all of the above and it also enables you to stick all sorts of materials together – fabric, wood, plastic and paper.

This is the best type of glue for when you are creating your journal covers or making junk journals completely from scratch.

Paper Cutters or (Paper Trimmer)

You can happily use a xacto knife and a steel ruler to cute your pages and other paper to the right size. I did this when I started off.

However, it is much easier to use a paper trimmer like The Westcott CarboTitanium Rotary Trimmer.

This trimmer makes life a lot easier because you can cut up to 10 pages of 20gsm paper at once. I find it cuts beautifully and has a 38cm cut length which is more than enough space for books up to A4 size.

Sewing Needles

My best piece of advice here is to use a larger sewing needle that has a large eye. This will make it easier for you to thread with the waxed cotton.

If you use a larger needle you can also use it to puncture holes through your signatures and junk journal cover when binding your book (that is, if you are binding your book using a sewing technique).

Waxed Thread

This is the standard thread used in bookbinding because it is thicker and stronger than standard cotton. It also gives a nice finished effect to the spine of a book.

Book Awl

If you need to make holes through a particularly hardcover, I would recommend getting yourself a book awl. If your intention is to bind several books, then this is a good tool to invest in.

Book binding kit

If you don’t have needles, waxed thread, or an awl, it may be a good option to purchase a bookbinding kit to start you off. I bought this kit and it has a range of needle sizes, different color waxed thread, and a sturdy book awl.

Junk Journal Kits

If you are just starting out on your junk journaling journey, you can purchase a ready-made collection of junk journal supplies and materials. This is called a junk journal kit and it really helpful when you need some guidance in the beginning. You probably won’t use all the materials in your junk journal kit the first time round, and that is great because they will be added to your soon to be a huge collection of materials ?


Ephemera is essentially scraps of materials and paper that have a vintage feel to them. Ephemeral means that which is short-lived and whimsical.

You can find your own ephemera at home and in your environment. Still, you can also purchase beautiful, thoughtful, ready-made ephemera that is made for the exact purpose of junk journaling.

Personally it has been so useful to be able to order packs of ephemera for my own junk journals. Some of the best ephemera I have purchased has come off Etsy. This particular range is beautiful:

Vintage Paper Craft Pack from Knittin Magic

So that leads me to the next question …

Where can I buy junk journal supplies?

Explore craft stores, thrift stores, flea markets, and dollar/ pound stores in your area. These are great places to find random bits of material and treasures for junk journaling.

You can also purchase a lot of junk journal and bullet journal supplies and materials online, and I often use beautiful digital papers that I find.

I have started creating my own digital papers to give Junk Journalists and Crafters more options…

Check out my Digital Paper Collection HERE!

Other Online Junk Journal Supplies

Expedition Ephemera Pack by Tim Holtz

Vintage Handmade Kraft Scrapbook Paper 30 Sheets by CATaireen

Vintage Washi Tape Set

Ranger Tim Holtz Distressed ink pads

Idull Scrapbooking Supplies Vintage Ephemera Card Stock

What is Junk Journalling?

If you have never made a junk journal, you don’t know what you are missing!

This is a wonderfully creative and purposeful art project to take on where you can stretch your imagination using materials you would never have thought could be used for art purposes.

A junk journal can be a unique art book layered with meaning and interesting materials and can be used for a variety of different purposes.

As the old adage goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” And this is so true in junk journaling.

Things you may have previously thrown away, you now find immeasurable value in, and can use for your junk journal projects!

Junk Journaling has become a very popular art-making process over the last while for so many reasons. What I like so much about it is that it is an eco-friendly art-making option!

Junk Journaling is Sustainable & Eco-Conscious

We should be focusing on sustainable living in every area of our lives – even in our creative pursuits and art-making.

And what better way to create sustainable art or eco-friendly art than by reusing our junk paper and objects to make something new with a purpose?

If you would like to find out more about Junk Journals or how to make one you can read my article on Junk Journals 101.

Why is Junk Journalling so good for you?

From the creative process of making a junk journal to using calming colors and textures, these simple yet meaningful ways bring an air of healing and satisfaction to those who are looking for an escape from the stress of everyday life.

As a form of self-expression and “therapy session,” junk journals are unique outlets that not only encourage you to explore your own ideas but can help implement them into tangible forms through vibrant art and design.

They provide the ability to create something special that is entirely made by you, giving people a confidence boost as they infuse their personalities onto the pages.

Lastly, with multiple customizable options such as doodles, magazine clippings, paint swatches, felt pieces, and more – there is no limit to how far you can go with creating something new, bringing a sense of joy into your daily life.

So, you are ready to get started making your first junk journal…

Junk Journal Materials Strewn out on a table with the words overlaid Junk Journal Supplies


As years come and go, our collective ideas and constant drive to create never fails to ensue in artistic improvements that help us express our thoughts and feelings.

This brings us renewed curiosity every day about what may be invented or discovered next, offering hopefulness at the heart of artistry.

This sense of surrendering to the mystery—that anything is possible—is encapsulated within what junk journal supplies bring to the table.

As such, I hope that you embrace these tools just as I have: for their power to amplify your creativity, both through classics you wouldn’t dare without and newer yet inspiring albums that constantly remind us that the world around us is ever closer to a brighter tomorrow. Welcome to 2023 – may your crafting be fruitful and inspiring!

[Wondering How to Find Your Art Style? Read this blog post!]

59 Aesthetic Things to Draw

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