Making your own junk journal is a wonderful way to explore your creativity and make something that is absolutely unique – in your own particular style! To help you along I have added 15 free junk journal vintage printables that I sourced and edited so you can easily print them out for your creative journaling.
What I love about making your own junk journal is that they don’t have to be these perfect little journals that are neat and tidy, they can be a mish-mash of random materials and objects put together to express your personality and emotions.
Not only is it a lot of fun, but it is a very therapeutic and meditative activity that helps to focus one’s mind. Because of this, making your own junk journal is a wonderful activity to help in managing anxiety and stress. I highly recommend this activity!
As junk journalists, we collect a lot of interesting materials, papers, and objects with layers of meaning attached to them. We call this material ‘ephemera’ because it is often used only once and is ephemeral -something that is thrown away after being used or considered junk.
Often this ephemera has quite a vintage flavor to it – which further adds to its ephemeral aesthetic.
That’s all good and well, but where can you source some of this treasured vintage ephemera? Well luckily for you I have put together some basic essential ephemera materials for you to start your own junk journal.
I have also scoured the web to find the best places to get your hands on some free junk journal vintage printables.
What is a Printable?
A printable is essentially a digital document that you can download and print out on your printer at home in order to use it in your junk journal. You can choose to print it out on any size paper, and on any type of paper (that works with your printer of course!).
A good idea is to print out your printables on vellum or tracing paper as it gives a lovely translucent effect to the image. I recommend that you test out printing your junk journal printables on several different kinds of paper to find out which best suits your needs.
This comes down to personal preference but I find that sometimes the standard 90gsm printer paper is too thick to be added to my signatures and I like to use lighter-weight paper.
15 Free Junk Journal Vintage Printables
Vintage Ledger Paper
Vintage ledger paper provides a neatly lined page on which to write or draw in your junk journal. This is really a must-have for your junk journal signatures.
In this free download, I have added aged ledger paper with vintage decals for you to print out and use in your own junk journal.
Vintage Library Card
Gone are the days of writing down the names of your loaned library books. Now everything is digital. There is something quite special about an ‘old school’ library card.
The library card I have included in this free junk journal printable download is dated from 1970 and I have added some vintage elements !
Vintage Globe & Map
A vintage map or globe map is linked to the nostalgic idea of travel and perhaps of even exploring new places.
Perhaps your junk journal theme is travel or journeying? Using a vintage map in your junk journal can be symbolic of your own personal journey or journeys you would like to make.
Authentic Vintage Tag
Putting tags in your junk journal adds interesting pieces of information and material.
There are so many uses for tags in a junk journal or creative journal. I often use mine as a placeholder or as a label for an image or drawing.
I also often do little doodles on my tags to create moveable elements in my creative journal.
Like a tag, a bookmark can be used to mark a page or used as a place holder. The free book
A vintage illustration is a great addition to a junk journal because it isn’t just text. A vintage illustration usually is a line drawing that is quite faded, yellowed, and has a particular type of sketchy quality.
Vintage Medical Textbook Diagram
Doctors and medical practitioners in history would record their medical findings in diagrams or drawings of the human anatomy. These drawings can be fascinating and become an excellent addition to a junk journal.
Its a good idea to stock up on faded, aged vintage paper to add to your junk journal signatures.
Vintage motifs are essentially little stylized images that can be cut out and stuck on various pages in your junk journal. They can also be used to create an interesting junk journal cover.
We associate postcards with times gone by because postcards were used as a major form of communication during the 50s and 60s. Vintage postcards have a lovely feel to them and are linked to the idea of travel.
Vintage Renaissance Icons
Religious iconography of the renaissance period has a classic feel to it and is a nice addition to a junk journal.
Vintage Sewing Patterns
A vintage sewing pattern can be a lovely surface to draw or write on.
Vintage Sheet Music
Great Sites to Get Junk Journal Vintage Printables
Great Etsy Stores for Junk Journal Vintage Printables
Collecting Your Own Ephemera
As you start on your junk journal-making journey, you will find that you start to collect more and more ephemera because you are more aware of it.
Here are some good places to look for ephemera to add to your junk journal collection:
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.
It is lovely to have a mix of different papers within your junk journal. Vellum or transparent tracing paper adds a different consistency to the mix and often works really well with other patterned paper because it’s one color and is quite a subtle material.
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.
It is always helpful to have a collection of magazines you can cut up and tear out of. 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.
Museum or gallery flyers or pamphlets
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.
Its always fun to go through old photo albums and relive memories. Find random photos that you can cut up or photocopy to add to your collection.
These are essentially pages that you can download 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!Junk Journal Supplies
Making your own junk journal is a fun and therapeutic activity to get involved in. I really hope you have found my free junk journal vintage printables helpful in getting your junk journal started!