How to Make an Art Journal Page

art journalling
C(9)’s first art journal page


An art journal is a journal or diary that has a strong visual element to it, an expression of your artistic creativity and imagination …

It’s a journal for using your art to express your memories, dreams, and thoughts.

How you create the images, and what type of imagery you make, is entirely a matter of personal choice. There are no rules. You can paint or draw, use pen and ink, photos, collage, doodle, stickers… anything and everything.

Marion Boddy-Evans

Doesn’t art journalling sound wonderful? Inspired by this beautiful post at Notes on Paper on how to make an art journal page, I was eager to try it out.

C(9) and I had the perfect opportunity to do so on Friday while J(7) was on a sports camp.  I think J will enjoy art journalling too, but at his age he’ll be most inspired by seeing tangible examples before he does it himself.

C and I grabbed a cheap notebook each, and followed Julie’s steps:

Step 1: Prepare a base layer with mixed papers.

We used pages torn from an old novel and other scraps, and glued them randomly to the page.

Art Journalling
Prepare a base layer with mixed papers

Step 2: Gather images from magazines and catalogues to create a theme for your page.  Glue them onto your page.

art journalling - theme images
Add images to create a theme

Step 3: Add any extra scraps of paper etc in colours which complement the images you’ve chosen.

Step 4: Flick through your magazines and catalogues again, this time looking for words that suit the mood of your page. Maybe put together the words in new ways. Overlap words and images to enhance your composition.

Step 5: Cover some of the text with a thin layer of white acrylic paint, using a glue spreader.

This was my favourite step. Doing it made me feel like a “real” artist!

Art journalling - acrylic paint
Cover some text with white acryllic paint

Step 6: Flick paint at the page! Notes on Paper suggests ink, but as we didn’t have any, paint worked fine.  We used a pipette.  Best do this with a sheet of newspaper underneath, we found out!

Art journalling  flicking paint collage
Spatter the page with ink!

Step 7: Add stickers.

Julie mentions these type of stickers, which look very tempting. We used stickers we’ve collected over the years, mostly from kids’ comics.

art journalling - stickers.JPG
Add doodles and stickers

Step 8: Doodle on your page, especially around the words. I love how Julie describes this stage: “Let’s just call a spade a spade and say it’s scribbling with gel pens.”

Step 9: Write your thoughts on the page. (The journalling part.) We followed Julie’s genius suggestion and wrote on strips of correction tape. (This was the one resource I bought for the project.)

Step 10: Date your journal page. We copied Julie and used a date stamp.

art journalling - date stamp
Date your journal page

After she’d finished her page C leapt around the house joyfully exclaiming “this is the best day EVER! I LOVE art journalling!”  Since then she’s made several more journal pages and says she wants to do art journalling as a project.

A success, I think!

art journaling 2
My first art journal page

If you’re inspired to try art journalling,  head over to Notes on Paper for lots of examples, ideas and exquisite photos.

Update: to see how our art journaling style has evolved – and how boys can art journal too – see Art Journaling for Boys and Girls.


Children's Art journal pages collage
Art journal pages by C(9) – shared with her permission


For more art and craft ideas, visit Hobbies and Handicrafts at Highhill Education.  For more hands-on projects, visit Tactile Tuesday at Educating Laytons.


Highhill Homeschool

how to make an art journal page - navigating by joy

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10 thoughts on “How to Make an Art Journal Page

  1. Wow! I love this idea. Your journal pages look so impressive. I am a writer who secretly longs to be an artist. I look longingly at art books and which I had talent. My girls love to draw and have more talent than me. I think we could all try these ideas out and come away with something satisfying. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Sue!

      “I think we could all try these ideas and come away with something satisfying.” Absolutely! Normally when I do art alongside C(9) I’m dissatisfied with what I do at the time and it’s only later, looking back at what I created, that I begin to like it. (It’s as if I’m looking at someone else’s work, by that point, perhaps.) But art journalling is the exception – I actually loved my journal page at each stage of its creation.

      We happened to come across my old primary school reports in the loft yesterday. I had A’s for everything except art, for which I had C’s. Imagine grading an 8 year old’s art! What message did I take away from those grades?! I’m so thankful for this opportunity to discover my creative side alongside my daughter. Yet another of the delights of home education!

    1. Thank you so much, Phyllis! I love what you have written on your blog about accepting the awards. And I appreciate very much your kindness and generosity in thinking of me. Now I know what I can write about tomorrow!

  2. This is an awesome idea. It’s fun, creative and encourages writing. I’m going to feature it on Friday at Hobbies and Handicrafts. Thanks so much for linking up.

    1. Thank you so much, Julie! This was one of those projects we enjoyed so much I had to share it with anyone who might not have done it before! And yes, anything that encourages writing’s got to be good, hasn’t it!

    1. Thank you 🙂 “Liberating” – great word; it’s funny how when you’re working within guidelines you sometimes experience more freedom than when you start with a blank page!

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