Tag Archives: art journalling

Art Journaling for Boys and Girls

Art journaling for boys and girls

Art journaling is a wonderfully free form of self-expression.

The very definition of “journal” –  a daily record of personal experiences – seems to bring with it the permission to create whatever you feel like creating at that moment in time – not the perfect piece of art designed to please others for all time.

Art journaling is also a fun way to build kids’ confidence in using mixed-media. It might even inspire writing!

When I art journal alongside my kids, my role is to offer exposure to new ideas, techniques and sources of inspiration.

We might look at books, artwork and websites together and chat about them as we work. But their work is their own. I respect my children’s process, and I would never say anything about their artwork that I wouldn’t say to a friend.   {All pages here are shared with their permission.}

How we started art journaling

We began art journaling by following the simple process described at Notes on Paper. Since then, C(9) has created many pages in a similar way.

art journaling for boys
Pages from C(9)’s art journal

J(8) had never art journaled before this week. When he said he’d like to try it, I was intrigued to observe his process. I just knew it would be different from mine and C(9)’s. {It certainly was – see Art Journaling for Boys below.}

art journaling for boys and girls


* Notebook – any size, any kind. Ours are A4 (letter size) and cost under £3. Or use loose paper and collect in a binder

* Paint, paintbrushes

* Coloured pens eg gel pens, sharpies

* Scissors & glue

* Scraps of coloured paper

* Old magazines or pamphlets

* Stickers

* Optional – gesso, corrector ribbon, date stamper, old books to tear pages from

Art journaling for girls (C(9)’s page)

art journaling for boys
rip a page out of an old book and stick it down with electrical tape. Decorate with gold paper and silver paint
art journaling for boys and girls
add pretty stickers
art journaling for boys and girls
and words cut out of magazines
Art journaling for boys and girls
finish with a few gel pen doodles and thoughts. Stamp on the date
Art journaling for boys and girls
C(9)’s finished art journal page

Art journaling for boys (J(8)’s page)

C(9) and I spent a happy hour or so chatting over our pages as we worked. J(8), meanwhile,  enjoyed himself thoroughly and was done within ten minutes.

Have you ever noticed how scissors and gel pens are completely different tools in a boy’s hands?

art journalling for boys and girls
first draw a nice picture of yourself and your sister (arrow through your sister’s neck optional)
Art journaling for boys and girls
then cover it over completely with random cuttings while maintaining a cheerful running commentary about “severing their heads” as you snip through magazine photos
Art journaling for boys and girls
embellish with some delicate gel pen strokes
art journaling for boys and girls
add a splash of gold paint. Speed up the drying process with the help of a gadget
art journaling for boys and girls
finally, grab a sharpie and add your thought for the day
art journaling for boys and girls
J(8)’s finished art journal page

Art journaling for mammas

Of course I had to have a go too. Here’s how I made my page:

art journaling for boys and girls
in the absence of a thick paintbrush, apply gesso with an old toothbrush
art journaling for boys and girls
add swirls of blue acrylic paint and scraps of coloured paper (in this case photocopied liquid watercolour art)
art journaling for boys and girls
decorate with words, stickers and doodles. Write a few thoughts on strips of corrector ribbon
art journaling for boys and girls
my finished art journal page

Have you ever tried art journaling with your children?

art journaling for boys and girls

I love how each of the  Homeschool Help ladies has interpreted this week’s “journaling” subject differently:

Julie at Highhill Homeschool – Journals: Inspiring Children to Write

Savannah at Hammock Tracks – Homeschool Mother’s Journal – My Other Brain

Nicole at One Magnificent Obsession – Road Trip Journalling!

Bernadette at Barefoot Hippie Girl – To Journal or Not to Journal

Chareen at Every Bed of Roses – Journals in Homeschool

art journaling for boys and girls

I’m appreciatively linking up here:

Hip Homeschool Hop – 9/10/13

Educational and Entertaining – Highhill Homeschool

Collage Friday – Homegrown Learners

Weekly Wrap-Up – Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

TGIF #94 – 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Friendship Friday – Living and Learning with Our New Normal

Share It Saturday – Teach Beside Me

Homeschool Mother’s Journal – So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?

Virtual Refridgerator – Angels of Heart

All About the Boy – Let’s Hear it for the Boy

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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