Mixed Media Journal Series

Some of my earliest memories, are of drawing, cutting and gluing paper. Whenever I got out of sorts, a few hours of working on my “creations” always fixed my head. Lately, I’ve been looking for a similar outlet. When my large house projects need way more work (or way more money) I still want to get the creative juices flowing without the worry of mistakes.

Usually that means I doodle, or paint random things. For instance I did these silly cartoon animals on dictionary pages the other day:

Mixed Media Journal Supplies

Mix media journals have been all over the internet for years. The idea is to take a journal/notebook/old book/random pages and using anything from photos, glue, paint, tape, staples, thread, pens, to metal and leaves to create entries. I love to watch Jennibellie’s journal videos, and there are hundreds of others on Youtube doing similar stuff. You might have also heard of SMASH books, which is a brand that sells blank journals and tons of embellishments to add to the pages. Their packaging/marketing always looks so cool but as you might be able to guess I’m more of a make it yourself kinda girl. I bought this old book at a thrift store a few months back for the purpose of an art journal:

Mixed Media Journal Supplies

I think it was $2 or so and I love the molded spine and marbled cover. I wanted to use an old book instead of a blank journal since the background texture of words looks pretty awesome. Best of all it’s in Danish so leaving lots of words still showing doesn’t distract since I can’t read them!

Mixed Media Journal Supplies

To start an art journal, no special supplies are needed. Regular sharpies and a tube of white paint would serve perfectly well. Some supplies that I continually go back to however are Gesso, and decoupage medium:

Mixed Media Journal Supplies

Gesso is a primer that consists of ground chalk, white pigment and binders. It gives the surface rougher texture and reinforces the paper to make it stronger. Decoupage medium can be used to glue elements on the page and seal the whole thing when it’s finished. It comes in a variety of sheens, I prefer matte.

Another supply I love to use is my Inktense pencils and blocks, which I’ve talk about before. Mixed Media Journal Supplies

Here is an example of them on a primed page of my journal, left is before water and right is after:

Mixed Media Journal Supplies Mixed Media Journal Supplies

Other great supplies that I use constantly are, paintbrushes, washi tape, old ephemera, acrylic paint and magazine images. The best thing about an art journal is just like the normal variety there is no right or wrong way to express yourself. Some pages you create are ugly, and some have glaring imperfections. Some can have actual journalling, or just random doodles. It’s a great stress reliever. I plan on posting my pages being created as a video series, so look for the first one in the next couple of days.

More to Read!


  1. Hi! Your cartoon animals are so cute! I’m just beginning to experiment with art journaling and I’m learning about all the materials you can use. I haven’t bought gesso yet, but I think it’s a good idea. Can I write on it with my sharpies and gel pens without ruining them? What about on acrylic paint? Any advice would be great, I don’t want to wreck my pens!

    • Thanks! You can definitely write on gesso or acrylic paint, so long as it’s dry, without hurting your sharpies or pens. Acrylic paint will be a smooth texture, gesso as some tooth to it. Good luck!

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