Reflect with Handmade Journals

Handmade Journals

Handmade journals provide a way to connect with yourself and get to know who you are, what you think, and how you feel. They are written expressions in response to life events and experiences. Journals may include descriptions, reflections and express emotions as a way to process and understand our surroundings. Anything can be included in a personal journal: thoughts, ideas, observations, musings, ponderings, and impressions, whatever is important to an individual. 

Personal journals are not daily accounts in the sense that you do not have to write in a journal everyday. It's not just recording or describing daily occurrences like in a diary but more about what's going on inside. They can actually be beneficial for insights into yourself, brain storming, problem solving, and stress reduction.

Journaling is a great way to capture memories and is often an important element in scrapbooking. Scrapbook journaling preserves the moment by describing and explaining the photographs on the page. It can be handwritten, stamped, stenciled or typed on a variety of surfaces and not only enhances the design of the page, but the sentimental value as well. Templates can be used to trace onto scrapbook paper, journaling scrapbook stickers can be applied or journaling can be done on tags. 

Just as you can make journals by hand, there are digital options as well. Digital templates can either be sketches or pre-made layered layouts that you can drop your photos and journaling right into. Pre-made digital journal pages along with scrapbook journaling blocks, spots, boxes and cards can be downloaded in colored sheets ready to print, assemble into a personal journal or cut out and added to your layout.  Or they may be individual pre-made files that you can add directly to your digital layouts. There is an endless supply of styles and themes available to convey your sentiments.  

To make handmade journals, you only need to start with an idea, thought or event you want to chronicle, something to write with and something to write on. Let your imagination run free because anything that can be written on is fair game to be incorporated into a handmade journal! A journal can be enhanced if desired with drawings, sketches, doodles, graphics, photos and more. 

Depending on the materials you use, you may need scissors, paper trimmer, ruler and some sort of binder for your journal pages. Various glues and adhesives can be used to adhere elements to your handmade journal or scrapbook pages and then pull out all the stops when it comes to finishing your pages with extra heart felt decorations.

To work with digital journaling products you will need a computer and image editing software such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, which allows you to open, edit or create, organize, save and print your journaling products. 

Most common file formats for journaling products are JPG, PDF, PNG and sometimes PSD or TIF files to preserve layers. If you are planning on simply printing and assembling into a journal or cutting out and adding to a layout, JPG or PDF will be sufficient.

If you are wanting to use journaling products digitally, JPG will work for background images and PNG and PSD or TIF files would work best because the backgrounds are transparent and this works great for layering and stacking images on top of each other.

Don't let journal writing scare you. Personal journals are a personal expression, you won't be graded! What is important is to capture the essence of the moment. That can be told in many ways. Be authentic and and let your voice come through. You can simply describe or explain, write a poem, make a list, tell a story, draw pictures or collage, record your findings or whatever other creative ways you find to craft your accounts. 

Whether you keep personal journals or record your memories in a scrapbook, it is not only rewarding, it can bring about a real self awareness that can transform and enrich your experiences. Impressions that can be inspiring and full of creative fun!

Handmade Journals

Creative Journal Ideas

Journaling is a great way to capture your best ideas, but getting started can sometimes be quite intimidating. Use these 175 creative journal ideas to jump-start your next journal.


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