A 35 Day Art Journal Challenge to Inspire You to Try Something New

Published Categorised as Wellness
Join our free art journaling challenge and learn new skills and techniques - there's video tutorials and a free printable to download and print out!
Join our free art journal challenge and learn new skills and techniques – includes video tutorials and a free printable journal prompts checklist!


Join our free art journaling challenge and learn new skills and techniques - there's video tutorials and a free printable to download and print out!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. As an Etsy and Amazon Associate I earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

It’s been about a month now since I fell down the Junk Journal hole on Instagram and my creative world opened up to the wonders of junk journals, art journals, smash books and glue books.

There are so many wonderful techniques to try that I found myself wanting to do all.of.the.things, and then instead doing none of the things!

So I decided to make myself an art journal challenge. And I’m sharing it here in case you want to have a go too!

Art Journal Challenge

I scrolled through my Instagram feed and while ooh-ing and aah-ing over all of the gorgeous projects people have completed I wrote down the techniques that they had used in their creations.

Mixed media, pockets, painting, collage, layers, ripping paper, making paper…

I came up with a list of 35 different ideas which I have turned into challenge prompts.

Scroll down the page to see each of the prompts, with a video tutorial to show you what to do, and some completed projects from instagram to inspire you.

You could complete one challenge prompt each day so that it’ll take you a little over a month to complete this free 35 day art journal challenge, or you could do one a week and stretch it out over nine-ish months, or anything in between… just go at your own pace and have fun!

The daily challenge prompts will tell you what techniques or supplies to use in your art journal spread, but just in case you need some inspiration of WHAT to journal about I’ve also pulled together of winter themed art journal prompts to get you started. You can find them at the end of this post.

I’ve also made a handy PDF printable containing all the challenge prompts which you can download by popping your email address into the box below.

The challenge prompts are also available in a paperback book via Amazon with 35 blank pages for you to use as your art journal during the challenge.


Embrace the "expression" element of self care this year by joining our free art journal challenge! Check out the video tutorials and download the free printable!

Challenge Rules

Before we jump into the challenge prompts I thought I’d set out a few rules for us all to follow:

1. This is a fun challenge that shouldn’t require us to spend lots of money. If you come across a prompt that calls for resources (like paint or washi tape or paper punches etc) that you don’t already have available just skip the prompt, you don’t have to go out and buy them. Unless you want to of course.
2. This challenge is about learning new skills and trying new techniques, so we shouldn’t expect to have perfect results. Besides this is art and there is no perfection in art. It is the process that matters not the end result.
3. Although the prompts are numbered we don’t need to complete them in a strict order. Feel free to jump about depending on whether you want to do something “clean” like glueing a collage or you have time to get all of your paints out.

1. Make a Collage

Layer up your washi, ephemera, papers and memorabilia to make a collage.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VptR9ng3o/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Rb8WDBiXk/

2. Relive Your Childhood with Crayons

Crayons aren’t just for kids, grab a set and use them in your art journal. You can layer them with paint for a mixed media effect or just embrace the texture of the wax.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Tu5RJj0sF/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6R7i6aFC4f/

3. Get Mindful with Doodles

Fill a page with doodles. You can just use a pen on a blank page, or you can create a background first to doodle on top of. Try both!


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6TziNyChHK/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6TsXlvFVta/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6QJxz0KziO/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6WYWDKCDn3/

4. Get Creative with Ephemera

Pull some ephemera from your stash and use it in your art journal to create a collage.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6SWjQ4p30z/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B0gMwAqg1rR/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6GlqwppYnB/

5. Try Something Different with Fabric

Sew a fabric cover for your art journal, create some fabric pockets or add strips of fabric to your collage.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6US2L2oH7W/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6R9ncXpR3J/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B285eGxJyIS/

6. Add Some Flips

Add an insert into your spread that you can “flip” open to reveal something underneath.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6P2jHOp_PJ/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6PlfOVpGc_/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B4M_CGkJCet/

7. Grab a Glue Stick

Grab a glue stick and just start glueing things onto your page to create a collage.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6OyNkgpqGv/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Q-ToNh0jR/

8. Try a Grid Layout

Cut out some square pictures from scrapbook papers, greetings cards, photographs or magazines and use them to make a grid picture.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6V1nkopbMy/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6TVayPAmK0/

9. Hide Something in Your Spread

Use layers, pockets and flaps to hide things in your spread.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6RdbzKpQed/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B3uJfMspCrC/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B1yWxnpnaaT/

10. Add Some Journaling

No one says that your art journal can’t contain actual text based journaling. Find somewhere on your spread that you can add some words to tell the story.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6SUaacJ1yt/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VwUCqjq71/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6TSe-8AHxe/

11. Try a Junk Journal Style Layout

Create a spread using things you might formerly thought of as “junk”, scraps of paper, items from the recycling box, old books etc


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6WDqYQJ9UX/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B3keJvrJjww/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6RF7Q_H_6n/

12. Add Some Layers

Layer your photos and embellishments to add a three dimensional effect to your art. You can also add layers with gesso, paint, crayons and inks.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6V-EoqpWsO/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6SeVipJo01/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VzKyognRz/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Vh7COAnFr/

13. Try Hand Lettering

Have a go at some hand lettering. It’s a wonderful way to add words to your art journal.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VrlM7pYuu/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6UHtPEDRXL/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6SulHZqVI-/

14. Add Some Memorabilia

Add maps, ticket stubs, restaurant flyers and other memorabilia to turn your art journal spread into a memory keepsake.


https://www.instagram.com/p/BLlIA_ojEsB/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BXSgmXUgcqq/

15. Experiment with Mixed Media

Mix things up by combining stamps, paint, papers, ephemera and even bits from nature.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VwL-rJeJc/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6RLVskIN3b/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6RHOccoYDX/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6TxyFvA-we/

16. Mix Up Some Paints

Grab a set of watercolor or acrylic paints, a paintbrush and some easy to follow youtube tutorials and see what you can paint in your journal today.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VsnI0pUM5/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Vn_ken-Lo/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6V53-0Ioou/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6T1-O8jCRB/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6SKfHwAPPZ/

17. Experiment with Patterns

Use some patterned scrapbook paper or make your own patterns with your doodles or illustrations.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6V7H3wA9P7/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VxjZ8A3C2/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Vxjd-iHsV/

18. Incorporate Some Photographs

Get those photos off your phone and into your art journal!


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6U2B5Domnw/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6WALUpImOg/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6V9G2nAjjh/

19. Add Some Pockets

Make some pockets using folded up paper and glue and stick them to your page so you can add some hidden items to your spread.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Ti2kelg_Y/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Tyn3-JpTF/

20. Write Some Poetry

Cut some words from an old book or magazine, or hide words on a page of text to create some found poetry.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6To_n9Ir5_/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BziuczulknC/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6W2HIFgbCA/

21. Use a Paper Punch

Use a paper punch to make holes in your paper, or add the punched out elements to your spread.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6FHuLkJeCX/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B5FacrcAoiQ/

22. Recycle Something

Tear up a page from your art journal and create a new collage. Or raid the recycling box and make a collage using old magazines or junk mail.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6UmuYfpeWY/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6N73BAJ7jG/

23. Try Ripping it Up

Be brave and rip or tear your papers instead of cutting them, you’ll add some wonderful textures to your artwork.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6TgkegK5A_/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6QwQd7J_08/

24.Make Your Own Paper

Make your own paper using paper marbling or handmade paper techniques. You can use them as a background or tear them up to make a collage.



https://www.instagram.com/p/B6UApmtJk9x/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B5yydCGnYYq/

25. Grab an Ink Pad

If you’re nervous about drawing use some stamps instead. You can stamp straight onto your paper, or stamp onto another piece and then fussy cut them out and glue them on.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6S1snTA4pV/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6U-8AhA7-e/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Ta1yvAf7P/

26. Use Something from Your Stash

If you have a stash of die cuts, tags and doilies you can put them all together to create a spread in your art journal.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VktdSJ7Xf/

27. Use Stencils

Use stencils with paint to add some texture to your spread.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Qtyr_jUp_/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BjVuCusn6FW/

28. Add Some Stickers

Grab a packet of stickers and add them to your journal spread.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B5hgiaipFYL/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B5hcPSsJurP/

29. Experiment with Stripes

Use washi tape, strips of paper, or paint to create stripes on your page.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6UdSDOp6ry/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B5lhX8wHHQ7/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B4h9UhNHnyz/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6V8fjPlcKC/

30. Create Something Symmetrical

Draw, paint or glue something to the left hand side of your paper, and then create a mirror image on the right for artwork that’s pleasing to the eye.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Tlbqon1–/

31. Add Some Texture

Add some texture to your art by layering paints with masking tape or papers.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VvyTMnvgi/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6S3IiqHkM0/

32. Experiment with Typography

Add some text to your spread by cutting words out of a book or magazine.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6RM7oapwp_/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6TABozAmP9/

33. Add Some Vellum

Add some vellum to your spread. You can use it as a pocket or to add some opacity to your art.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6Tr-qrJCg4/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6TdPcJJPXo/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6SbtzsJuYA/

34. Go Vintage

Keep your eyes peeled at yard sales and flea markets for vintage sewing patterns, magazines, and ephemera that you can use in your art journal.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6VLKeVIIvt/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6UpyDbpP-w/

35. Play with Washi Tape

Grab a roll of washi or two and incorporate some into your spread. You can use it to stick something down, or just attach strips of pretty tape.


https://www.instagram.com/p/B6MCw4rp7UA/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6SOy-EHYSG/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B6U7ldyh3z1/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B5hs2xTJHXK/

I hope you have a lot of fun, and learn lots of new skills by playing along with this challenge!

You can subscribe to the YouTube playlist here.

You can also click this link to save the challenge to your Pinterest art journal board so you can come back to it later.

Winter One Word Art Journal Prompts

Just in case you need some inspiration for WHAT to journal about here are some winter themed one word art journal prompts to inspire you:

Antlers
Arrows
Baking
Beautiful
Bells
Bird
Books
Boots
Brave
Bright
Candies
Candy Canes
Celebrate
Chocolate
Christmas Tree
City
Colourful
Comfort
Cupcake
Dance
Distance
Dreamcatcher
Dreams
Enchanted
Evergreen
Explore
Fairies
Family
Fireplace
Flowers
Forest
Frost
Fuzzy
Garland
Gifts
Green
Greetings
Hearts
Holly
Hygge
Ice
Journey
Joy
Kitten
Letters
Library
Lights
Map
Merry
Mistletoe
Mosaic
Mountains
Music
Nature
Nutcracker
Ornaments
Outfit
Peace
Penguins
Pinecones
Poinsettias
Red
Reindeer
Resolution
Shining
Sign
Sledge
Sleigh
Snow
Snow Globe
Snowflakes
Snuggled Up
Sparkle
Stained Glass
Stars
Stockings
Sugarplum
Sweet
Time
Together
Tradition
Treats
Vision Board
Walk
Weekend
White
Wish
Wishes
Wonderland
Word of the Year
Wrapped Up
Fairytale
Love
Woollen

Don’t forget to click here and save this challenge to one of your Pinterest boards so you can come back to it later!

This year bring some creativity to your day by taking part in our free art journal challenge that's perfect for beginners and includes video tutorials