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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 get 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.
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.
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.
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!
4. Get Creative with Ephemera
Pull some ephemera from your stash and use it in your art journal to create a collage.
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.
6. Add Some Flips
Add an insert into your spread that you can “flip” open to reveal something underneath.
7. Grab a Glue Stick
Grab a glue stick and just start glueing things onto your page to create a collage.
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.
9. Hide Something in Your Spread
Use layers, pockets and flaps to hide things in your spread.
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.
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
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.
13. Try Hand Lettering
Have a go at some hand lettering. It’s a wonderful way to add words to your art journal.
14. Add Some Memorabilia
Add maps, ticket stubs, restaurant flyers and other memorabilia to turn your art journal spread into a memory keepsake.
15. Experiment with Mixed Media
Mix things up by combining stamps, paint, papers, ephemera and even bits from nature.
16. Mix Up Some Paints
17. Experiment with Patterns
Use some patterned scrapbook paper or make your own patterns with your doodles or illustrations.
18. Incorporate Some Photographs
Get those photos off your phone and into your art journal!
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.
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.
21. Use a Paper Punch
Use a paper punch to make holes in your paper, or add the punched out elements to your spread.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
27. Use Stencils
Use stencils with paint to add some texture to your spread.
28. Add Some Stickers
Grab a packet of stickers and add them to your journal spread.
29. Experiment with Stripes
Use washi tape, strips of paper, or paint to create stripes on your page.
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.
31. Add Some Texture
Add some texture to your art by layering paints with masking tape or papers.
32. Experiment with Typography
Add some text to your spread by cutting words out of a book or magazine.
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.
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.
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.
I hope you have a lot of fun, and learn lots of new skills by playing along with this challenge!
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:
Word of the Year