Art Journaling: Grab Your Stapler for an Easy Daily Pages Journal!

17 May, 2013

in Art & Art Journaling


I want to show you some pages from my smaller daily art journal books today.  I’ve been stapling 10-12 pages together to make journals for an easy, almost-daily practice.  Because they’re “found” papers, ie. papers I have around my house, they often have color or pattern on them already, so there’s no “blank page” syndrome with these.  And there’s no preciousness then, no “I don’t want to mess up this pretty notebook” feeling.  Their smaller size also allows for quicker layouts and simpler ideas than the larger dry media sketchbooks I often use.

This one starts with a little map flap and label that still waiting for an end date and some other info.

This is an antique textile pattern I found when I was searching for some free clipart for the art journaling zine I made for our workshops. It’s the second book I’ve put a pattern near the beginning in which to color. Sometimes it’s great just to fill in color while I figure out what I want to write or make, other days, it’s all I do.

I keep thinking I want to add, you know, more detail to this page, but I don’t know what.  Yet.

My current favorite quote,

“Many of our fears are tissue paper thin and a single courageous step could carry us clear through them.” -Brendan Francis  

Covered by tissue paper, naturally.  Which I taped in later.  I do that a lot – my stapler can only do so many pages, so if I want something that’s not already in there, I tape it in.  Penciled on the bottom it says, “Bakery paper from my donut at Sandy’s (local Grand Rapids donut shop) with Holly for our Creative Notebook meeting.”

Tissue paper again, this time a rubbing from a new book I got recently.  I’d like to do a lot more rubbings this summer, especially with the boys out on our walks.

I hardly have any washi tape because I rarely see a pattern I want to use over and over, but these Scotch decorative masking tapes that I found in my local grocery store are current favorites!

More triangle and mountain love.  It was a hard day. This is the phrase that came into my head.  I really love the design I came up with, if I do say so myself.

Just a peek!  More soon!

To Make Your Own Easy Art Journal:

1.  Gather 10 papers, 8.5×11 -ish papers. A4 in Britian, right?  I used paper from making bubble stationary like in the image above, old maps, graph paper, envelopes, tissue paper, old school paper, and tissue paper.

2.  Fold all the papers in half together to create a middle seam.  Staple with a long-arm stapler. Or, it you’re me and don’t have one, gently fold one half in half (which you can also sorta see in the image above) and quickly staple with your little office stapler. ;)  Yeah, I need to get a bigger one.  But hey, use what you have now, don’t get sidetracked!

3.  Fold into a book again, trim any paper edges if you wish.  Now you can either use it right away (yes!) or stick it under a few heavy books until tomorrow to really flatten it out and give you a great crease.

Easy, right?  Using old papers around the house is a great way to explore – zero pressure because you’re using what’s on hand anyway!

I’ve been loving all the art journaling and writing I’m doing lately, but I’m itching to get back to some other crafts.  I’m trying to make myself finish a lot of house decluttering first for spring cleaning and then put my crafty skills to use with some redecorating.  I need you all to text me every couple hours and say, “Go declutter some more stuff!” so I can get there I think! Ha!

Hoping your spring or fall are going well!





{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

sandieNo Gravatar

I love up cycling and making my own books and journals. I also love how you just go for it, not using excuses like not having a long armed stapler to stop you. Something I need to embrace!
I also need to de-clutter badly and find every excuse to delay. So – you go de-clutter some more and then come back and tell me to do the same!


ShantaNo Gravatar


I found your blog via Twitter the other day, and I love your idea of making a stapled art journal! :). I’ve made found paper art journals before, but have bound them with book (binder-type) rings or by sewing – have never thought to just use a stapler! I’m going to bind my next art journal this way – so quick and easy (I have so many papers that I can use – I save so much…), thanks for the great tip (and the awesome photos – I really like the “crazy” quote that you used).


ElizabethNo Gravatar

Shanta, Oh good! Sometimes just grabbing what you have on hand and using it is easiest. And who knows where it will lead? I have another small book like this that I stitched, but couldn’t find my thread at the time. And yes, for us paper collectors, finding ways to make as many books as many ways as possible is the way to go! Thanks for taking the time to comment!


ShantaNo Gravatar


I made my first stapled art journal tonight and it was soooo much fun and so quick (which I love). I like the surprise of how the journal will turn out – I used several magazine spreads, turned sideways, and then folded in half. It turned out looking really cool and collaged in a way as a mix of cool papers and images all thrown together.

Thanks again!


ElizabethNo Gravatar

Oh good! I’m glad it turned out easily for you! Thanks so much for coming back and letting me know how it went. Yours sounds really great, too!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: