Friday, June 12, 2015

Make your own { art journal } out of an old newspaper

Would you like to know how to make one out of an old newspaper?

This is my finished self-made art journal, so very precious to me... raw, crude and yes, also vulnerable. 
But how does it all begin?

What you need is:

  • pages from an old newspaper,
  • one piece of thicker paper for cover page - or cardstock... But if you don't have any no problem, just use whatever is around. You might happen to have old greeting cards. But of course you can use newspaper also,
  • a foam brush (foam is better than bristles because the newspaper is a bit fragile in combination with the gesso),
  • gesso to prepare your newspaper pages and
  • needle & thread.

First of all cut all pieces of newspaper and to the same size as your cover page. Then crease your cover page (thicker paper or cardstock) in half and smooth down the crease with an awl. If you don't have one just use a ruler.

Now you have to gesso each and every piece of newspaper (this is to prime the paper for painting on)... and this will take time. Please remember to only gesso one side of the newspaper, then let dry 24 hours before gessoing the other side. !!! Attention !!! - This is very important, because if you don't wait and gesso the other side before the first has dried moisture will get trapped in the paper and all you will have is a great big mess.

Put all the pages together after all newspaper sheets have dried ... Pssssst, if you happen to have damaged the edges I have a secret I want to share. Just use washi tape. Looks beautiful and does a great job.

So now your almost ready to journal. Take your needle and thread and start from the inside - in the middle - and poke through the whole caboodle of paper... You don't have to knot the thread. We'll do that at the end. But please watch out for your fingers.

So now just go through from the outside either to the top of bottom, whichever you prefer, to the inside of your journal. 

Then back through to the opposite end...

And knot it in the middle.

Et voilà, there you go! Finished!

Now the painting and creating of your cover can begin...

Step I
I blend paints, write and scribble with markers and pencil.

Step II
I see what images emerge and emphasize these.
  More scribbling with markers and pencil.

Step III
Finally I use ephemera cut-outs & add highlights.

Hope you have lots of fun with your new art journal!



  1. This is really a good way of journalling I cant wait to start one, thanks for the ideas!

    1. Thanks for stopping on over Barbara! I'm so happy that you got inspired and would just love to see your journal someday.

  2. I just popped in from the Kraaft Shaak and I LOVE your style! Thank you for sharing your journal making process, I am excited to try working on newsprint, something That has never occurred to me before. And WELCOME to the Kraafters community, it is a wonderful place to hang out.

    1. Why thank you for your kind words Lynne! I'm so happy that you liked that post of mine. I always like to try out new stuff and I just love working with gessoed pages. I just love to experiment and use different brands. Please keep in mind that newspaper is not acid-free and will therefore not last a lifetime.
      So happy to be part of the Kraafters community!

  3. I love 'up-cycling'! Inspired to use some of our newspapers... thanks for sharing the process!

    1. So happy you stopped on over Peggy! Hope you have as much fun making a new journal as much as I do!

  4. Ein wundervolles und farbenreiches Kunstwerk, Michelle.

    Vielen Dank für's Mitmachen bei MOO MANIA & MORE

  5. Grossartig! Danke für's Zeigen bei Moo Mania & More !
    Liebe Grüße

  6. Sehr cool und eine wunderbare Anleitung, herzlichen Dank dafür, liebe Michelle ♥

  7. Wonderful journal, thanks for joining us at Moo Mania and More, and thanks also for the get well wishes, I need them just now, that's for sure. Hugs, Valerie


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