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How to Do Art Journaling on the Cheap

Abena is a writer and entrepreneur. In 2016, she took the plunge and moved from the UK to Ghana, West Africa.


Get Creative Without Breaking the Bank!

Art Journaling is a wonderful way to relax and and therapists often recommend it as a form of visual art therapy.

If you want to start art journaling but you are afraid of costs spiralling out of control, read on!

There are a number of ways you can create daily, and create beautiful art journals without breaking the bank. In this article, you will find out how you can start making art journals without spending ridiculous amounts of money. Read on.

Create DAILY

Create DAILY

Save Money on Notebooks

If you want to save money on art journaling, you really don't need to throw money at expensive notepads. They are nice to have, the paper is usually very good quality but if you don't have the money to buy them, there are other ways. Here are just a few ways you can save money and avoid buying expensive notepads or paper.

Use old books

Using old books is a very resourceful way of creating art journals without breaking the bank. Take a look at this video on how to create a modified book art journal. You can use books you already have in your house that you no longer use. Or, you can take a look in a thrift store or car boot sale for bargains on good quality books that can be transformed into beautiful art journals.

How to Create an Altered Book Art Journal

More Ways to Save Money Art Journaling

Use old packaging

Another way you can save money is by using old packaging to create your art journals. You can use old cereal boxes or other old, smooth cardboard to create your own art journals. Take a look at this informative video on how to do that below.

Cheap notepads

You can also just use cheap notepads, but if you are going to do this, make sure you stick the pages together and prime the pages with gesso beforehand. You can buy cheap notepads from the pound store in the UK, or the dollar store in the United States. Either way, you can save a ton of money by purchasing cheaper notepads. You can even find decent quality notepads in these discount stores, it all depends on what they have in stock.

The same goes for paper, you can save money by purchasing paper from discount stores too, just make sure you prime the pages beforehand, it might also be necessary to stick the pages together to strengthen them further.

Make an Art Journal out of Cereal Boxes

Buying materials

Materials like paints, crayons, markers, stencils and stamps can be very expensive. If you can't afford the high price of the name brand products. Why not go on Amazon, eBay or discount art stores online to find the cheapest deals. If you are not bothered about name brands, you can also save money by seeking out materials in thrift stores, car boot sales and discount stores.

How to Make Your Own Tools

Make your own tools

Making your own tools is a cool, fun way of saving money when art journaling. You can make your own stencils, stamps and you can even use old markers as painting tools. Check out the videos below, where you can find out how to make some of your own materials. Also, you can save money by making your own gesso, look at the instruction video below to learn how to make your own gesso and save money over time.

Cool Video on How to Make Stencils with Hot Glue

Ideas for creating patterns and effects using recycled materials

Don't throw these things away:

Old bottle tops

Washing up liquid bottles (Can be used to create paint effects)

Bubble wrap

Packaging cardboard

Plastic wrap

Old dry markers


Scrap paper

Old spray bottles (for making your own spray paints, check video below for how to do that)

Old photographs

Old magazines and newspapers

Art Journaling Pages


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