When you go to the store to buy a journal, there are beautifully decorated ones with crazy expensive prices. The plain ones are often the cheapest, but they are a solid color and quite drab. You can dress up the boring plain ones for far less money then buying the fancy ones.
Decorate your journal #1: Spooky
Attach double sided tape to the backside of a tarot card, press tightly to the journal cover. You can do front and back of the diary if you wish. A card representing life on front and death on back is quite interesting. Line the edges of the card with thick ribbon to create a picture frame look.
Another variation is using letters to create a Ouija board pattern. Look online for a Ouija board layout and copy the pattern. If you want to get really creative, cut out a board shape piece of paper to attach to the journal. You can then add the letters to the “board.”
I like to use weathered old photographs from decades past. You can find cheap pictures from antique stores, yard sales, and swap meets. I look for coy young ladies or spooky looking kids. They frame well with ribbon.
Decorate your journal #2: Travel
This is a good way to recycle old train, plane, and bus tickets. You can use a postcard for the focal point of the front or back of your journal. Attach it with glue stick to keep it secure if its thick card stock. Overlap the postcard with ticket stubs in jumbled patterns to give it an “on the go” look.
Photographs you have taken in your travels are a good source of decoration for your journal. They make for a great conversation piece.
You can also use this idea for movie, play, and concert stubs to give it a different theme. Much better then throwing them away after seeing the show!
Decorate your journal #3: Steampunk
The Steampunk movement has found its way into fashion. However, when something becomes hot, the price can double on everyday objects with that theme.
To get the Steampunk look for your plain journal, look for skeleton keys, gears, rivets, cogs, leather pieces. Some places I find them are hardware stores and antique stores. Those cheap plastic magnifying glasses you find in cereal boxes are great if you paint the plastic part a black, bronze, or copper color.
Most of the pieces for this theme are heavy. I use superglue to keep it all in place. Make sure you know for sure the design you want, because once its there it is stuck! This theme looks best organized into straight lines.
Decorate your journal #4: Autographs
Living in a big city there are celebrities everywhere! It is easy to collect a whole bunch of scraps with loopy sprawls. Use double stick tape to attach your favorites to your plain journal. You can accent the autographs with head shots found in local papers. A great way to take these treasured mementos where ever you go.
Decorate your journal #5: Ink Stamps
Stamps come in such a huge variety of images, are reusable, and work well with any other type of medium. Mix and match patterns across the front and the back of your journal. Circle, square, triangle patterns are all quite eye catching.
Whichever theme appeals to you the most, prepared to get addicted to decorating plain journals!