10 Reasons to Use a Composition Notebook Junk Journal 

composition notebook10 Reasons to Use a Composition Notebook Junk Journal 

There are 10 reasons I decided to use a composition notebook as a junk journal and it has been life changing as a place to create. 

As part of this process I want to share a flip through video of my first Composition Notebook junk journal. Please note I have blurred out part of my private journaling. I do put a lot of my life on the world wide web, but  I want to feel free to journal my private thoughts so I want to keep a few things off the interwebs!

Here are 10 Reasons I Use an Inexpensive Composition Notebook as a Junk Journal

  1. It’s inexpensive 
  2. A place to experiment with art supplies
  3. A place to write my random thoughts
  4. To practice my art and sketching
  5. A place to doodle 
  6. A place to add spare paint 
  7. A place to save tags, junk mail, stickers, and other ephemera (JUNK)
  8. It feels nostalgic 
  9. It’s portable and can go in my bag
  10. There is no inner judgment to create

composition notebook junk journal

Selecting the Right Composition Notebook

Using a composition notebook for a journal was an idea I came across from another YouTube channel as well as recalling how much I enjoyed using these black-and-white beauties as a teen. I was intrigued because of the size and quality of the notebook itself, so I picked up a two pack and decided to give it a whirl. 

One of the most important parts of selecting a composition notebook is to ensure it is made in Vietnam for the best quality paper. It is less porous and holds any wet media much better than some paper that has an absorbent quality. 

Composition notebooks come in wide-ruled, college-ruled, plain, and graph. Pick one up that you prefer. I liked the wider rule but graph might be a cool option too. 

There are many different tutorials on how to decorate a composition notebook journal. I chose to keep mine fairly raw on the cover and decorated it as I would have in junior high school instead of covering it with a decorative paper.

I did cover the inside cover and added a pocket to keep ephemera and materials to add later, but decorating the notebook is fully personal. Again, the freedom to be creative without being precious with my journal or supplies has been so good for me. 

I am including links here for materials I used in my notebook, including the notebook itself. 

Composition Notebooks – This 4-pack of wide ruled books

Here are some with fun, colorful decorated covers

Megan Quinlan Studio Etsy Stencils  https://amzn.to/3xsmC3x

Uniball Signo silver, gold, and white pens

Posca Paint pens

Stabilo All pencils

Jane Davenport Brights watercolors and Neutral watercolors 

Acrylic paints: Golden high flow fluorescents   Liquitex 

My favorite Gesso and collage matte medium

Uhu Glue sticks and I’ve recently started using Scotch brand

Aileens Tacky Glue and Fabri-tac

My favorite writing pen for journaling Lamy Fountain pen 

The best supplies are those found objects, whether it’s a tag from a piece of clothing, a fruit sticker, or a window envelope. I love using found objects in my journal and mixing it up with washi tape and other supplies from my stash.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Other Names for this Composition Notebook Junk Journal

Why a junk journal? Honestly, I have no reason because I have called this journal every word imaginable, from art journal, to glue book to smash book. Junk journal seems most fitting because there is truly a lot of “junk” included in this journal. 

There are so many different terms for journaling. Here are a few that will help for those new to journaling. See how I struggled with what to call this notebook journal. It feels like there is a piece of each of these descriptions that fit the bill for this journal. 

Junk Journal

A quick Google search defines a junk journal as a handmade book of recycled and found materials and ephemera. The pages can be used to write, draw, paint or record memories, thoughts, ideas, and inspiration. The finished junk journal can become anything you want. Although this book itself is not made of recycled materials, it definitely includes a ton of it. 


A gluebook is a glued collage journal. The basic steps for gluebooking are: Find a book. Any book that works for you. Any size that works for you. 

Smash Book

Smash books are what scrapbooks used to look like before they became a serious craft. In other words, “smash” books are the original “scrap” 

Art Journal

An art journal is the same as a written journal, except that it incorporates colors, images, patterns, and other materials. Some art journals have a lot of writing, while others are purely filled with images. It’s a form of creative self-care.

Bullet Journal

A bullet journal is a way to schedule by day, week, month, or year; it can also be used to keep track of task progress. It it is sometimes known as a BuJo and is a method of personal organization developed by designer Ryder Carroll. The system organizes scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming, and other organizational tasks into a single notebook. 

composition notebook pin

10 Reasons to Use a Composition Notebook as a Junk Journal

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