How to Make an Etcetera Journal

Hello, dears!

So, I’ve been working on my journal for months without knowing what it is, exactly. Hehe. It’s sort of a cross between a scrapbook, junk journal, art journal, and… something else. So I decided to call it an “etcetera journal” since that pretty much encompasses the anything-goes flavor of my process. πŸ˜€

Today I wanted to talk about etc. journaling as a unique way to preserve memories + a super fun way to be creative even if you don’t consider yourself “artistic.” I have a bunch of spreads to show you, from favorite quotes to simple collages to fun sketches and artwork. Ready for some journaling inspiration? Let’s go!

NOTE: This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase something using my link, the price won’t change for you, but I get a small commission for advertising and you get to support this blog for free!

featured image 198

This is my second etcetera journal (see the first one + more inspiration here), and both times I’ve used nice leather notebooks for them. Click here to buy this lovely journal. Pretty notebooks just make the whole experience more enjoyable, you know?


The first spread is about my friend Aria’s wedding. I gave the first journal I made to Aria as a wedding gift, so it was only natural that I start this journal where my last one ended. πŸ™‚ I used leftover packaging on this page, including taping in a favors bag and photo I took to add extra “pages” to the spread. This provided me with more space to journal and a big pocket for ephemera. The right page is filled with phrases/words/inside jokes from that weekend. ❀

PicMonkey Collage 3

I love how these two collaged pages look together – similar in colors and style, yet different and distinct. A lot of the paper ephemera I used here is from this vintage journaling kit. I stapled the bird illustration at either end to make a tuck spot for a piece of related ephemera (a song sheet from the day before Mom’s heart surgery).


Envelopes make fun and easy pockets. Here, I glued the envelope flap under the magazine picture to make an flip-out pocket for the journaling inside.


Ooh, I like this spread! I filled it with pink and yellow flowers and good quotes; plus a pocket with some journaling. If you don’t have enough room on the front of the pocket insert, just decorate the back and fill it up too! I cut the flower on the back out of sticker packaging. πŸ™‚ Etcetera journaling is a great way to reuse and recycle pretty packaging and other paper ephemera.

PicMonkey Collage 4

I taped down two sides of both the used gift tag and the yellow flowered paper to make tuck spots for holding journaling. I like to decorate behind the papers I tuck in so there’s hidden decorations you’ll only see if you interact with the page and pull out the writing. πŸ˜‰

PicMonkey Collage 2

This one was a lot of fun to make. I used several magazine scraps, a picture cut from an old book, a tag my pen pal sent me with my own journaling on the back (peeking out under the poem on the left page), and some watercolor flowers from a painting I made, + other bits and pieces.


Here’s a busy scrapbooky page from vacation. I chose blues and greens with woods + lake papers and elements since that’s where we went! I try to choose decorations that add to the story I’m writing about on the spread.


I like saving special sketches or loose pieces of art in my art journal. Like, here I put in some draft sketches for the planner I designed this year. On the right I have a little drawing of my favorite outfit I got after fall clothes shopping, along with a tag from one of the stores. Tags and such “junk” are certainly not necessary, but they add to the story you’re telling – a physical reminder of the memories you’re collecting in this book. πŸ™‚


Here’s a fun page to do if you don’t consider yourself “artistic.” I simply wrote a favorite quote in colored pencil and taped in a swatch page where I tested different colored pencils. That’s it!


This one was so fun! I used some of the MANY stamps I got from my great grandma’s house to fill one page; then made another envelope pocket to hold journaling.

PicMonkey Collage 1

Another way to make an interactive pocket is to add some “photo corners” like the magazine-cutouts I stapled on to hold this tiny painting. You can slide the painting out and look at it if you want, but otherwise it stays in its little frame.


I love doing collage pages like this to record memories of a certain day or event. For this page about another friend’s wedding, I taped in some dried flowers from a leftover bouquet, swatched her wedding colors with washi tape, folded up the bulletin from the ceremony, and then illustrated + annotated other memories from the day with simple sketches.


Another colorful quote page. I was cleaning up my favorite gouache set and decided not to just wipe the excess paint onto a paper towel and throw it away. It made a pretty background instead!


Sometimes I save up random bits to use for journaling on my desk until I have time to put them in a spread. This is basically an etcetera post on a page. XD On the left: little gouache paintings + a thank you card I received. On the right: a pocket with random facts, a used tea bag “pocket” with leftover paper from teaching an art class, a note from my sister, and three tickets I accidentally kept from a fall festival. πŸ˜›


Ahh, we’ll end with this well balanced spread ( πŸ˜‰ ) – a nice break from the rather cluttered ones I tend to make. I always feel like I need to stuff a lot into a spread, but really it can be simply a Post-It note poem and a used-up sticker sheet.


And there you go! Some of my favorite journal spreads to hopefully give you ideas of how to fill an etcetera journal or art journal or whatever you want to call it. πŸ™‚

Do you have a journal of some kind? Which of these spreads were your favorite?

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!



47 thoughts on “How to Make an Etcetera Journal

    1. Yayyy, I’m so glad! And yeah, I know. It does take time, but that’s why I like to save up bits and pieces and then make a spread of all of them one evening or something. It still makes me so happy that you love the journal I made for you, ahh. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love how little delights like the fox painting peep out from amidst the collage of patterns!
    You new outfit is very stylish! I cannot wait to see an actual photograph of it some time. πŸ˜‰


  2. Very pretty! I always intend to journal in various forms, but after a day or two I either run out of time or just simply forget. I’ve taken to writing “journal-worthy” reflections on loose notebook paper with a plain nib in my calligraphy pen and hiding the stash in between some books by my desk. Feels rather secretive and simple, but I find that suits me best! πŸ™‚


    1. Thank you! And hey, that sounds like it would work great! Honestly that’s what I do sometimes too – write reflections on random pieces of paper, and then I just put them in a notebook instead of between books. Maybe one day you’ll forget they were there and rediscover them, like a time capsule! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhh I love this! I want to start one at the beginning of the new year instead of a bullet journal! What is a good type of journal/notebook to use? Everything is so pretty! Have a lovely day Allison!


    1. Yayy, I’m so glad! That’s an excellent idea. *nods* Well, I linked the journal I use at the first photo in the post, but basically any blank journal will work. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much – you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. EEP, they’re all so beautiful!!! I so have been wanting to start an art journal, where I do handlettered quotes and such, with creative backgrounds! I absolutely loved seeing these πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


Your comments make my day! Please keep them clean and respectful so everyone can enjoy this blog. :) Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s