How to Prep Your Journal

Tips for making a new journal less intimidating and more inviting! 


Welcome, my name is Maria Saxton.

I am an artist and a passionate journaler. I've been keeping a journal since I was 19!

And today, I'm very excited because I got a new journal and I'm going to show you how I like to prep my new journals so that they feel welcoming and inviting. Sometimes when I get a new journal I'm a bit overwhelmed by how new and blank it is and I like to "make it mine" before I start writing in it. 

Let's do it together.

The first thing I like to do is put in an envelope.

I always find myself collecting little papers or object fall out of my journal. Attaching an envelope and the end of the journal gives me a place to keep them. 

I have a collection of stamps and I can go crazy with the stamps.

Stamps give texture and interest to my page, especially after I've written on them.

I'm going to keep it simple.

Just a regular stamp pad will do or if you wanna get fancy you can use multi surface chalk ink pad.

I have a stencil that I haven't used and I am curious about this.

Using a stencil with watercolors is another great way to frame your writing and add visual interest to the page. Without writing it may not look impressive, but you can see once you start adding more elements (coming up next) the page starts to feed my inspiration.

Then, we have photos.

Most photos are digital but I've given this beautiful little printer.

And I can just download my photos into a printer and print.

I love adding photos as a way of adding dimension to my writing. Often times I do this as I'm writing about the actual topic of my writing.

It also makes the journal more fun to look back on, years after I've written it.


And also Peanuts, they always make me happy.

Here you can add any cartoons, or newspaper clippings that catch your eye and make you happy.


I have a weakness for mail stamps.

Nobody writes letter anymore but I wish they still did. It is really fun to get a nice looking stamps from different countries.

They are like little works of art. And the best part is that they are small and not bulky.

They make great decoration for your new journal.


So now I am now thinking, do I want to put in a tabs?

Tabs are a great way of finding your way back to important pages in your journals. You can see exactly how I make them in the video above :)


Now, my journal is filled with things that I love and I'm excited to start writing in it!

I hope this gives you some ideas of how you can warm up your new journal. 

Let us know if you use any of these ideas, and tag us on Instagram @pettingell_book_bindery to share your inspiration!


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