Vintage Shopping: Finding Ephemera for your Art Journal

In this post, I am going to share with you some tips for finding vintage papers, ephemera and treasures that you can use in your journal pages.


Old book pages – about anything and in any language – is probably my most favourite thing to use in collages. They add colour, texture and interest. They can serve as background pieces, or you can cut out the words that speak to you and make them a focal point. Often, many of the books that you find in the ‘gardening’ section of a charity shop or antique store will have beautiful illustrations or photos. I love these because if you have little scissors and some patience, botanical cut outs can add a pretty touch to your pages. This also works as an alternative to pressed flowers.

Be open to different styles. If you look in the front cover you can tell when a book was published. I usually go for books between 1930’s and 1950’s, or older if I can find it, because the paper tends to have yummy ageing. If you can’t find books that old (and sometimes places cotton on, and charge more), you can always stain the pages of the book with tea or coffee to get a similar effect.


You’ll find that lots of places might have materials you wouldn’t have thought to use straight away – fabrics, lace, buttons etc. These are all amazing for adding extra dimension.


Another treasure is old postage stamps! These usually cost more if you’re buying a more ‘collectable’ set, but usually you can find cheaper bundles of more ‘common’ ones. Aside from using them in collages, I also attach them to the edges of my pages as a tab.

Finally, another popular element that you can usually find in abundance is postcards. I like to use black and white or sepia ones, but you can also pick up coloured ones if that’s what you like! Again, these can vary in price depending on the popularity and age, but some places might do them in bundles. Postcards are great for tip-ins, and I also like to alter them to personalise them.


Happy vintage shopping!  I hope you enjoyed seeing what I look for. I’d love to see what you find and what you create!

Meg x