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


Back to Basics

I often get asked what supplies I used for art journaling, but recently someone added: ‘what am I missing?

There are no set rules for art journaling, and so there is no one-size-fits-all list of things you must have for creating. Of course, you can experiment with different materials and techniques, but I find that sometimes what works for one person may not work for me. You need to find which supplies you have easy access to that you can develop your skills with and utilise in various ways.

Having said that, here are a few of the ‘basic’ supplies that I use, the core elements that I could use to create a page with. Once again, my basics need not be your basics!


My palette has a mixture of Windsor & Newton paints and a couple of Daniel Smith paints, as well as some colours that I have mixed myself. I use them to create washes for backgrounds, or for painting. I’ll usually use more than one colour and try and create a textured effect to give more depth and interest.


This doesn’t have to be just vintage book pages or patterned paper pads! Anything that you pick up when going through your day – tags, receipts, postcards – they can all be incorporated into spreads. I either use them in backgrounds or create tip-ins. Just be careful of adding too much if you don’t like bulk (but who doesn’t love a chunky journal?!).


Or pencils, whatever you like to do writing with! For dates, journaling, jotting in bits and pieces or doodling.


I like to have different lettering in my journals for effect – you can layer on top of backgrounds or colour in the letters with pencils or watercolours.


Okay, this one isn’t reaaaalllly a basic…but it is for me! Washi can be used for decoration and tabs as well as to add in tip-ins. And there are endless designs to choose from. I like to include samples in happy mail, as this is a great way to try different designs without buying a whole roll!

What supplies are your basics? Let me know in the comments!

Meg x