How to Start a Scrapbook Journal Quickly and Easily

Last Updated: December 15, 2021

Scrapbook journaling has taken two crafty concepts and combined them into one fun and creative activity. If you have been thinking about picking up this hobby but have no idea where and how to start, this is a must-read for you. Let’s fill you in with the best scrapbook journal supplies, ideas, and techniques!

Scrapbook journal supplies

Modern Hello Stamp Set

What Is a Scrapbook Journal?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this activity, let’s first find out what a scrapbook journal is. Essentially, this is a combination of a scrapbook and a journal. Together, the result is a notebook (or book) with photos and handwritten journaling, decorated with stickers, ephemera, and other embellishments, using various crafting techniques such as stamping, die-cutting, watercoloring, embossing, and alcohol marker coloring.

Scrapbook page with cover die and patterned paper

Spring Meadow Cover Die

What Is the Difference Between Scrapbook and Journal?

By definition, a journal is a notebook used for jotting down someone’s daily activities, private thoughts, important events, memories, or simple musings. Basically, a journal allows people to let out their personal feelings and emotions through writing. Most people know it as a “diary.” On the other hand, a scrapbook is a blank book with pages used for sticking photos, memorabilia, ephemera, stickers. 

The notable difference between scrapbooking and journaling is the fact that the former gives you more creative freedom to create a layout, follow a theme and a color palette, and add designs and decorations. Journaling is all about channeling your creative spirit through writing.

3D embossing on a scrapbook journal

Spring Blossoms 3D Embossing Folder

Keeping a scrapbook journal is a great way to document precious memories and mementos while adding your personality and artistry to it. We might be living in a digital world, but let’s face it, some things are better off of the Internet. This is what makes this creative hobby a must-try! You can always have a haven offline for your most private thoughts and photos.  

What Should You Write In a Scrapbook?

There’s no limit to what you can write in a scrapbook. It all depends on the theme, type of scrapbook, or the story behind the photo that you’re using. Modern scrapbooking involves a bit of contemporary journaling. This can be in storytelling, reflective, or matter-of-fact manner. As long as your photo, journaling, embellishments, and other elements work together cohesively, then you’re good to go!

Scrapbook journal ideas

Read: Which Inks to Use When Decorating Journal Book Pages

Here are a few ideas on what you can write on your scrapbook journal!

1. Daily prompts - This is always a good idea if you really don’t know what to write about. It could be as simple as “How were your meals today?” or something deeper such as “Would you change any of the decisions you made today?” You can create these prompts or search the Internet for daily journaling prompts. A scrapbook journal kit might include these daily prompts so you won’t have to rack your brains for a new one every day.

2. Quotes - Who doesn’t have a favorite quote? Whether it’s your mantra, book quote, or a movie quote that you simply cannot forget, it’s always great to use a quote or two in your scrapbook!

3. Description of photos - Tell a story through your chosen photo (or photos!). You can simply write what the photo is about and try to answer the 4Ws (what, where, when, who), or get creative and describe the photo (location, weather, focal point, etc.).

Mixed media technique on a scrapbook page

Watercolor Brush Markers - Spring Garden Set

4. Special memories - A birthday, a wedding, graduation, a new job, or your baby’s first step - this could be anything under the sun. A picture does say a thousand words, but you can still add feelings and evoke emotions through a couple of additional sentences.

5. Poems - Are you into poems? This is another great idea if you want to go the extra mile and add some uniqueness to your scrapbook journal page. You can also jot down your favorite poems and add a bit of explanation as to why you like them.

6. Goals - Whether it’s long-term or short-term, if you jot down your goals on a piece of paper, you’re one step closer to achieving them! Having a creatively crafted reminder can motivate you to instantly act on them!

7. Motivational quotes - If you like reading daily motivational quotes, try writing one or two on your scrapbook pages. Make sure the quote makes sense to your page’s overall theme or concept. 

Wax seal on a scrapbook journal

Summer Nights Candles & Beads & Melting Spoon Release Bundle

How Do You Start a Scrapbook Journal?

You don’t need to be super crafty or artistic to start this activity. With a few scrapbook journal ideas and some basic supplies, you can get started right away! Here are some noteworthy tips!

  1. Gather your scrapbook journal supplies
  2. Think about a theme or a concept.
  3. Jot down some topics that you want to write about. It’s ideal if you have a small notebook where you can dump your ideas.
  4. Find photos that you want to scrapbook about. 
  5. Browse Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration!
  6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of supplies and tools.

Scrapbook embellishments and patterned paper

Celebrate Ephemera Set

Whether you’re a beginner who’s still testing the waters, or a seasoned crafter who needs some fresh inspiration, we’ve got the 5 best scrapbook journal ideas for you!

1. Use scrapbook embellishments. One of the best ways to decorate your page is by using ready-made embellishments! You can get these in individual sets or buy a scrapbook journal kit. The great thing about embellishments is they come in a wide range of themes, colors, designs, and patterns! So you will definitely find one that will suit your needs.

DIY scrapbook journal cover

Reflection Collection Mini Stamp

2. Try mixed media techniques. One of the most popular scrapbook journal ideas involves some kind of mixed media supply or technique. Mixed media gives you more creative freedom to use layers, colors, textures, and various mediums. The key here is to build your layers and add more texture. Here are three simple and easy ideas that you can try.

  • Textured embossed images
  • Stenciled details
  • Color wash background 

For more details and instructions on the ideas above, watch the video below:

Mixed media can be daunting, especially for beginners. Learn to experiment with various mediums and techniques and never stop practicing!

Clean and simple scrapbook journal

Red Sunset Slim Washi Tape Set

3. Keep it clean and simple. If you don’t have much embellishments and you’re still learning a few techniques here and there, go for a clean and simple look. Going simple doesn’t mean you can’t decorate your page! You just have to make sure that you choose scrapbook journal supplies that can provide you with beautiful and elegant results. For starters, floral stickers and stamps always give off that classy vibe without going overboard. Washi tapes are also amazing when it comes to creating clean and simple vibes.

4. Make your own cover. While you’re in your “DIY mode,” why not create a personalized scrapbook journal cover?! The fun thing about this is you can use anything to create and decorate your own cover. Leather, colored cardstock, felt, vellum, etc., whatever floats your boat! In this blog post, Kymona fashioned some clean and elegant cover using leather.

DIY leather scrapbook journal cover

Enjoy Your Journey Stamp Set

5. Try bullet journaling! Wikipedia defines bullet journal as “a method of personal organization that involves a system which organizes scheduling, reminders, to-do lists, brainstorming, and other organizational tasks into a single notebook.” This type of journaling was developed by designer Ryder Carroll. To put it simply, it’s a journal but with bullet points or numbered lists. Think of it as a more personal and reflective planner journal. Bullet journals, or BuJo for short, have become super trendy in recent years, thanks to Instagram and Pinterest. BuJo enthusiasts have discovered unique and clever ways to incorporate a plethora of scrapbook journal supplies and other art mediums in their pages. The beautiful, fun, and vibrant layouts and templates available online have also encouraged more people to start their BuJo journey.   

Forget about posting all your photos and random thoughts on social media! Your most precious memories and personal thoughts should be documented in a more personalize and creative way. Take note of the tips and ideas we’ve shared here and start your scrapbook journal journey today! 


  • Shireen

    This was extremely interesting..Ive started scrapbooking with my grandchildren and they enjoyed it..I was looking for ways to journal and found your information very interesting..will try

  • Deb

    Thanks so very much for this! I’ve heard of scrapbooking but had never heard about scrapbook journaling until a friend sent me a post about it last night ( if you’re interested). I REALLY love the idea of combining photos with journaling and have been scouring the internet for inspo today. This page has so many gorgeous ideas that I want to try out. Thank you!

  • Kim Shallbetter

    I am so excited to start!

  • Sheri Lewis

    Thanks for an encouraging way to get started.

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