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How to Create Botanical Collages for Junk Journaling: Techniques and Ideas

Hey there, fellow creative souls! Have you ever looked at a garden or a lush forest and felt a surge of inspiration? The vibrant colors, the delicate textures, and the overall beauty of nature can truly spark our artistic minds. Have you ever wished to preserve that tiny memory with you? Can you store the memory forever? That’s why I’ve fallen head over heels for botanical collages in my junk journaling journey. My love of art and nature has driven me to spread it to the world through books and blogs that have a little bit of everything for everyone! If you’re ready to infuse your journal with the magic of nature, buckle up as I take you through some techniques and ideas to create stunning botanical collages that will make your journal truly bloom!

Gathering Your Materials: A Thrilling Nature Hunt

Before we dive into the artistic process, let’s talk about collecting the treasures of nature. Grab a basket or a bag and venture into your backyard, a park, or a nearby meadow. Keep your eyes peeled for fallen leaves, petals, twigs, and anything else that catches your attention. Remember, imperfections are perfect in junk journaling, so don’t shy away from those slightly weathered leaves or faded flowers. Each piece holds a story and adds character to your creation.

Preservation: Capturing Nature’s Beauty

Now that you’ve got your nature treasures, it’s time to preserve their beauty. You can try several methods, depending on the look you’re going for and the longevity you desire.

  • Pressing: This classic method involves placing your leaves and flowers between the pages of a heavy book and letting time do its magic. This gives your botanicals a delicate, flattened look, perfect for a vintage vibe.

  • Drying: If you’re after more dimension, try air-drying your flowers. Hang them upside down in a dry, dark place and let them naturally dry. This method retains some of the original shape and color of the petals.

  • Microwave Pressing: For those a tad impatient (like me!), microwave pressing is a great option. Place your flowers between two sheets of paper towels, then microwave in 10-second bursts until they’re dry and flat.

Composition: Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Once your botanical treasures are ready, it’s time to let your creativity bloom! The key to creating captivating botanical collages is arranging the elements on your journal pages. I have listed below some of my favorite beginner-friendly composition ideas. The key to creating junk journaling masterpieces is to let your imagination run wild and try different styles!

  • Color Harmony: Pay attention to the colors in your botanicals. Are they warm and earthy, or are they more vibrant and playful? Choose a color scheme that resonates with you and brings out the best in your treasures.

  • Layering: Achieve depth by layering your botanical elements. Start with a base layer of leaves and build up with flowers, twigs, and ephemera like vintage stamps or scraps of old book pages.

  • Texture Play: Botanicals come with their own textures. Use leaves with intriguing veining or flowers with delicate petals to add a tactile dimension to your collages.

  • Framing: Create a focal point by framing a single flower or a cluster with slightly larger leaves. This draws the eye and adds visual interest to your page.

Adhesive Alchemy: Sticking It All Together

Now that you’ve designed your botanical masterpiece, it’s time to make it a permanent part of your journal.

  • Glue Sticks: Good ol’ glue sticks work wonders for securing flat botanicals. Just apply a thin layer to the back of your piece and press it down gently.

  • Double-Sided Tape: Double-sided tape is your friend for a more even surface. Cut small pieces and strategically place them on the back of your elements.

  • Gel Medium: If you aim for a mixed-media look, gel medium is your go-to. Apply a thin layer to your journal page and press your botanicals onto it. Once dry, you can even paint over it for added flair.

Adding Personal Touches:

As you create, consider adding personal touches that make your botanical collage uniquely yours. It could be a tiny handwritten note tucked beneath a leaf, a whimsical doodle that dances around the petals, or even a subtle sprinkle of glitter if you’re feeling extra fanciful. These personal inflections are what make each collage a snapshot of your creativity.

The Magic of Mixed Media:

Botanical collages aren’t just about plants – they’re a gateway to a world of mixed-media magic. Experiment with adding vintage paper snippets, washi tape borders, or even a splash of watercolor to your collages. The juxtaposition of different textures and mediums creates a visual feast that’ll keep you returning to your journal pages repeatedly.

Capturing Memories and Emotions:

As you delve into the realm of botanical collages, you’ll find that they have an uncanny ability to capture memories and emotions. That daisy you pressed during a serene morning walk. A fern reminds you of a tranquil forest retreat – each element holds a story. As you glue them down, you’re not just creating art but encapsulating moments in time.

Embrace Imperfections: The Heart of Junk Journaling

Remember, junk journaling is all about embracing imperfections and letting your creativity shine. If a petal tears or a leaf wrinkles, that’s another layer of your story. For me, art is all about the beauty of imperfections and asymmetry, a place where everything does not have to be absolutely perfect to be beautiful!

So, there you have it, my fellow journaling enthusiasts – a guide to creating enchanting botanical collages that breathe life and color into your junk journal. Remember, each pressed flower, and artful arrangement is a piece of your unique story, a testament to your creativity, and a reminder of the beauty surrounding us daily.

Once your botanical collage is complete, don’t keep it to yourself! Share your creations with the world – whether through social media, a blog post (wink), or by gifting your junk journal to a friend who’ll undoubtedly treasure the labor of love you’ve poured into its pages.

You can get all these ideas and more on my website and Amazon Author page, where I have just the right tools to get you started! Check out my work, and don’t forget to share yours with me!

Amazon Author page:


Happy junk journaling, my friends!

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