Mixed Media Madness – Joining the World of Circle Journals

So in my constant search for new and exciting things (read – shorter attention span than most goldfish!) I joined a circle journal group and have been dabbling in mixed media.

Circle journal front cover

The basic premise of a circle journal (or at least the one I am part of) is that I choose a theme, and then over the course of 12 months, 11 other creative people will illustrate a double page spread in my journal, and I do the same for them.

The commitment level is relatively low, as you decorate 1 spread per month. It’s lovely to be part of a community, so I highly recommend you consider joining one, but just make sure it’s with a group you know and trust, as you don’t want all your (and others) hard work being ‘lost’ at the 11th month! A good place to start is arty groups on Facebook that you already belong to. My circle journal is run by a local scrapbooking store who have a community page on Facebook. Of course, there are still no guarantees that everyone will play by the rules, but there is at least a little more accountability than signing up to a random list (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself – only time will tell!)

In terms of setting up your journal and decorating it, there are tonnes of advice pages and even more YouTube videos which you should totally check out if you are keen to explore the world of homemade art/circle journals. There are so many different ways to construct your pages and to bind them, that the choices are almost endless. And that’s the difficulty I had when searching. To get started, I was just after a simple, seriously beginner level(!)  tutorial on how to put together a paper bag journal using non-American paper bags.

In the end, I pieced it together from a couple of different sources but it still took some fiddling, so I’ve put together a starter tutorial (with links to sources I found useful) for constructing a paper bag tutorial. And as my circle journal journey continues, I’ll add more beginner level tutorials here. Hopefully, the ideas and advice collected here will make enough sense to help someone else get started!

  1. Constructing your circle journal from paper bags
  2. Creating a title page
  3. Creating a sign in page
  4. Setting the theme

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