#MyJournalStory: Creating a scrapbook style spread

#MyJournalStory: Creating a scrapbook style spread

My name is Kelsey and I am a true crime junkie with a love for stationery. I have been bullet journaling for a little over four years and throughout that time, my style has morphed its way into scrapbook style journaling. I started bullet journaling as a way to cope with trauma and the experiences I endured in life but was not processing properly.  It has truly saved my life.

I have a love for textures and layers. I create my spreads as a means of memory keeping, and it has become quite therapeutic for me! Between going back to university to pursue my second degree, working full time as an accountant, and being a mother of two; journaling has become my “me” time and the thing I look forward to most. I recently started a YouTube channel where I tell true crime stories as I set up my journal for the upcoming month. Feel free to check my YouTube channel.

How do I create a scrapbook style spread?

I start by choosing my washi tapes of course! My creative process always starts by constructing a color palette. This is my favorite part of the process because it allows me to play around with my supplies and create a combination of colors and patterns that appeal to how I am feeling in the moment.

The spread I am creating here is what I call a therapy style spread. These spreads usually consist of feelings and emotions I want to relay to my therapist in one of our next sessions. For me, these spreads really help me process through my PTSD, and ground me in my daily life. Journaling can be so healing for those who struggle with mental illnesses. I can attest to that.

After choosing my washi, I move onto choosing the stickers, sticky notes, markers, and pens I plan to use for this spread. Overall, this is about a 5 minute process. But these 5 minutes are incredibly important for me. I use this time to really think about what I want to say in my journal and how I want to say it. Having this moment to think about what I am going to write about really kicks that writers block out of the picture.

Have you ever sat down to create a spread and then draw a blank? Try taking five minutes to play around with colors and patterns in your stationery collection and allow your subconscious thoughts to make their way to the front of your brain. I truly love these little “zen” moments before I begin to journal.

Then comes the fun part! It is time to get creative. Do not be afraid to try new things. One of the things I truly love about The Washi Tape Shop products is that each tape roll comes with backing. This stops your washi from sticking to itself, but you can also do things like crinkle it and create texture in your journal!

I always begin my spreads by playing around with layers. Before I take the backing off of my stickers or washi, I play around with placement to see how I like everything layered together. This helps with any indecisive feelings I have about placement. Here you can see I placed washi down first, then layered a sticker on top of the washi. The final layer is a transparent sticky note and I love the contrast between all of them layered together as the final result.

After creating an area of what I call “flare” I move onto creating my header. This is done with the same concept of layering and playing around with my supplies until I am happy with the result. Then I peel off the backing and stick everything in its place.

*Pro tip- write your header on a sticker! That way if you do not like it, you can try again. You can also layer over a header you do not like with a sticker, or by cutting a piece of paper and taping it over the mistake. One mistake does not mean you have to trash the whole spread. There are many ways you can be creative and fix it! I bet you could not even tell that I messed up under that washi with my header. I just layered over it and voila!

After about 15 minutes of creating – this is the result. I love to play around with composition and create little collages in each spread. I leave enough room to get my thoughts and feelings out. That way, when I am done writing, I can always go back and add more flare in the places that feel empty.

For this spread I loved the neutral vibes of the washi tape I chose, so I kept that color scheme in mind for the rest of my collages. I love the way that using different shaped stickers and sticky notes can transform an entire spread and give it so much character. I always spend a few moments admiring my spreads before the pen!

Then comes the most important part of the journaling process- the writing! I love to add in quotes that come to my mind while I am getting creative, or statements that stand out to me pertaining to how I am feeling.

I think adding little quotes like this also really helps the spread to look full and cohesive. Here I started with the quote to fill in that top area. This left the perfect amount of space to then write my feelings. Lastly, I added the date at the bottom to fill in that odd shaped empty space.

Here is the final result of a daily journaling spread. The total amount of time this took was 22 minutes. Not only does it allow me to be creative, have a moment to myself, and reset- it allows me to have a safe place to talk about my feelings.

Daily scrapbook journaling has become such an important part of my routine. It has helped my mental health in more ways than I thought possible. One of those being my memory. If you struggle with memory loss, PTSD, anxiety, or depression, I truly believe that this journaling style can be beneficial for you! Play around with it and see what you come up with!

Additional info:

Washi TapeStickersTransparent sticky notes and Notebook.

Thank you to Kelsey for sharing her amazing story. Be sure to visit Kelsey's Instagram and Youtube.

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  • Thank you for sharing. I love to see the creative ways people journal. My bullet journal method is also transforming into scrapbooking journaling from time to time.

    Nate HeHo on
  • You go girl! :) I have been journaling for many, many years and like you it is my “me time”.
    It is my way of being creative and expressing myself through words and color.
    I am 69 years old and just found Washi Tape! Madly in love with it and just ordered a bunch.
    Keep up the excellent work and I applaud you for going back to school, working full time and raising 2 children!! I will start following you on social media. Sending love and hugs to you Kelsey!

    Debra on
  • I appreciate your sharing and encouragement. Thank you ❤️

    Kteni on
  • Hi, I love your work. I am a 71 year old new to this but can’t wait to get started.

    Sheena Woodhouse on
  • YOU’RE A TROOPER. I have suffered for many years with anxiety/panic attacks before I knew what they were. I thought I was crazy for sure. I’m on meds, but wouldn’t get through it all without them. Journaling has been a life saver, but I’ve never artistically journaled. NOW I CAN’T WAIT TO GET STARTED. Can you tell me where you purchased the clear acrylic holders for your washi tape and markers. GOD BLESS. WE ALL MAKE IT THROUGH…CRAFTING, WRITING, JOURNALING, AND PRAYER ARE THE ANSWERS FOR ME.

    ALANA on
  • This is a legit company. I’ve purchased washi tape from them several times. This is in response to the question above. Also, thank you for sharing your story and for letting us see your amazing journals. Your design is beautiful.

    Carole on
  • Is this the shop that sells VanGough washi on Facebook? Trying to find out if I was scammed. I think I was.

    Vicky on
  • You and your art……inspiring! Thank you!

    M on
  • Congrats on the collaboration!🎉Thanks for mentioning the impact on your mental health, this is the main reason I journal and it’s cool other people are talking about it. Taking something that may not feel beautiful and turning it into something that is. 💪

    Katie on
  • This is so neat! I’ve been wanting to know more about how to do these layered kinda vintage & very textured journaling pages so thanks for the tutorial. Also really great that you’re so open about your therapy and mental health stuff. I’m also dealing with past trauma and to see it talked about so openly is wonderful <3

    Sarah on

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