Junk Journal or Art Journal pages: Upcycled Flyer

How To Recycle Junk Mail to use in your Art

I’m talking about upcycling and how to recycle junk mail because I am on a mission to repurpose some junk and to achieve zero waste crafting. I’m also trying to tidy up and use my craft stash.

Learning how to make junk journals, and exploring mixed media has taken my craft in a completely different direction.

I will admit that there are two items that have further advanced my junk art, and that’s Gloss Gel Medium and Gesso. However, you can use white PVA glue and white paint instead.

My junk art on this occasion was upcycling an A5 flyer that came through the door. It will make a page in my journal.

Click here to see more about my first junk journal

On one side of the flyer I stuck scraps of paper all over in a mosaic style using the gloss medium. I left small gaps between the pieces rather than overlap them. Then I took a sheet of kitchen paper towel that I had used for cleaning up another art project, and I pulled it apart so I had two thinner pieces of tissue. I stuck one sheet of the tissue over the top of the mosaic with more gel medium. When it dries it is slightly transparent, so the scraps of paper underneath do show through, which is fine.

both sides of the recycled junk mail including pieces of coloured yarn wool stuck to a piece of card

On the other side, I stuck down scraps of paper in the same way, except I used PVA because I don’t want to use up all my gel medium, and then I painted one coat of Gesso over the top. These pieces didn’t stick as flat as with the gel medium unfortunately.

The upcycled and recycled flyer painted with gesso, which is similar to white paint
The Gesso side

Next, I stuck some scraps of yarn onto a smaller piece of card, using gel medium. It was very messy and my fingers got very sticky. Then I wrapped the card in the other sheet of tissue and stuck a few more scraps of yarn to the front. The end result wasn’t quite what I wanted but it was okay. The tissue was thin enough that you can see that it is yarn underneath, and see what colour the yarn is. It looks like little woolly worms!

Pieces of yarn stuck to a piece of card
Woolly worms 😆

I carefully folded the flyer in half, like you would to make a greetings card. Then, I inked around the edges of the ‘tissue and yarn’ piece of card, and finished by sticking it onto the tissue covered side of the flyer.

I could send it as a card, but that wasn’t the plan. I want to put it in my journal and use it to make notes about my crochet.

Making a junk journal will change the way you craft forever. There are two things that you come to realise:

  • Firstly, nothing is permanent and if you don’t like something or you make a mistake, just stick something over the top, or Gesso the whole page if it’s that bad.
  • Secondly, there’s more ways than one to use your stash, and it may not always be obvious straight away what the alternative is, but an idea will come to you eventually. If you remember the first point and just keep trying then you will learn and grow.

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15 Responses

  1. 🙂 You were always gifted in the area of art, Marie-Céline.

    You really know how to put junk mail to good use.

    • Marie-Celine says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comment Renard. I’ve been using more “junk” in my art today. I don’t like wasting things 😁

  2. alisonw30 says:

    I love this idea, especially the wiggly worms! Very colourful!

  3. Michelle says:

    That’s such a neat idea! Way back when I used to pen pal I would use old calendar pictures as envelopes. My mailman always commented on my “pretty mail”. 🤣

  4. Geraldine says:

    Wow you’ve got a really creative mind Marie! I wouldn’t have thought of using junk mail for anything except to put it in the trash 😂 it came out quite nice! I like the nickname woolly worms haha 🙈

  5. Chloe Chats says:

    I would have never thought of using junk mail as art material! I usually just recycle it straight away, but this is a lovely idea Marie!

    Chloe xx

  6. This is such an interesting way to up-cycle junk mail! I’m usually pretty good about ripping mine up and recycling it, but had never even thought to try using it in an artistic way like this!

    • Marie-Celine says:

      Thanks for your comment. Often junk mail is printed on good quality paper so it seemed to make sense to use it like this, especially when I’m experimenting with my art.

  7. What an inspiring post. I try to recycle what I can into new items. Keep up the good work.

    • Marie-Celine says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Lisa. I’m enjoying using my scraps in collage pages in my journal and also making use of packaging and junk mail. It’s free materials after all 😊

  1. 24th August 2019

    […] One of my blogger friend Marie use her notebooks for mixed media projects like Junk Journals. Her blog is filled with some more crafty ideas, you can check it out here. […]

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