Beginning Art Journaling For Kids

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by Violette Clark, author of Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash your Inner Eccentric.

Kids love to create art and if you give them a few tools and ideas on how to art journal they will go to town and come up with some colourful pages  they will treasure for years to come!  Beginning art journaling is great for young children as well as for teens.

Beginning Art Journaling

beginning art journaling

Kids can create  a book to keep all of their beginning art journaling pages in one place.  I like to use cardstock or cereal, pasta or cracker boxes for the front and back pages of some of my journals.  Try using the clever cellophane cut-outs in some packaging and place a photo underneath like I did in this cover.  The background was created by scrapping a few different folkart paint colours over the cardboard.  Later I added some words and letters which I glued and stapled onto the cover.  You can embellish your cover with squashed bottle caps, gems, glitter, trim or buttons.

beginning art journaling

The art journaling pages can be hole punched and binder rings can keep all of the pages together.

Here are 4 ideas on how to get started art journaling:

1. Painted backgrounds – you can make backgrounds ahead of time by scraping paint (folkart paint is great) with a discarded credit card or gift card onto a piece of cardstock. You simply squirt a couple of colours on the page and then with a credit card scrape the paint all over the page to cover it.  Sponge, splatter paint, stamp on it with rubber stamps or easy to find mark making tools such as lids, the edges of credit cards, foam letters and numbers.

beginning art journaling
2.  Borders – make fun borders ahead of time to make art journaling easy.  You can create checkerboard borders, scallops, zigzags or whatever you like.  Get ideas from magazines and on the internet by googling “art journal pages”. You can photocopy your borders so you can use them again and again!
3. Lettering – practise lettering by studying letters and fonts in magazines and books – try inventing your own style.  Bubble letters and block letters are fun to try out – give it a whirl!  The letters don’t have to be perfect.
beginning art journaling
4. Doodling and drawing faces – have the kids draw faces on separate pieces of cardstock. When they have come up with something they like have them ink it in with a permanent black pen.  Have the kids practise doodling a variety of things that they like such as animals, trees, sunshine, houses, hearts etc.  When they come up with images they like have them ink them in with pen.  Colour images in with felt pens, crayons or pencil crayons.  I like to create Long necked ladies as they are so much fun and easy to do. When your images have been coloured in cut them out.

Start putting your art journal pages together by choosing a background, cutting out a border and gluing it down with a glue stick or white glue.

beginning art journaling

Take a face or other shape you have drawn and coloured in and glue it to your page.

beginning art journaling

Now you are ready to add some lettering.

Do you want to create wavy lines around your image and write words with a pen inside the lines?  Or would you rather create a talk bubble and write some words in that?  You can cut out a talk bubble out of cardstock and glue it to your page.  You can also write words on a separate piece of paper, cut them out and glue to your page. There are no rules in art journaling; anything goes.

When you have create a few journal pages hole punch them and put them together like I did in this book.  Add ribbons, yarn and lace to the ring binders to fancy up your book!  Enjoy filling up and showing off your art journal.

beginning art journaling

Bio: Violette Clark is an author, artist and creative catalyst living in B.C. Canada.  She lives with her partner, Mr. G, aptly named for his tolerance of glitter!  Violette’s book Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash your Inner Eccentric is all about art journaling.  Her DVD Teens Dream Journal Workshop shows teens how to create a fun and funky journal which will help them to capture their secret Dreams and express themselves more confidently.  Check out Violette’s work at or her blog at

beginning art journaling


Enter to win Journal Bliss –leave a comment by March 31, 2012. By entering this sweepstakes, you agree to Imagination Soup’s official sweepstakes rules. No purchase necessary. Open to individuals in U.S. only, 18 years of age or older, void where prohibited. Winner chosen at random.

Expressing Self with Art Journals

28 Responses

  1. I have Violette’s book and DVD – her work is inspirational and her course is wonderful and easy to follow. Her delightful personality shines through. I thoroughly recommend not just parents of teens to purchase the DVD but anybody looking to get started in art journalling to jump on in.

    PS: this is not an affiliate post! LOL…I just love Violette’s authentic voice style.

  2. This is great. It would definitely bring the creativity out of my girls. No boredom here!

  3. Hey … what’s up? This email arrived today … April 3d …via Violette … too late to enter the Sweepstakes that ended on March 31. This is my sad face 🙁

  4. I’d love to have this- have a special girl that likes art, and is open to lots of new things.
    She’d love this.

  5. This is amazing! I love a project that can be added to well after a student leaves the grade in which they started it. Altered books now art journals? It becomes a life book.

  6. Thanks for letting me enter. This looks like tons of fun!

  7. What a fabulous beautiful project! I’d love to try this in my speech therpy sessions.

  8. This sounds like an excellent resource! I am a teacher who is just getting interested in using art journals with my students. I try to use recycled materials in many projects, so this is a stellar idea. I am not a U.S. citizen, but I will add this book to my wish list.

  9. The cereal box idea is so great to then hole punch. My daughter produces tons of work on paper but as it hangs around the house, it starts to get destroyed. Or she will paint on hard canvas but it’s so large and gets tucked behind furniture.

    Will definitely try this! Thanks! Acrylic paint would be fine on the cereal boxes!

  10. love the paint scraping idea… grandgirl will have such mush fun with this…!!

  11. this is such a wonderful way for kids to express themselves both with the making of the journal and then in it! Love it!!!

  12. Jackie J. says:

    So many great ideas! I’d love to win the book to create journals with my students.

  13. Melissa N says:

    What a great idea to use the cereal boxes. I am going to do this my daughter this weekend during our craft time. She is always asking to do art journaling with mommy so no with these idea I have a beginning. Thank you!

  14. Tracy Roberts says:

    I have been inspired by all the art journaling I see on pinterest, its gorgeous but I’ve never known how to start. Thank you for sharing this blog as its given me (a fully pledged adult! lol) a place to start myself. Just wish I knew how to keep this page at hand so I can keep referring back to it! xxx

    1. Tracy Roberts says:

      Ps. I did not comment to win prize as Im not US citizen.

  15. Thank you for such a great idea! I might try that this afternoon with the girls.

  16. This is not just for kids, this is where I need to start as well. It’s so much fun as my grandkids see my fledging efforts at art journaling and encourage me.

  17. I would LOVE to receive this book! I jumped into art journaling about a month ago, and I’ve been telling everyone about it! I hosted a “crafternoon” this past Saturday where I led my crafty friends through some book altering/art journaling. And, I started a weekly art journaling club for my kids at the Boys and Girls Club where I work. It is SO freeing to them to be able to color outside the lines, “scribble scrabble”, and just PLAY! Creativity unleashed!

  18. This is really creative activities that full of fun and learning to our children, lovely creation and color in my eyes…

  19. I like the color and design. Thanks for sharing this kind of art. My nephews enjoy doing experimental art.

  20. I saw this book while doing a project about art journaling! It looks really great!!!

  21. Is this where I should leave my comment? Gosh I hope so! I would love to win this book..for inspiration for myself and the young (at heart) people in my life!

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