Journal | Tutorials

Creative Journaling: What You Need to Know

June 1, 2018

Hey guys! Long time no blog... and I mean long! I could make a long sh*tty excuse about my inactivity here if I want to, but to be honest, I have none right now. I just really procrastinated, I lost my streak of regularly blogging and somehow lost my flare in writing along the way. But i'd like to believe i'm back here for good so let's not jinx this moment and get on with our topic right now.

Today's let's talk about JOURNALING! Well, creative journaling for beginners to be specific. So, you ask:

What is Creative Journaling?

Okay, so *disclaimer*. I don't have any sources here and this is my own take as to what creative journaling is. You know for sure what journaling is - which is if not then, it's like keeping a diary, or a planner, a scheduler - whatever you want to call it. Now let's be a little literal here and add the word "creative" to it and that is exactly what you get in creative journaling. It's about expressing yourself or telling a story about how your day went, what your thoughts are, etc. in a creative manner. Like through drawings, doodles, pictures, etc. In creative journaling, words aren't as important, as your medium of expression is through your definition of art.

Now you ask:

Can I do creative journaling?

WHY OF COURSE YOU CAN! Don't ever say things like - "I want to try it but i'm not artsy", "i've literally no creative trait in me", " i suck at lettering/drawing/writing" and the excuses goes on and on. Listen, if you really want to get into it, I am telling you, you CAN! Don't get discouraged about other people you see on Youtube and Instagram with awfully gorgeous journal spreads - they all started at the very beginning. They were once beginners as well who made mistakes, who made journal spreads they didn't like. So condition yourself, say "I CAN DO THIS" multiple times and then continue reading..

What do you need to start?

You only need:
  • A notebook
  • Pens (colored, markers, whatever you have)
  • Old magazines, books,  newspapers, etc.
  • Glue (we be doing a lot of sticking)
  • Scrap papers
  You can also try:
  • Dried leaves or flowers
  • Washi tapes and stickers
  • Stamps/stamp pad
  • Your old receipts, tickets, pictures, etc.

Tip no.1 Since this is your first time to try creative journaling, don't go splurging on expensive materials just yet. This is the most common mistakes of people when starting something new - they go all out. Now there's nothing wrong with buying things that you genuinely like to have, but most often than not, we get discouraged easier if we ruin these things while we are in the process of finding our style. So my take? Start with cheap but quality materials, ones that you won't feel too bad about ruining, because believe me - at some point you will. So for now, buy what you need, not what you want.

Tip no. 2 If you really are out of budget then why not "do-it-yourself". If you are struggling a bit financially and can't bring yourself to buy a notebook then DIY it girl! I'm sure you have scrap notebook from school, extra papers and what nots that you can use. Journaling is for everyone, not just for those who have money 😉

Tip no. 3 You have all the materials, now what? Inspiration! Where do you go? My no. 1 go-to for inspo is Pinterest! It has tons of journaling ideas even for starters that are very easy to recreate. Now this is important: it is okay to be inspired by other's work, but remember to put yourself in everything that you do and DO NOT replicate what you see exactly as it is. I always say that it's okay to be inspired by someone's work, but be respectful of the other person's ideas.

The Process


Start with what you want to do with your journal/notebook. There's about a hundred ways to fill your journal pages and i'm not even kidding. A few things you could do:

  • A day/week in your life (chronicling what happened in your day/week)
  • What's on your mind or Thoughts (let's make this a creative Facebook, eh?)
  • Goals
  • Wants
  • Where you want to travel
  • Movies/TV shows you want to watch or watched
  • Books you want to read
  • Random sketches and doodles

Most of us if not all - struggle to fill our notebooks and journal because we often think we will ruin the pages. BUT committing mistakes is how you learn. Do not be afraid to fill those pages!


Experiment with styles, combine and have fun! When you have pictures, stickers, tapes that you want to use and/or words you want to put in there, don't go sticking it all out immediately though - lay it all out first and see if it goes well together according to your taste. It's okay if nothing goes right the first time. Just keep trying and you'll eventually find a lay out that you like 🙂 It's more like a trial and error, only in this aspect, there really is no such thing as error. It's your art - you represent it the way you like.

Once you feel your spread is looking just the way (or close enough 😉 ) to the way you want it to be, make it permanent and stick them altogether!


It's cliche but it's true. This is where first time journal-ers draw the line: when they do not like what they did and compare their work to others then stop trying altogether. I guess it's okay to compare your craft with others so long as you do this to make yours improve and be better. But if comparison lets you down though, it's definitely a no-no. No matter the outcome of your journal- see the beauty and the effort you put into it. Show it off. Take pictures of it. Do it all again tomorrow. Until you're satisfied with what you see.. until you can finally say you found your own style.

Follow me on Youtube

If you want to see more of how I journal, then you may follow my Youtube channel for "journal with me" and "flip throughs" and easy tutorial videos! Click this link right here:

As a last note, just keep in mind: this is your art, your work, your way to express yourself. There is no right or wrong in journaling. Keep journaling and believe in yourself you can do it, don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

Hope you guys learned a thing or two! If you are inspired with my spreads and wanted to recreate them in a way, do tag me on Instagram, @nikkiinwanderland so I can share them on my stories! Until next one, bye!

  1. I love this! I haven’t tried creative journaling although it looks like a lot of fun. But I like what you said about comparing yourself to others when first beginning something and the discouragement that makes beginners quit. That’s so applicable to other hobbies and pursuits too. That was the mistake I made when I first started playing guitar (thankfully, I didn’t give up though). It would be like a first-grader getting discourage because they couldn’t do algebra like their older siblings who are in high school. I love all the photos too. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your kind words! I know the feeling of being discouraged because been there 😀 But also like you, i’m glad I did not quit on it for good. And hey! you’re cool for playing the guitar. I used to want to learn it as well back in school, maybe someday I’ll pick it up again 😀

  2. That’s very generous of you to post step by step tutorial on journaling . I used to be creative but lost interest in doodling a year ago . Now i am thinking of start doodling again . I am gonna start writing a journal and thanks for the tutorial ❤

    1. Tell me about losing interest 🙁 I have phases like that as well, but fortunately I keep finding my way back. The key is not to be discouraged and just enjoy what you’re doing 🙂 Hope you’ll be able to start a journal again soon.

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