This post is part of my Favorite Art Journaling Spreads Series.

My first few art journals were hand stitched journals, so this post has the most photos of all the favorite spreads posts because I have been making them the longest.

I am not sure, at least on this newer blog, if I ever talked about how I got I started making art journals. I have always kept journals, for as long as I could remember, I had journals that I wrote my thoughts and wishes in, one I used to track personal growth, one that had all my favorite things, and one where I added bits of collages and art I made. One day, inspired by Teesha Moore and Pam Garrison I decided I wanted to try and combine them all into one visually beautiful journal – and that was my first art journal. Since then my own style emerged and developed over the last 10+ years. The one in the photo below on the far left was my first official ‘Art Journal’.

Here are some examples of my journals over the years, the middle one is my current one that I am working in.

These next few photos are from my a couple of my first ever art journals back from 2008/2009. I made them with collaged cardboard covers with watercolor paper pages stitched in (which I learned from Tessha and Pam). These journals are about letter size, and the largest I have ever made, I always work small and never had any thing big after the first two. I still have them, but I think my style has evolved and improved over the years, but that you can still see the same underlying themes and colors. Even back then I loved making pages interactive, and having journal prompts. I focus a lot of the writing but enjoy incorporating art elements.

These next few photos are from a journal I made in 2014  from pages I using a sewing machine, I just sewed layers of papers together to make the pages and then stitched them into an old book that I removed the original pages from, careful to not tear the spine. This journal is more than half the size smaller then the ones above, and the size I tend to work with regularly now. The great thing about the pages being sewn in this journal is that all the spreads have an interesting layer of texture to them.

The pages shown in the photos below are ones I also made from an old book. I took out all the pages, and sewed them together to make them thicker – so 2-3 pages of the original book were used to make one page in my new journal. That way my pens and writing would not bleed when I worked in it.

This journal is one I used an old moleskine journal cover for, and I stitched in signatures of watercolor paper. I created this for a the be.prompted section I used to have on my old blog (besottment). 

Below are some random spreads from various journals I have that I really like.

You can see all the posts in this series on the main Favorite Art Journal Spreads post page. I think next month I will be working on my Moleskine journals to share!