Handmade Art Journal Supplies

I am addicted to art journals and art journal supplies!  I love the way I can grab one on the go and always have it with me. I love the way I can use them to collect all of my favorite individual sketches and paintings. And I love that I can make them myself and customize every single detail, from the mix of paper weights and colors to the size and cover.  For more information check out my course in which I demonstrate step-by-step how I created 8 art-infused journals, check out my course Create Artful Journals.

If you are ready to jump in and start making your own journals, the links below will take you to my recommended journal supplies. 

Journal Materials

Sulphite Drawing Paper, 80 lb, 9 x 12 Inches, Extra-White, Pack of 500

The beautiful thing about making your own journal is that you have the freedom to choose the paper that works best for you. Here is a link to an inexpensive drawing paper that is most similar to the one I often use in my journals. What I like most about it is its price and versatility. With an 80 lb weight, it's fine for pencil and pen sketches, and for simple studies it can even take a bit of light watercolor. Often I will use it as a base and then adhere my completed watercolor art directly onto the pages with double-sided tape.

Waxed 1mm Leather Hand Stitching Sewing Thread

My favorite binding material is 1mm waxed thread that is often used for stitching leather. You can buy it in large spools and multiple colors and it seems to last forever.

Grafix Medium Weight Acid-Free 0.057” Chipboard Sheets

If you want your journals to have a hard cover feel, you'll probably want to purchase some cardboard sheets like the ones linked above. This is a good option as a stable base when you are using your own cover artwork, especially if you are thinking of trying out encaustics (for more information, checkout my favorite encaustic supplies and encaustic tools pages.) I buy the 12" x 12" sheets because I like the flexibility of cutting them down to whatever size I need, but you can also get them in smaller sizes.

Of course, you can always go green with recycled cardboard too. (I've found the cardboard backing from watercolor pads works great for this!)



Decorative Paper Pad 12X12 10PK SEA WORLD, (12" x 12")

While I love to create my own art for my covers, it's always nice to have a stash of beautiful printed papers on hand. You can adhere them directly to cardboard sheets (both inside and out) or use them on their own to create a lovely soft cover. The item linked above is just one of hundreds of options. Choose a style you love, and be sure to take note of the paper weight and finish. Heavier weight papers are more resilient, but lighter weight papers tend to adhere better. Glossy papers are more durable, but flat finishes are better if you plan to coat them with gloss medium or encaustic wax.

3M 568 Positionable Mounting Adhesive, 11 Inches x 50 Feet

This is the adhesive film I use to adhere both my art papers and my printed papers to my cardboard covers. It works great and is so easy to use.

Double-Sided Tape, Tear-by-Hand, Paper Backing (6 Rolls) (Width: 6mm/ 9mm/ 12mm/ 15mm)

While you can opt to use glue or regular tape, my favorite, no-mess, instant-stick method to secure loose papers into my journal is with double-sided tape. This handy set comes with a variety of widths.

Journal-Making Tools

Self-Healing Cutting Mat, Green/Black Double-Sided, 12 x 18 inches

The 12 x 18 cutting mat above is economical and great for small journals, but if you plan to go bigger with your projects you'll probably want to go bigger with your mat:

24" x 36" Mat


Fiskars SureCut Portable Paper Trimmer, 12 Inch Cut

One of my favorite tools, it helps me to cut my journal fill and cover papers quickly and perfectly square.

Crop-A-Dile 2 Big Bite Punch by We R Memory Keepers

This is a fantastic tool for punching perfectly round holes through heavy weight materials like cardboard. If you want to make your own handmade journals with custom covers, you'll be glad to have it!

EK Success Tools Standard Scoring Board

A similar version of the scoring board I use to help make crisp, square and fast folds in my papers. (The one I use, Martha Stewart brand, is functional but a bit too small for the papers I use.)

Needle Tools

This inexpensive tool is perfect for easily punching binding holes in my paper signatures (and linked item comes in a set of 2).

Leather Sewing Upholstery Repair Kit

You'll want to have a couple of curved needles and blunt-tipped upholstery needles (with large eyes and blunt tips), and this kits comes with those PLUS a bunch of other handy items including a needle tool and a few samples of colored thread. It's a great deal!

Westcott Stainless Steel Office Ruler with Non Slip Cork Base, 18-Inch

This stainless steel ruler has a non-slip base making it great to use as a guide when cutting papers and boards on your cutting mat with a utility blade.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. However, I only recommend products I either use myself and absolutely love, or their equivalents (some of my tools are no longer available but I always check the specifications and reviews carefully before recommending any alternative products)! Thank you for supporting Blue Quarry when you shop.

Most of the Amazon items above are eligible for free shipping through Amazon Prime. If you order a lot online, (or like the added benefit of free streaming videos) this is definitely something to consider. To get information on their free 30 day trial click here .