Art Journaling, CatsEatDogs, Creativity
Comments 4

Using a ‘found’ book as an art journal.

Firstly I ask myself is a ‘found’ book the same as an altered book?  An altered book is one which you transform with your art into a new experience which could start with an old book from the antique mall, a kids board book from the thrift shop or a clothing catalogue which you use as a base to sketch and paint in.

A book is a book is a book and all are ‘found’ by whoever owns them.  So for the new season of Get Messy Art Journaling which is the ‘season of seasons’ we are going to use a found book, which sends my head spinning (in a very good way). Why? Because I just can’t decide!

Then, someone mentioned cards to use for the season and my head went off on it’s axis again, what a good idea, old playing cards, vintage flash cards, postcards, postcard books. Oh boy this could take a while!

So far I have narrowed my search (and pile) down to the following

-a 1976 diary from “St Louis Photo” – The Camera Specialty Shop, which is cool and a good size but the paper is thin and the spine is a spiral which will be better to work with than say staples, but I just don’t like spiral binding.

– an old vinyl record book which is basically kraft paper which I love and the holes in every page will look good I think, but this book is super delicate.

– flash cards from a school estate sale. I like the size and the nice thick card of these and I like working on individual pages but what about keeping them together? They won’t fit in that box when I am done no matter how minimal I keep my pages.

-A ‘Handbook of Airfoil Sections for Light Aircraft’ which has the dreaded spiral spine but I do love the imagery in this book and the 1971 orange cover.

-A street map of Lincoln, UK has great imagery with the maps and old adverts but those staples may not hold.

-Vintage postcard fold-out books are among the top contenders, good imagery to work with even if they are colours and very specific images.

-Booklets full of tea cards (small cards featuring a variety of themes were in tea bag boxes in the UK from the 1950’s onwards) are also a contender but they have very specific imagery and not very sturdy staples.

Guides to Lincoln cathedral, again with the staples but Lincoln cathedral is one of my favourite places in the wide world, so one of these might be a contender.

-Paper and colour sample cards full of great colour and quality card stock but they are very tightly fastened together, so would maybe need to be separated to use successfully.

So which to choose?

I am sure you will see in the next few days which I decide to work with, I am pretty sure of one thing though, I will be using a ‘regular’ book alongside the ‘found’ book.  I am intrigued as to which books I will end up with!

If you are interested in the Get Messy community, the link is here.

Happy Thursday x





  1. Hope Smitherman says

    Oh, gracious. They all look so cool. I hate to hear the old record album is delicate as it would be cool to alter and then add something in where the record would have gone like to frame it. Or to just alter something else and add it into the album. I can think of several versions of this theme. In any case, I’m sure you’ve decided by now. I can’t wait to see!

    • I like the idea of the record album too, I am sure I could be careful! I have almost decided to use the diary as I have had a few collage ideas to do with it, but I may end up using more than one journal as I usually do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s