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DIY Ephemera Storage Journal

Green ephemera in junk journal

When I first started collecting stickers and stamps and tickets for my junk journaling, I put everything into a cookie tin. Very quickly I realized that I spent WAY too much time searching for what I wanted. So I made a bunch of pages with see through pockets so I could organize my little bits. 

I organized everything by color, because that is how I work. When I want a little bit of green for a collage I am working on, I grab the green folder and find just what I need. I have been using these "signatures" (a book making term) for about a month now. What a game changer! And when I find a new bit of treasure, it's so great to know right where I need to store it.

Hand made junk journal

Junk journal spine

Just recently, I sewed these signatures into a hard cover journal I made. I'll tell you how I did that in another post. This post is about how to make the signatures.

Here is a YouTube video of the process: YouTube Video of Ephemera Storage Journal

Part Two of the process is here: Ephemera Storage Journal Part Two


  • Heavy cardstock for the pages
  • Vellum for the pockets
  • Paper trimmer or scissors, pencil and ruler 
  • Double sided tape
  • Sewing machine and thread or needle and thread

Vellum and kraft cardstock

This is the cardstock and vellum I used.

Step One

Folded Cardstock for junk journal signature

Fold 3 sheets of cardstock in half. This will give you one signature with 12 pages.

Step Two

Uneven page edges

Put the pages inside each other to form a booklet. You will likely see that the long edges are uneven. Trim them even if you like.

Step Three

Cutting vellum pockets for junk journal

Cut sheets of vellum into 5 inch strips. Cut those strips into 8", 4" and 2" pieces for the pockets. This is to hold big, medium and small pieces of ephemera.

Step Four

Folded vellum pockets

Fold the vellum into pockets 5" wide. Don't fold them in half;  leave a lip on the top edge to make using the pocket easier.

Step Five

Vellum Pockets taped to junk journal

Decide where you want the pockets to go on the signature pages. I opted for the front cover and every right side of the page. (So the odd numbered pages of the "book".) Use a mix of big, medium and little pockets according to the size of your ephemera. 

Use double sided tape to tack the pockets to the cardstock to keep them in place while you sew them.

Ephemera Journal pockets sewn in

Step Six

Using a sewing machine or hand stitching, sew from the top of the page to the bottom on both sides, catching the edges of the pockets to secure them.

A completed signature, stitched in the center.

Step Seven

Put the signature together, making sure all edges are even. It will help to use binder clips to hold the 3 sheets in line. Stitch a few inches down the center fold to secure the signature together. It is now ready to fill with your ephemera. Make as many signatures as you need to store what you have.

Step Eight

Fill your pages with all of your goodies. I organized mine by color, because that's how I look for things. I am collaging on the blank pages to give myself journaling inspiration as I browse the pages (collage not finished).

Red junk journal page

Junk journal pink page with cover

Orange junk journal page

Pink junk journal page

Junk journal first green page

Junk journal teal page

Junk journal yellow page

In the next post, I will explain how to bind these signatures into a journal.





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