Art Journaling 101- the Kit

I've been doing light art journaling for a while. I say light because it has mostly been just cleaning my paintbrush off on the pages or testing stamps as I carve (more on that to come!). However, recently, I've been wanting to be more intentional with my creating. I sometimes struggle to come up with ideas or feel the ideas I have are somewhat stale. I've been reading about having a daily creative habit. I'll be honest with you. While I can be pretty hard on myself about things I “should" do, I also let things go when I lose the momentum. The longevity of a daily art practice scares me a bit. But hey, shouldn't I be doing more things that scare me? Fail or not, I'm sure I will learn something along the way. So in an attempt to create this daily habit, I started with one week. That one week finished yesterday and I’m now excited to keep going. Over the next four weeks, I’m going to take you through my process. Today we are starting my art journal kit. Next week, I’m going to show you how I made my journal. Then the week after, I’m going to show you how I get started with backgrounds. The last week, I will share with you the pages and spreads I’ve been working on along with some insights and what I’ve learned.

Below is the breakdown of my kit. I decided to use a kit so that all the tools and materials would be close at hand. I find sometimes I want to do something creative but don't want to have to pull everything out. Creating small art project kits is something I've been doing lately to counter this. I also felt the kit would make it easy to create on the go or just anywhere in my apartment if I want. I'm going to explain the different materials I have and why I included them. My list is long and may seem excessive. However, it all fits in a small box. It’s just a lot of little things.  

Basic Tools

Craft Sheet: (not pictured above) Actually this isn’t the whole sheet, just a pice of it. This is great for doing some coloring mixing or just sitting your wet paintbrush down without messing up anything. It’s really easy to clean with just a wet cloth.
Brayer: smooth out ink or paint on the surface; secure glued pieces
Fine tip scissors: These are really sharp and can cut fine details or larger pieces. And they are small and don’t take up too much space in my box. 
Toothbrush: Just in case I need to save time and brush my teeth while I work. ;) Jk. Dipped in paint and dragged across the page, this makes some great texture!
Palette Knife: also to smooth out paint or to mix paints
Small metal ruler: for measuring and drawing straight lines
Nail file: to add texture to edges of papers or elements or sanding rough pieces 
Dip Pen: in case I want to practice my lettering. I’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy but I’m finding I don’t have the patience for the practice it takes. Maybe little by little I will get better various paintbrushes and sponges: for applying paints and mediums
Spray bottle with water: This can be used to clean brushes or tools, easily water down paints, or quickly wet your surface.
Resealable jar with water: I say resealable in case I travel with my kit. Water for quickly cleaning brushes to change colors.
Old Key Card: smooth a layer of paint or gesso so it has a little texture
Washcloth: to clean up messes :)
Various Paintbrushes and Sponges: for applying paints and mediums
Fantastix: This are fun for smoothing and mixing wet paints on the surface or for drawing with paints


Archival Ink Pad: This a permanent, waterproof ink pad. That means you can use water based mediums like watercolors over the top without it smearing. I only have the black pad, but it’s actually made in many colors.
Silver Pen ink: I don’t have any other metallic in my kit and this seemed like a good way to add it.
Watercolor pencils: less messy way to do watercolors just not as vibrant
Distress Stain in Picket Fence color: This gives an easy white washed look. These stains come in a variety of colors, but this is my favorite. It has a sponge tip so there is no need for a paintbrush or sponge. 
Gesso: great for making the surface take the paint
Mod Podge: adhesive and sealer
Diamond Stickles: Its glitter but kind of clear so it goes with anything. 
Distress Reinker in Antique Linen: This comes as a dropper, so it makes large drops of brown ink. 
Sharpies: for quick lines
Various Pens and Pencils: for journaling text, drawing, sketching, whatever 
Blender pen: for watercolor pencils
Paints: I decided to just add a few colors so I put them in a few paint pots. I can refill them or change out the colors. The paint pots keep me having to pouring the paint onto the craft sheet to use them.
lue stick: An easy adhesive for small pieces

Stencils and Stamps

Stencils: I love using stencils to create the backgrounds
Stamps: All but the alphabet are hand carved by me. I’m loving these whimsical designs! These are great for backgrounds and focal points. 
Date stamp: I want to keep track of when I finish a spread

Paper and Embellishments

Paper: I have paper sized about 4.25 by 5.5 (this is is how I store my scraps). This is a selection of painted, store bought patterned, color cardstock, and tracing paper. I also have some brown coffee filters because I like they look in the background.
Die cuts: I have a several small doilies, tags, small envelopes, and punched circles. I could use these as collage elements or a focal point. They are really versatile. 
Embellishments: I have vintage stamps, pieces of yarn and ribbon, buttons, and brads. These are also versatile. I’ll have to see how I end up using them. 

You made it to the end! I know this is a wordy post, but I wanted to cover everything. Don't forget to check back next week for the details on making your own journal. If you have any questions, please let me know!