Explore the Benefits of a Gratitude Journal
Journals are a really beautiful way to capture your moods and your creativity and are something to keep for posterity for years to come, and for future generations. Our journaling pro Carla Bagshaw is back with a fantastic exploration of the benefits of creating a gratitude journal, and how you can dive into this wonderful mixed media project, designed to help you focus on the positive, and steer your mind away from negative thinking. The great thing about journaling is that it is purely yours… there are no rules, no rights and no wrongs. And best of all? It completely breaks any creative blocks you may encounter.
Time it Takes to Make: 1-2 Hours
Skill Level: Beginner – Beginner
You Will Need:
- Any mixed media products – you could use:
- A journal (handmade or bought)
Your DIY Gratitude Journal:
For my gratitude pages I decided to create one as a mixed media page, and one in a more traditional journaling (bujo) format.
For the mixed media project, I first used a brush to paint and prep the page with a thin coat of Gesso. This means that the paper will be able to take much heavier products on it without warping or bleeding through to the following pages.
Once dry, I began to add torn strips of paper (Kraft paper and decoupage papers) to the page by coating the surface in some liquid medium and then coating the top of the paper with the same medium. This needs to dry, but allows you work on top of the surface without it ‘unsticking’ from the paper.
Use your stamps to lightly stamp the background; this gives a gorgeous vintage feel. I tend to use light brown inks for this as it blends in well. You can also use a blending brush to blend inks around the edges of your paper to add to the ‘aged’ look of the papers.
At the bottom of the page I used a stencil I had, and layered gesso onto it in a thickish layer. Once dry, this adds a gorgeous textured element to the page that is super easy to achieve.
Again, blend some inks over the top, or use gelattos to add colour to all of the elements.
I really liked the idea of a typed quote, so I printed out the words separately and then glued them down in a fairly random way, then blended ink over them to age them out.
It looks really effective and gives the page a focal point.
For the second gratitude page, I drew out boxes in pencils and added some very basic drawings, such as a fox.
Once happy with the composition, I then outlined them all using a black fineliner pen.
If you paint out some random shapes using watercolour washes you can add some basic line drawing florals into them to look like trees.
It just adds some colour and some points of interest.
The only drawback is that the water may warp your page slightly, so it’s important to not use too much water.
In the boxes, I added lines so that I could write out reasons for positivity that day. I do this often, because sometimes it can be easier to feel like everything is going wrong when, in fact, there are blessings in each day – sometimes small, sometimes large.
The main thing is to have fun and be ‘free’ with your process. To really enjoy the benefits of a gratitude journal, you should not feel restricted by what you ‘have to’ include. Journaling is about YOU, and it can be filled with all the beautiful elements of your creative spirit.