Back to Blog

3 Ways to Use Your Old Writings in Your Art

altered art creativity live your life Apr 18, 2023

Most of us have kept a journal or diary at one time or another. Some of these writings we may have thrown out or destroyed. Some may be stashed in a secret space to be found by no one. 

I recently pulled out a bin full from under my bed. In this box, I found old bullet journals, planners, and some intimate diaries. 

Some of these journals are only partly filled in. Some have writings that I am not sure I want to re-read.

Something I have wanted to do for a while now is burn my diary pages. An idea I got from Danielle LaPorte. But I feel like this is a task best left for a full moon, which is a time for releasing things that no longer serve us.

My old bullet journals and planners may find their way onto a shelf in my art studio. Some of my more personal writings, however, may need a special place in some of my altered art projects. 

My diaries contain, as most do, things I needed to work through at different times of my life. I often wonder if I even want to revisit some of these writings as some are from times in my life I'd rather leave in the past. I imagine these will most likely find their way into the fires.

However, there may be some words of wisdom that I want to treasure. I don't have to re-read every word I ever wrote but rather skim the pages of my diaries to see if anything jumps out at me. And those writings can potentially make their way into my junk journal or altered art pieces. 

But how do I plan on doing this? Today I'm sharing with you a couple of different ideas on how I can treasure some of these words.


1) Black-out poetry

My friends and I discovered black-out poetry several years ago and created some fun challenges around it. We would take some publications, like the Coffee News, which is available in many of our local coffee shops.

We would choose the same article and each of us would create our own black-out poem. It was quite interesting to see the different take we had on the same piece.

But how does it work? The concept is quite simple. You take a selected article or writing of some kind and black out words so that only those words you want to stand out are highlighted on the page in some way. These words then come together to create a new piece of writing.

Here are some examples of what that can look like:


2) Junk journal and mixed media backgrounds

If you've made a junk journal or any type of mixed media art, you know that layering is the foundation of these art forms.

Using old writings is a fun way to add to these layers. All you need to do is tear out part of a page, either choosing some of the words you want to show, or not, tear it up how you like, distress the edges, and glue it in place. 

It's also a nice way to preserve, in a sense, pages that you might not want to get rid of but that you want no one to necessarily read. Being a layer, they could end up being hidden under other elements of your art piece and only you know that the energy of that page is there. I find this very powerful.

I'm working on a memory junk journal about my mom right now and I used some old pages she had written in her own handwriting. And, yes, I did scan these first so I still have the full text. 

Although some of this will be further covered, this is what it looks like so far:


3) Altering an entire journal

A third way you might consider preserving your writings is by altering an old journal or diary of yours. By doing this, you're essentially preserving the words, but as you alter the book, these will be covered with other pieces (as you see fit, of course) and as with our second idea, the energy of your words will remain.

I haven't done this yet, but as I dive into my box of old journals, I might just find the perfect one for such a project.


Which of these 3 ideas would you like to try? And is this something you'd like to learn more about? Please share in the comments! 

Like this post? Pin it!





Join the mailing list!

Get weekly emails from me with inspiring + motivating content!