Art Journaling in altered coffee table books is one of my favorite things to do. I love that they present me with loads of space for painting, gluing and expressing myself. I have filled many of these volumes over the years – and latest in the row is this chunky, beautiful Art Journal.

Spine and Altered Book Plate in iHanna's Art Journal Cut and Paste #artjournal #alteredbook

I have painted the cover of this altered book white and doodled a big pink flower on the back and lettered the words Cut & Paste on the front. The spine is covered with yummy, neon pink duct-tape. I love the cover so much.

It is an altered book that originally was about Egypt (Titled Trésor de Légypte – although mine is translated to Swedish and called Egyptens Skatter). It was printed in 1968 by Beyronds in Malmö, Sweden. I found it way back at a second hand shop somewhere.

This is exactly the kind of book I love the most. The papers are awesome, thick enough to take both acrylics and collage, and the binding sturdy enough to hold together even when I fill every page of it to the brim. The book originally had over 200 pages but when you alter a book you should remove at least half the pages so not to stress the spine too much (here’s how to do that).

Cut & Paste Art Journal altered book finished by iHanna

I don’t remember when I painted the cover and named it Cut & Paste Journal, but that’s what I’ve been using it for. The first page in it is dated 2014 (!) and then there are a few spreads that I filled with magazine images in 2017, but after that I’ve had it in my studio and filled some pages here and there until December of 2019 when I decided to finish it.

Now I have worked diligently in this journal to end out 2019 and begin 2020, and now it is finished. I didn’t usually take this long to finish an Art Journal, but as I’ve mentioned I know am a little bit more scattered with my artistic efforts… That’s why I made a conscious decision to work in this particular one until it was full, and what a joy it’s been.

Side view of iHannas Art Journal Cut and Paste 2020
Flower Power Cut & Paste Art Journal (back-side view)

When you know you don’t need any wet paint you can sit calmly in your favorite sofa corner and cut and paste in stuff evening after evening, without worry. I haven’t just been cutting out images and pasting them in here, I’ve been doing some doodling and journaling as well, but the main part of every page is probably collage, so the journal’s name still fits. And the last couple of pages I have definitely been sitting in said couch corner and watching TV-series on Netflix while adhering all kinds of things to the page. And yes, I make a mess even without acrylic paint present…

S for Skatter which means Treassures altered art journal page by iHanna

First page in iHannas Art Journal Cut and Paste altered book Skatter about Egypt #artjournaling

S for Skatter maybe – which means Treasures. Here’s the first page in my Art Journal Cut and Paste, with some of the original text left as a memory of a long gone idea of what this book used to be about…

Little pieces of paper are everywhere when I work like this, but I think it’s okay for a while. To bring out the vacuum-cleaner is so much more satisfying when you can actually see what difference the hoovering makes, right?

One the floor beside the sofa I’ve got a large paper bag for paper cut offs and finished (cut clean) magazines that will be heading for the recycle bin, now that I’ve “used” them up. Love this process of harvesting inspiration and color from a magazine (my therapy) and then using some of it instantly in the Art Journal. I did this for almost all of the days in January, and it’s been a delight.

I hope that I can keep this habit up for a while longer, now that I’m off to such a lovely start. How is your art journaling going this year?

Some Art Journal Pages

Here are a few of the first pages, because I always go back to the beginning and add in stuff  there before I finish of the end…

Intro page in iHannas Art Journal Cut and Paste 2020

One of the first pages in this Art Journal has silk paper polka dots, a baby penguin and the words “collage” big on the page, since this book is all about cut and paste.

Music Sheet taped in iHannas Art Journal Cut and Paste 2020

Original black-and-white photo of one of the pyramids on the right, and a taped in music sheet on the left, of my favorite song as a kid (we always sang this song at my first grade music lessons).

Intro page in iHannas Art Journal Cut and Paste 2020

Hello – a page with “a touch of inspiration” as well as a lot of washi tape – to welcome me and other viewers into the book.

I should film a flip-through of this finished book for YouTube, don’t you think? Let me know if you would like to see that even though it probably will be long because of all the pages…

Are you finding some space and time for your own creative endeavors and/or art journaling regularly?


More Altered Books here