Tips for Using Magazines in your Art Journal

Hi Get Messians!

It’s Sharon aka Nulls here as a contributor for this blog post. I started brainstorming and had all sorts of crazy, pie in the sky ideas as to what to share with you, and I finally settled on one of my favorite art journaling go to supplies.  MAGAZINES !!! Yes, they are old school, but they are full of creative ideas, pictures and lettering.. I have many favorites that I use, some of which include : Flow, Vogue, Sweet Paul, Flea Market Decorating and Anthropologie Catalogs….


Sometimes, when a new season starts or we have a set of prompts that leave my brain baffled, I just pull out stacks of magazines, (some are well loved) and start ripping out pages! I think this started many moons ago in High School, I used magazines in my version of scrap booking. Yes, they are cumbersome to store, and I had to purge when I moved to New York, but subscriptions are getting cheaper and cheaper, as iPads and computers have replaced paper. My secret guilty pleasure is sometimes swiping them from the doctor’s office (our secret) and also my neighbors share theirs with me..My neighbor across the hall is in her 70’s and gives me her Glamour and Cosmo Magazines each month-so funny!!

I went through this process today, I pulled out a stack of magazines and found some pages that I found inspirational. The weather is starting to change here, so it seems I have chosen flowers and bright colors (which are two of my favorite things anyway).


Also, I love letters and little tidbits I find in my magazines. They can get a little unruly, so I have a bead box which I have filled with little cut out treasures!


As I began my process for these pages, I chose a picture as a starting off point and then chose paint, some masking tape and other supplies that I found pleasing with the image. Often I make almost an inspiration board which I lay out the basics of what I want my page to look like. This way, I can play around with different ideas and images before I start gluing! Here is my inspiration board for my first page.


I liked the way it looked, lots of bright sunny yellow and HAPPY… I glued on my magazine pictures and started to paint. I used lots of tape, and a sharpie to duplicate the little bits of drawing and writing that were already on the page.. I then used one of my favorite Spring Quotes…Here is my final result…


I repeated the process for my second spread for you.. This time I chose a black and white photo. (another one of my favorite color schemes)..I started another faux inspiration board. I found washi tape and some lettering from a magazine and also decided to incorporate some collage work on the page as well. (triangulation) Here is my idea board.


Soon I had a completed  the finished project, VOILA!  I had saved the lettering for a long time and had never found the right page to use it on. This was the perfect chance. The model in the picture was originally wearing pants, but I used some black gesso, and then some acrylic paint and a white pen to design her dress. 

SO I hope this inspires you to look at magazines in a whole new way. Friends and family are usually happy to share theirs- Most people throw them away. (the horror)!! It’s a cheap way to get images, ideas and amazing lettering too. Try it out and tag it with #getmessymagazinemadness. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!


Sharon is a painter, pattern maker, flower picker, and collager! She loves things from time gone by, books, peonies, neons, poster colors, and hot sauce.


  1. Lucia

    Perfect perfect perfect 😉 magazines rock so as your pages, thank u 😉

  2. Tricia Allen

    Love your pages!

  3. Erin Mixon

    Love it! Thank you for showing how you use magazine clippings as a jumping off point, 🙂

  4. Gilly Welch

    Great ideas Nulls, thank you. It would be lovely to see your finished black & white page…and I think I need to find some more inspirational magazines to the ones I currently have!!

  5. Emily@squiggleandswirl

    Fabulous post, and a chance to try some Nullsie inspired pages. Thank you !