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Victorian Steampunk Junk Journal

Victorian Steampunk. What is that? The makings for a junk journal of course. I was instantly drawn to these fascinating images. Seeing them on Pinterest, in movies and books, and as Halloween costumes, I knew this was for me. The combination of Victorian era fashion, the grunge look, machinery powered by steam, this subculture is truly captivating.

My inspiration

It all goes back to my love of Victorian fashion. I could look at these images all day long, imaging a time long ago and how elegant and beautiful these fashions were. I found a magazine at a used book sale called The Century Magazine, dated August 1904. The whole thing had pages and advertisements with steampunk images! Here are some of the images I chose for this journal.

I have quite a collection of vintage magazines, another one of my favorites is a reproduction of a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog dated Fall 1900. Every page has images from a bygone era that were perfect for this journal (and many future journals as well). As you can see by the below pictures, they fit perfectly with my theme.

Page layout and book construction

This size of this journal was determined by the magazine images along with individual papers that were a dark tan color. The pages measure 5 1/2′ x 8″. Rather than creating hinges for each page, I chose a ring bound format for binding the journal. Each page was reinforced with either an eyelet or a spray painted page reinforcement tab.

I created each page separately. In addition to the magazine images, I chose brown grocery bags, tea stained lined paper and card stock, an aged vellum bag, and scrapbook papers with steampunk gear images.

I kept the color scheme consistent throughout using tan, copper, gold, brown, black and cream with pops of red and orange. The doilies were a happy accident. Originally, I used a few white doilies to create a stencil for another journal page. After looking at the color combination that the Tim Holtz distress oxide spray created on the plain white doily, it was exactly the colors I had in this journal!

Many pockets, tuck spots and tags were created with varying card stock as well as images from The Graphics Fairy. For even more interest, stamping and stencils, gears, broken pieces of jewelry, corrugated cardboard, buttons, tulle, fabric, lace, and sari silk ribbon were used to adorn each page.

A journal is not complete for me unless I add fabric and a snippet roll. I created a two sided pocket using a scarf found at a thrift shop. The snippet roll used some of the same fabric as seen through out the journal on tags, clusters and pockets.

Cover construction and closure

The front and back covers were made from sturdy cardboard. My covers are always highly embellished. I start with the bottom layer by decoupaging scrapbook paper to the front and the back using pages that would be good as a background. One of my favorite patterns I use over and over is a black and cream harlequin pattern which was used on the front and back interior. From there, I added tea stained cheesecloth, burlap, corrugated cardboard, and a piece of the snippet roll. On top of that, a tulle fabric and faux flower cluster, copper flourish die cut, vintage key, clock and brooch. To finish the steampunk vibe, gears were added to the flower cluster and on top of the brooch. Tim Holtz corner tabs were secured on the front and back corners. Pearls added the finishing touch of bling.

A hole in the front and back cover were created with a hole cutter die and grommet set. A split key ring was threaded thru each hole. The closure I used was a broken charm bracelet which already had the clasp on one end.

back cover with bracelet closure

I hope you enjoyed looking at this journal and it inspires you to make your own Victorian Steampunk Junk Journal.

Glitter on,

I am a self proclaimed junk journal fanatic and creative crafter. If it is vintage, I am in! I recently retired from the corporate world and now have more time to devote to my love of creating one of a kind treasures. Besides junk journals my hobbies include thrifting, flea market outings, fashion, cooking, hanging with my girlfriends and daughter and golf with my husband. I currently live in the mountains of beautiful Colorado.