How to Make a Glue Book {And Flip-Through Video}

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how to make a gluebook

Making a glue book is fun and easy! I’ve been working on filling a glue book the past few months and today I wanted to share a flip through of what I made along with some tips for how to make your very own glue book.

What is a Glue Book?

Glue books have many different names – some people call them smash books or smash journals and often times they are very similar to junk journals, since ANYTHING can be used to make them – even your junk mail!

The main reason we call them glue books is because you glue things down in it. If it’s flat and you can glue it in – you can use almost anything to make a glue book!

Why Make and Use a Glue Book?

When I first started making glue books, my husband thought I was crazy. Why are you cutting up and gluing stuff into a notebook? Wouldn’t it be easier to keep them as, y’know…books you don’t cut up?

Well, there’s a LOT of different reasons you might want to make a glue book!

1. Inspirational Resource

Glue books are a great source of inspiration. You can put anything in them, so I love to glue in different colors, textures, patterns, photographs, artwork and more.

All of these things can help inspire you in your art journals and your creativity. If you’re ever in a creative slump, a glue book can give you just that spark of inspiration you needed.

2. As a Way to Save Space

Keeping a bunch of books and magazines on hand isn’t always practical. I LOVE books and magazines, but I know I would never have space for all the books I’d like to read and flip through, not to mention storing all the ephemera I like to collect.

A glue book allows you to actually use that ephemera instead of having huge piles to manage and store. {Although we do have some great tips for storing ephemera, see our post How to Organize Paper Ephemera & Junk Journal Supplies Here.}

3. Intuitive Process for Personal Development

One of the things I love about creating glue books is it is a completely intuitive process. You don’t have to worry about the things you glue together on a page making sense – you don’t even have to worry about where you put them on the page!

As you fill up the pages in your glue book, you’ll start to notice a lot of wisdom and symbols come together on a page. There’s been so many times I look back on pages and notice there’s a LOT of wisdom in the different images and words I cut out and glued down in the book.

Now that we’ve covered three great reasons to make a glue book, let’s go over how to make your very own glue book using a composition notebook and whatever you like to fill it up with!

How to Make a Glue Book Step by Step

1. Gather Your Supplies and Materials

Gathering your supplies and materials is pretty simple and most likely you already have what you need or you can find all of these things very inexpensively at your local stores.

  • Old Magazines and Books/Junk Mail {See our post Things to put in a Junk Journal for some ideas!}
  • Composition Notebook
  • Scissors
  • Glue {I use a basic glue stick, though you of course can use matte gel medium though wrinkling may occur with the gel medium}

2. Go Through Things to Glue in Your Pages

I LOVE cutting up magazines for fun, and it’s not uncommon for me to spend a few hours in front of a good movie with a cat by my side and magazines and scissors in hand. It’s the PURR-fect rainy day activity, although the cat often decides to sleep in my box of paper!

If you already have a paper ephemera collection, you can skip the step of cutting items out and just have fun going through and finding images and words that really capture your attention.

Again, this isn’t something you want to think too much about it. It’s an intuitive process, so if you have something in your hand try to make a decision on whether you’ll use it or not within 3 seconds or less.

3. Glue It Down!

glue book page examples

Gluing stuff into the book is just as fun as cutting it up – and of course you can always do both at the same time – it’s not uncommon for me to find something I like immediately and know I want to put it somewhere in the book.

The 3 second rule applies here too – don’t overthink too much about where you glue things down. While it’s helpful to start with larger images first for layering, it’s best to just get it out of your hands and into the book.

A Flip Through of a Recent Glue Book in Progress

My art teacher in high school said something that always stuck with me, which is a work of art is never finished. That’s definitely true about a recent glue book I finished and share in my latest flip-through video! However it was just too full and fun not to share!

You can watch the video full-screen version here on our YouTube channel – and be sure to subscribe – new videos will be added weekly now that I *finally* have a working camera again! I will definitely be making lots more art videos to come!


I hope you enjoy learning how to make a glue book and that it inspires you to create your very own. And of course if you have any questions about gluebooks or art journaling in general feel free to ask below – I’m always happy to answer any questions you may have!

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2 thoughts on “How to Make a Glue Book {And Flip-Through Video}”

  1. My friend introduced me to glue book journal and suggested to watch a video on how to make one. I’m not an artistic person but after I’ve seen this video I’m impressed. I like the fact that you don’t have to perfect and think hard where to put things and it can be anything.

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