Art Journaling is a hobby that can include as many or as few supplies as you want. If you find yourself with just paper and a ballpoint pen—you can art journal. In fact, with a little imagination you could rock that art journal. However, most art journalers like to work with at least a few more supplies—and you'll most likely find most of the possibilities in my full art journal supplies list below.
But before you scroll down and think you have to buy it all now—stop! You don't! In fact, you shouldn't.
If you're a beginner, I recommend starting out with just the essentials. You can find that list here. The essentials list is also a great travel list (whether on vacation or to classes, playdates or retreats).
If, on the other hand, you have fallen in love with art journaling and mixed media and you're actively learning how to express yourself in new and fun ways, you will probably want more art supplies than just the essential items.
And that's great!
As you try new techniques and play with a variety of of mediums, you learn. You learn what different mediums can do for different effects and purposes and you learn your preferences, all a part of developing your unique style. And it's fun to play with different supplies, let's face it!
It’s a good idea to add to your collection slowly according to interest and budget. It takes time to get to know a medium or a tool, for one thing. And secondly, you could spend a lot of money buying up quantities of any one item—like paint or stencils or markers, for example—only to find you don't prefer to use that particular medium and you don't need as many colors or styles as you thought.
I especially recommend that you test out the more expensive items like paint, acrylic mediums, pastels, pens and markers before you purchase larger quantities. Sometimes it’s worth it to spend more on a supply, sometimes it’s not, but only you will know for sure—so start slowly.
You won't find a complete list of art journal and mixed media art supplies below (I doubt any such list could be complete), but it's pretty comprehensive.
I don’t get into brands or my own brand preferences on this list. This is just an attempt to itemize all the different kinds of art journal supplies for both new and more experienced art journalers to slowly add to their supply collection.
Have fun collecting and let curiosity lead the way!
A Full Supplies List for Art Journalers
Tools and More Tools
- A book (journal) or pages for a book
- Paper towels
- Wax paper
- Baby wipes
- Paint palette
- Water can
- Heat Gun (better than hair dryer)
- craft knife
- self healing cutting mat
- Paint brushes
- Stencil brush
- Deli paper
- Parchment paper
- Gelli plate
- Stamp blocks
- Bone folder
- Palette knife
- Pencil sharpener
- Metal ruler
- Eye dropper
- Empty spray bottle(s)
- Cosmetic sponge(s)
- Sponge rollers and sponge applicators
- Found mark makers such as from cardboard and packaging
- Stamp carving tools+rubber
- Basic sewing tools: Needle, fabric scissors, pincushion, thread
- Sewing machine
Acrylic mediums and adhesives
- Matte (or Gloss) Medium or other adhesive
- White gesso
- Clear gesso
- Black gesso
- Moulding (or modeling) paste
- Acrylic glaze
- Other acrylic mediums such as pastel ground, airbrush medium, gels...
- Glue sticks
- Adhesive strips with applicator
- Double sided tape
- Painter’s tape
- Masking tape
- Washi tape
(Almost every item listed in this category, of course, represents categories of brands and uses.)
- Acrylic paint
- Watercolor pencils
- Colored pencils
- Graphite pencils
- Chalk pencils
- Gel pens
- White and black ink pens
- Color Ink pens
- Ink pads
- Liquid ink
- Ink markers
- Dye markers
- Solvent-based clear marker
- wax markers
- Many other specialty color agents available (i.e. printing ink, dyes, embossing powders…)
The Fun Stuff: Everything Else
- Stencils, purchased
- Stencils, handmade
- Stamps: Numbers, letters, images: handcarved or purchased
- Collage papers from printed materials such as magazines
- Handmade papers
- Transparent papers: tissue paper, rice paper, coffee filters, tea bags, napkins, tracing paper, deli paper
- Old book pages
- Found Papers: such as maps, catalogs, brochures
- Images: photographs, copied images, (found in) magazines, cards, packaging, your own art
- Embossing powder/ink
- Rub on letters
- Waxed linen thread + tapestry/book binding needle
- Purchased ephemera: stickers, charms, beads, etc.
- Found ephemera: ribbons, thread, beads, cloth, metal, junk mail, tags, tickets, game pieces…
- And much more!