Upcycling an Art Journal Cover Made from Newspaper


September, 2016

Can you remember back to the first art project you did?  not when you were a child, but as an adult.  You were learning something new, nervous not to make any mistakes and probably held the paintbrush a little bit too tight.


Come back to present day…taking a look at your art now, what do you think of your older creations?  did you keep them as a reminder of where you started?


sold them?

or threw them away?

Maybe you tried to keep them as long as you could, but ran out of space?   <guilty>

What if you could keep your old artwork and upcycle it into something else.  You’d save some money on new painting surfaces wouldn’t you?

Anything that can accept acrylic paint is fair game.

  • An old painting – can simply be sanded (carefully), reprimed with Gesso and it’s ready to come alive.
  • What about an old wood piece?  sanding and priming would prepare this for a new coat of paint.
  • What about an old art journal?  repaint the covers and gesso the inside pages…voila!

In this video, you’ll learn how I took an art journal that was made from newspapers and I simply gave it a new coat of paint, just waiting for inspiration.

Doesn’t sound like much right?  well, if you see the condition of this art journal, you’ll see why it needed a facelift really badly.

Don’t throw away your art…upcycle it into something new!

Supplies Used:


  • anything that can accept acrylic paint

DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint

  • Everlasting – ADC01
  • Promise – ADC22
  • Remembrance – ADC23

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics

  • Quinacridone Burnt Orange – DMFA31
  • Quinacridone Gold – DMFA32

DecoArt Media Mediums

  • White Gesso – DMM18
  • Black Modeling Paste – DMM22

Americana Mixed Media Stencil

  • Timeless 12″x12″ – ASMM01


  • Royal Soft-Grip, #8 Bristle Bright – SG1425
  • Royal Aqualon, 3/4″ & 1″ Wash/Glaze – 2700

General Supplies:

  • Palette Knife/Trowel
  • No Stick Mat
  • Paper Towel
  • Baby/Kitchen Wipes or Kitchen Cloth
You'll give me what for free?

Look at all that wonderful texture!

I wish you could close your eyes and run your fingers over this artwork, feel the bumps, cracks and imperfections that makes this so unique.

Keep it simple…look around your home, in storage, in tubs under the bed.

What artwork haven’t you touched or looked at in over a year?  could this be something that can be upcycled into something new?

Share in the comments below if you were able to find anything in your home that you could upcycle.