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PHOTOS: Crafters give junk a new lease on life in Willmar Public Library program

Folks learn how to turn junk into journals at the Willmar Public Library on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.

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Melanie Lady shows an example of a junk journal to attendees of a Willmar Public Library session on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, about the finer points of creating the handmade items.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR โ€” Junk has a new lease on life. Well, at least for ladies who gathered at the Willmar Public Library on Tuesday afternoon. Curious crafters came together to learn the basics of creating their very own journals solely from junk.

"This gives things new life," junk journal program leader Kris Gatzemeyer said. "It's just such a fun hobby where you can really explore your creativity and make boring things look neat."

Everything โ€” from the journal's book cover being made from a brownie mix box to dyeing pages with coffee to give them an aged, distressed look โ€” can be used to create the small journals and give them unique features. Junk journaling consists of endless possibilities. People who get into the activity will soon learn of the countless YouTube tutorials and the array of ways to bring their journal pages to life.

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Attendees of the junk journal art program browse through scrapbooking items in the art supply exchange at the Willmar Public Library on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

"There's so little limit," Gatzemeyer said. "You can do whatever you want to do."

One of the great things about the hobby is the notion that it is impossible to make a mistake.

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"Anything goes," she added. "A junk journal is a junk journal. It doesn't matter what you put into it."

Gatzemeyer said the hobby is growing in the community, and hopes to have additional programming in the future when attendees can share ideas, crafting materials and the love of crafting.

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People gather at the Willmar Public Library to learn the basics to create a junk journal on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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Willmar Public Library staff librarian Kris Gatzemeyer shows attendees of a crafting session how to do a pamphlet stitch for a junk journal during a program at the library on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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Willmar Public Library staff librarian Kris Gatzemeyer teaches folks the basics of creating a junk journal at a library crafting session on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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Scrapbooking items sit on a table for attendees to peruse during a junk journal class at the Willmar Public Library on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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Peggy Morrison gets ideas for her junk journal by flipping through one already made during a program at the Willmar Public Library on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune
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Macy Moore is an award-winning photojournalist at the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minnesota.
She can be reached via email: mmoore@wctrib.com or phone: 320.214.4338.
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