December Art Journal Prompts | Ideas for Collages and Junk Journals

Sometimes you’ll want to make a collage but have NO idea what to collage about. A good way to jump start the creation process is by using a prompt! For this prompt list, I’ve focused on things that can be translated visually, e.g. colors or images or both. Here you’ll find ideas for colors, subject images, and themes to use in your collages in December.

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Birthstone Color Palette

The birthstones (three of them!) for December are tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise.

All three stones are very blue gems, with varying levels of purple or green undertones. Tanzanite can only be found in Tanzania, near Mount Kilimanjaro. Zircon actually starts out as a reddish brown color, but when treated with heat turns blue. And turquoise has a very distinct color which ranges from a powdery blue to a more greenish robin egg blue.

December’s birthstones make for a wonderful cool tone color palette, which honestly is a little refreshing compared to the typical green-red color palettes that show up around this time of year.

Here’s a color palette I made that was inspired by December’s three blue birthstones:

Tip: Upload this color palette into your image editing software to use it as a base for picking colors!

Word Association

Use these December word associations as starting points for brainstorming collage subjects or making a mind map. Since I’m located in the Northern Hemisphere, most of my word associations for December are related to winter/feeling cold.

End of the year: closing down, wrapping things up, finalizing, last of the to-do list, last page of the calendar, storing things away for the new year, turning the corner.

Family: celebrating holidays, big expansive dinner, turkey and ham, distant cousins, visitors in the guest room, road trips to see grandma, movie night, tabletop games, video calls, long distance letters.

Deep winter: snow drifts, snowflakes falling, bare trees, footprints in the snow, cozy blankets, warm tea (or hot chocolate), thick socks, fireplace roaring, flannel pajamas, soup and crackers.

Zodiac Signs & Associations

December’s Zodiac signs are Sagittarius and Capricorn. Here’s a list of associations with each of those Zodiac signs:


Element: Fire
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Spirit Color: Light Blue
Lucky Gem: Topaz
Flower: Carnations & crocuses


Element: Earth
Ruling Planet: Saturn
Spirit Color: Dark blue
Lucky Gem: Lapis lazuli
Flower: Pansy

Remember, you don’t have to be born in December to use either birthstones or Zodiac signs for ideas! They’re just starting off points, to be used for brainstorming colors and image ideas.

December Full Moon Names

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, December’s full moon is called Full Cold Moon. In the Northern hemisphere, this is when nights are the longest and coldest, and we’re deep into winter.

Other full moon name variations for December include: Frost Exploding Trees Moon, Hoar Frost Moon, Mid-winter Moon, Moon of the Popping Trees, Moon When the Deer Shed Their Antlers, Snow Moon, Winter Maker Moon.

Holidays and events has a complete list of holidays and events throughout December. Here’s some of my favorites:

  • Dec. 4: National Cookie Day
  • Dec. 7: National Letter Writing Day
  • Dec. 14: Monkey Day
  • Dec. 21: Winter Solstice
  • Dec. 27: Visit the Zoo Day
  • Dec. 30: Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
  • Dec. 31: World Peace Meditation Day

Inspirational Quotes

Quotes are my favorite way to brainstorm a collage subject. Here’s some quotes about the month of December which I find particularly inspiring:

“December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory…” — John Geddes

“I prefer winter and fall when you feel the bone structure of the landscape–the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.” — Andrew Wyeth

“It seems like everything sleeps in winter, but it’s really a time of renewal and reflection.” — Elizabeth Camden

“I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December,
A magical thing,
And sweet to remember:
“We are nearer to spring
Than we were in September.” — Oliver Herford

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