poem printed in journal page spread

Desiderata – Free Printable Poem for your Journal Pages

As the year ends and another (hopefully brighter) year begins, I’d like to offer you a little bit of wisdom and beauty for your journal pages or scrapbooks with this free printable download.

A Poem of Timeless Wisdom

Desiderata is a poem of timeless wisdom and inspiration by writer Max Ehrmann. Desiderata is Latin for “things desired” and it seeks to guide us to strive for personal growth and happiness. While it was written in 1927, it remains deeply relevant in the modern world because people change less than we suspect. You can find more details about it on Wikipedia.

printed poem on different types of paper

For this version, I’ve formatted the poem to fit in two columns when printed in landscape format. This should give you plenty of flexibility for different size journals and page spread options. I love this font combination of elegant and casual.  It works for a junk journal with a vintage and distressed elements, or a clean modern look like a bullet journal. 

In the photo below, I used it for a page spread in my junk journal made from an altered book.  For my journal, I printed it on vintage erasable bond paper and hand tore the paper to give it more of a vintage feel for my page spread. Each section is about 4 1/4 in wide by 6 1/2 inch tall (of course you can scale it for different page sizes if you prefer).

printed poem in journal page spread

Here are some other page ideas and suggestions for inspiration….

  • Print the poem on different types of paper. I tried kraft paper, quality resume paper, and some vintage papers.
    -Watercolor the page or paint the edges for your art journal pages
  • For soft hand torn edges, “paint” a line with only water and then tear the paper in the wet area. This paper fibers will feather out as the paper tears.
  • Fold the poem and share in cards and letters to your loved ones and penpals.
  • For a cleaner look, use a paper trimmer and place a colored paper behind it as a mat.
  • Distress the paper edges by rubbing them over a stamp ink pad
  • Add a hand drawn border with your favorite pen
  • Use this to start a journal of inspirational quotes and ideas
  • Frame or display it on your desk or wall
closeup of journal page

The printable file is a simple pdf file which you can open and print from Adobe Acrobat, most browsers, Photoshop, and other image editing software and apps. Be sure to print it in landscape orientation.

I hope you enjoy this gift! If you use it in your junk journals or other ways, please share your photos – I’d love to see you on Instagram!

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