I am part of a new group that was spawned off of one of my regular groups to experiment with altered journals. The eight of us have each chosen a theme and indicated the size of pages we need to tip into our journals. Here is the spread I created for Bettiann's journal whose theme is nature and quotes. I started with light weight cardstock and glued in place two pieces of scrapbook paper which I colour washed with umber to tone them down a bit. I added butterfly borders from a sticker pack. Added a strip of flourishes on transparency and attached it with eyelets in the center of flower punchies. A few of the flowers "burst" with the application of the hammer to the eyelets. They have a more organic look. Real pressed flowers - a pansy and a yellow daisy. A few more stickers, a colour printed quote and some quotes written in by hand. Added a cinquain I wrote several years ago for an exchnage which worked well with the theme. I attached it with corner stickers and leaf eyelets in the top corners to create a pocket. Inside the pocket I added a tag with my info and a photo. I was careful not to add too much bulk to the spine area. Very happy with the way this layout turned out!! We will all have wonderful journals by the end of the year.
I would certainly encourage you to modify any preprinted paper to suit your needs. Amazingly, a very light colour wash can bring a paper that is just "off" in colour right up to where you need it to be. I also use my stipple brush and inkpads to modify the colour of items which are not quite what I need them to be. Works really great with silk flowers!!