Bullet Journaling 101: Choosing Your Decorative Items
In this series we’ve covered a lot about bullet journaling, including how to best choose some of your most important journaling supplies. We’ve gone over how to choose a journal, as well as which pens are right for your style. However, now we’ve got the basics out the way, it’s time to get into the really fun stuff – decorative items!
Decorative supplies aren’t necessary for journaling, but they certainly make it feel a lot more exciting and fun. It can really elevate your journaling to the next level, and motivate you to use your journal more regularly. Decorative supplies are anything extra that you add into your journal, and they can really make it feel so much more personalised to you. Everyone will have their own aesthetic that they prefer, and using supplies that suit your style will make your journal unique from anyone else’s.
There are a whole range of products that can be used to decorate your journal spreads, so we’re going to talk through some of the most popular, so you can be confident in going out there and finding something you love!
Washi tape is super popular amongst many crafters, but bullet journal users are possibly the biggest fans of washi tape. It’s such a versatile supply, and can serve so many purposes in a journal. You can use washi tape by itself just to add a splash of colour or visual interest to the page. You can use it as a border for a spread, to frame the content inside and make it really pop. You can use washi tape with a habit tracker to see your progress. You can use washi tape to stick other items into your journal. There are just so many potential uses.
There are also many different types of washi tape, so let’s go over some of them.
Solids and Colours
There are lots of washi tapes out there that are just one solid colour for the entire roll. Pretty much any colour you can imagine, there’ll be a tape out there. There are pastels, neons, vibrant colours, metallic, you name it! Solids are really useful if you have a minimalist style, and want to add colour to your journal without the page becoming too busy.
You can also find washi tapes that have a number of colours all in one roll. They could work in a gradient, or be random splashes. Some will have similar colours, or complementary colours, some will go for more striking contrast. These types of washi tape can be a lot of fun, and will work well if you like to get really creative.
Some washi tapes have a consistent pattern throughout the roll. These could be very simple patterns such as stripes or grids, or they could be more complex geometric patterns such as hexagons. You can also find curvy patterns such as spirals or polka dots. Patterned tapes can be practical or fun, and can work particularly well as backgrounds for page headers. Most washi tapes have a surface that can be written on, and so you could try to write things in between the lines of the pattern.
Some of the most exciting washi tapes are the ones that come with unique designs on them. The great thing about designs is that there’s almost no limit to what can be on the washi tape, and so you can find something that suits your aesthetic perfectly. You can find vintage designs with things like stamps or clocks on them. You can get cute designs with little animals. You can get retro gaming designs. You can find biscuits and coffee mugs. There are even washi tapes dedicated to specific movies or books. Washi tapes with designs on them tend to be a little more expensive than the other kinds, especially if licensing was involved, but they’re also the tapes that are most likely to be absolutely perfect for your personality. They’re not as practical as solid or patterned tapes, as their usage can be more limited, but they’re perfect for borders or for adding some decoration to a spread for a particular theme.
Like washi tape, stickers are another great and easy way to add some variation to your journal. You can buy them individually or get a sheet with different designs, and then they’re easily at hand to just peel and stick in your journal. Depending on your preferences, you may like to support small businesses and buy unique stickers from places like etsy stores, or you may prefer to buy a more affordable range of stickers from places like Amazon or Ali Express. Buying in bulk is often cheaper, but may mean you don’t get stickers that you love as much as if you sought out specific designs.
Some stickers are intended for practical purposes. They may have letters written on them, or days of the week, or numbers. You can get stickers that depict various habits, such as exercise, or doing laundry. Small round stickers in various colours are often a popular choice for trackers, as you can easily stick them over your daily boxes. Practical stickers don’t have to be boring, and may come in cutesy or stylised designs, so you can find ones that will look good and serve a purpose at the same time.
Other stickers are intended purely for decorative purposes, and I must admit these are my main weakness! I can’t get enough of decorative stickers, and I love to use them to brighten up pages. Fun stickers can be used to fill in blank spaces on a cover spread, especially if they go with your monthly theme. These come in a range of sizes, and large ones can be great for decorating monthly or weekly spreads, whereas small ones are great for daily pages as they can fit in tiny spaces.
As well as using pre-glued options like stickers or washi tape, you can add in anything you like to your journal. Ideally you don’t want it to be too thick, as that could make the journal not close properly, but plenty of journal users will glue in things like craft paper or photos. There are many decorative craft papers available, and you can cut them to size, and find ones that suit your theme. You could also stick in magazine clippings for a fun aesthetic.
Some people like to use journals to capture memories, and will include items such as receipts from a restaurant date, or a pressed flower from a day out. You can stick things like this in using glue or tape, or even use decorative washi tapes to complete the look.
There’s no limit to what you can use to decorate your journal, and bullet journaling is all about finding your own voice, and your own freedom of expression. So find items that feel creative to you, and have fun customising!
Cover Image Credit – Dragana’s Crafts