Continuing on with our physical journals today we are going to talk about how to be creative with them and personalize them so that they make us want to use them more! I am creative but I can't say I'm super artistic. I've never doodled, even when taking notes in school, but I love crafts so I've found small ways to make my physical journal more about me and give me an outlet. So, let's cover some of the suggestions I come up with and then I'd love to hear what you would do to your own journal!
Decorate the Cover
If you get a journal with a plain cover you can definitely share your personality by decorating it. There are a wide variety of ways to do this and I'll be covering most of them below, but one that you can't really do inside your journal that would be lovely on the outside is embossing. Many companies that sell personal journals offer embossing services so you can out your name or a phrase that means something to you on the front. There are also DIY embossing kits that I've seen online and at craft stores.
Vinyl stickers, coloring, and painting are also great options for a cover. You could also just get a leather or fabric book cover and call it done.
Artistic and Creative Inside
Once you open your book the skies the limit. Some people prefer minimalist journals but others love to decorate, add color and other elements to make the journal not only a place for words and thoughts but creativity and artistic outlets. It's your journal so use it as you want to!
Doodle - I do not doodle, as I've said before. I've never doodled even when taking notes in class. It just never interested me. I love to see other people's doodles though and am always impressed with the creativity in a small hand drawn image. There are monthly challenges for people who enjoy doodling and want more inspiration for what to doodle. I especially like the ones offered by Passion Themed Life. Check out Pinterest for a huge range of journal doodles.
Stickers - Stickers rock. They are cheap, come in a wide variety of colors, styles, designs, characters and themes. With just a little sticker you can brighten up a page or make an entire theme. You can even make your own stickers!
Stamps - Stamping is a world of its own. There are all sorts of stamps and stamp pads, inks and designs. Just walk down the craft aisle for stamps and you'll see the mountain of art that you can add to your journal.
Stencils - I once read somewhere that stencils are a poor man's stamping tool. I like that they are compact and use the same pens/markers that I'm already using for my journal.
Watercolors, markers, crayons and coloring pencils - When I was brainstorming creative ways to personalize your journal, I thought first about doing it old school - with crayons, markers, colored pencils and watercolors. There's something about adding a bit of color to the page and coloring especially that is peaceful and meditative. And adult coloring is all the rage now! If you find a coloring book that you like a page, glue or tape it into your journal and start coloring! There's so much you can do with the basic art supplies so don't overlook them.
Washi tape - I didn't know what washi tape was before I started my Bullet Journal this year, but I can definitely see the appeal! Washi tape is paper tape that is repositionable and comes in, dare I say, millions of colors and designs. The rolls are cheap and can be used in so many different ways that you'll never run out of ideas. I like washi tape because it adds a bit of color and whimsy on a page where I just don't know what to add but think it needs something. Slap a stripe down the left or right margin and voila! a whole new page.
Scrapbook style - You don't have to stick to lines and paragraph format when journaling. Scrapbook style journaling is where you make little boxes, decorative or not, and jot down ideas, thoughts, and memories as you have them. It creates an artsy style all its own. Amp it up with watercolored pages, vintage stickers or stamps and you have an inspiration that will keep you coming back to journal each and every day.
You will make mistakes, it's just a part of journaling. How you respond to that mistake will make or break your enjoyment of journaling. So embrace them! Turn a misspelling into a silly character, or a whole page of ink spill into an art expression page. And if you must cover up the mistake, at least do it with something pretty, like some Washi tape or a quote or perhaps a coloring page tacked in.
What other ways can you personalize a journal? Let me know in the comments!