9 Quick and Easy Ways to Decorate Your Bullet Journal Spreads
As you may have gleaned if you’ve read any of my other blog posts, I’m a big advocate for starting simple with a bullet journal. I think it’s so important to get the basics of the system down first before you think about decorating it! If you’d like to read a little more about why, or how to do that, check out these blog posts:
- Stop procrastinating and start a bullet journal today!
- How to keep going with bullet journaling when you feel like quitting
- 8 minimalist weekly spread layouts to try
Nailed the essentials and want to up your bullet journal game without spending hours on it? Wanna spruce up your spreads but can’t draw*? Using some of the minimalist spreads I created for the above blog post, I’ll show you some quick and easy ways to decorate your bullet journal spreads, even if you’re not an artist*!
*Sidebar: I firmly believe that everyone is an artist, but I know what you mean. I certainly don’t think if myself as someone who’s Good At Art in the traditional sense!
I thought it would be a fun exercise to re-use spreads for these a) to save paper and b) to show how easy it is to add to an existing spread! I quite often set up a very basic weekly spread so I can start using it, then add to it over the week.
Decorate your bullet journal spreads with washi tape
Washi tape is definitely one of the most popular tools for decorating bullet journals and I’m pretty sure most of the journalers I know have a stash of it specifically for this purpose! As I was using an existing spread, I layered washi over the lines I’d used to divide my pages up. This is the Festive Folk washi tape by Kitiya Palaskas and I don’t think it’s a coincidence how well it fits across an A5 page. Can you see how the same section of the design is centred on each page? *Chef’s kiss*
I also love using washi tape as a page border, or using it to attach photos, tickets and notelets into my journal.
As I mentioned in the initial minimalist spreads blog post, you can also use days of the week washi to speed up creating your journal spreads and add a splash of colour at the same time!
Decorate your bullet journal spreads with stickers
Hands up if you have a huge collection of stickers but very rarely use them? This was totally me a while ago but I recently decided: Life is short, use the damn stickers! It’s a super quick and easy way to decorate a weekly spread and keep a consistent theme across a month.
Add colour to your bullet spreads with colour coding
Why not use colour to make your spreads even more functional, as well as more aesthetically pleasing? Use coloured pens or highlighters to categorise the tasks on your to do list into different groups, e.g. work, home, kids, self-care etc. You could either write them in a different colour, highlight the whole task, or highlight the tick box as I’ve done here. It’s a great way to see at a glance whether you’ve been achieving a good balance of activities over the course of a day or week.
Decorate your bullet journal spreads with coloured outlines
Another of my favourite ways to incorporate more colour to my journal is to draw my boxes with Zebra Mildliners. I use the fine end for the side and bottom edges, and the chisel tip for the top to give a thicker line for my title.
Decorate your bullet journal spreads with retro shapes
This was one of the first bullet journal themes I ever did, and it’s so unbelievably simple but looks really effective, if I say so myself! Simply draw a series of simple shapes in a pastel pen or pencil - I used the fine tip of my Zebra Mildliners. Once they’re dry, add a slightly offset outline in black fine liner. I used a Uni Pin 0.3 - my current favourite - and voila!
I’ve also created a reverse version of this on blackout paper using white Gelly Rolls pens.
Decorate your bullet journal spreads with drop shadows
If you’ve watched any of Amanda Rach Lee’s bullet journaling videos on YouTube I’m sure you’ll be familiar with one of her favourites - the drop shadow! I must confess it’s not something I use very often as I’m pretty terrible at drawing straight lines freehand, but I think I might be converted. You could use a grey pen to give the illusion of an actual shadow, but I used a pink Fude Touch calligraphy pen to add a pop of colour to this otherwise monochrome spread.
Decorate your bullet journal spreads with easy peasy floral doodles
Florals are definitely one of my favourite things to doodle! A very simple floral design can be really effective, such as this quick meadow border which pairs really well with other botanical designs such as mushrooms or heather.
It’s super speedy to sketch out: Just draw a series of lines of varying lengths - some straight and some curved. Then add leaves - some close together, and some with gaps between. Mix and match as you go along the bottom of your page, then add a zig zag line with a few tufts in the gaps for the grass.
Another of my favourite easy floral doodles was this "a thousand yellow daises" page border I drew for my Gilmore Girls theme. It also looked really cute before I coloured it in if you want to make it even speedier!
Decorate your bullet journal spreads with a speedy memo board theme
I see memo board and noticeboard bullet journal spreads cropping up time and time again on Instagram and while you can absolutely spend a huge amount of time and effort on it and produce something amazing, sometimes a few simple nods can really transform the look of a spread. I added dog-eared corner, tape, pin and notepad details to this minimalist dashboard-style spread and I gotta say: I love it!
Decorate your bullet journal spreads with coloured paper
I’ve dedicated two entire blog posts to decorating bullet journal spreads with Nikki’s coloured dot grid papers so it would be remiss of me not to mention them here! Check them out for more inspiration:
- Journaling with our pastel dot grid pads
- 8 ways to use coloured dot grid pads in your journal and beyond!
If you’d like more theme ideas, check out our seasonal theme blog posts:
- Spring bullet journal theme ideas
- Winter bullet journal theme ideas
- Autumn bullet journal theme ideas
The Summer version will be coming next month!
I hope that’s given you a little inspiration to have a crack at decorating your bullet spreads! Why not bookmark this page so you refer back to it? If you’ve been inspired by any of the suggestions in this post, we’d love to see! Please tag @nikkissupplystore and #NikkisSupplyStore on Instagram, where you can find heaps more journaling and stationery inspiration. You can also follow me, @joy.margot, for more craft content and pictures of my cat, Juniper.