"Beginner’s Guide: How to get Creative with your Journal spreads| KUMA Stationery Crafts"
Hi lovelies! Alysia (@awa_studies on Instagram and TikTok) here. I’m an architectural designer who has been bullet journaling for the last 5 years. My style has evolved from weekly layouts with more simple drawings to very illustrated spreads. I love using my journals to organize my daily life and calm my anxiety, but it’s also my main creative outlet. I’m really excited to share with you all how I add some artistic flare to my journal spreads. Please note that all the images in this blog post are spreads that I have created which tend to lean towards the more maximalist side as I am a little extra in my journaling. Still, I hope that they can provide some ideas of different things you can do with your journals.
First and foremost, I think it is most important that your journal works for you and not against
you. There is no one correct way to organize or stylize your journal and they should just bring
you joy as you use them. I would recommend you try out a few layouts and trackers just to get
a feel for what you would prefer and what you would most likely use to meet your individual
needs. Of course, this will evolve as you try more things or as your needs change, but don’t be
afraid to make “mistakes” we don’t have to have everything figured out!
I would categorize journal spreads into general categories of open spreads, ones without a distinct border to write within, and structured spreads, ones that have borders or “cells” to write within. Typically, for open spreads you would plan more in the moment like a journal entry, while structured spreads you tend to plan beforehand leaving room for the days to come. You could also mix the two depending on your preference. You could also use trackers integrated into your spreads or as spreads of their own. Just changing up the layout of your spreads already has endless possibilities.
There are many ways to make your spreads have a more artistic flare no matter what type of
spread you are planning. The following are just a list of some of things you could do with your
journals which could be mixed and matched to your heart’s content.
Washi Tape and Stickers
Washi tape and stickers are a wonderful and easy quick way to decorate your spreads. They immediately give a theme to what would otherwise be a minimalist spread and with so many options, the theme of your spreads are endless.
Using Different Paper, Memos, and Images
Adding different colored or textured paper to your spreads is also a quick way to just add some interest to your journal. These could be used a decoration or background, or you could even use them to create the “cells” of your spreads if you like more structured spreads. This combines the processes of setting up a spread and decorating as well. You could also print out images that you enjoy and add them to your journal.
Along with the washi tape and stickers, this method gives a more scrapbook feel to your journal and if you love collaging this would be wonderful for you.
Adding Color or Illustrations
Just like the paper above, simply adding color can add a lot to your spreads and be a minimalist way to make the spreads more fun. You could also add stamps and color them if you like.
If you enjoy drawing or painting, adding doodles and illustrations to your spreads can be a wonderful way to enjoy both creative hobbies at once. You could make a whole illustration page like ones that tend to be used for journal covers or monthly covers
You could also add illustrations into your spreads. They can stand alone on the side or be more integrated into your spread. Just a note, for integrating doodles into a more structured pre- planned layouts, I would recommend sketching out the layout you would like to do first to make sure that you have enough room for the spreads to be useful to you.
You could also turn your illustration into the spread. For example, I tend to make my mood trackers into illustrations, so they are like coloring page for me to fill out throughout the month or year.
You can use many different mediums for your journals. Most tend to gravitate towards pens and markers, but you can also use various paints as well. If you like to use different mediums though, it’s a good idea to do a quick swatch in you journal just to see how it interacts with the paper before proceeding. I currently use the Kuma Enchanted Moon A5 Journal which has 150gsm so both my markers and watercolors have worked great without ghosting or bleeding.
Playing with lettering
Whether it the title or a whole quote page, lettering is a great way to bring a lot of fun into a journal. You could add quotes that inspire you within a spread or just mix up the types of lettering that you use within a spread.
Sometimes a whole page dedicated to a quote can be a great way to play with lettering and doodles while adding a beautiful spread into your journal.
Just have fun with it!
Whether you use any of these methods, all of them, or none of them the most important part is just to have fun with it. There is no limit to what you can do, and I am also always finding more ways to enjoy being creative with my journal.