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How To Set Up A Swatch Journal For Pen Swatches

by Ambassador Team 03 Sep 2023 0 Comments

Hey y’all! It's Emily (Planned & Planted) from the Ambassador team here again to show you how I set up my swatch journal; I’m also going to be swatching ALL of my Archer and Olive dual-tip brush pen Calliographs for my first few pages so you can see what the pens look like on the page. 

If you’re anything like me, you always have a random few pages in the back of your notebook or bullet journal where you are constantly swatching different combinations of pens and colors to find just the right combination for your bullet journal spread. And since I have a pretty extensive pen collection, that sometimes takes up a lot of time and precious paper.

A dot grid notebook is lying open on a desk with a dutch door spread. On the spread are swatches of some of the Archer and Olive dual tip brush pens - Calliographs

The solution? A swatch journal! A swatch journal is basically a space where you can swatch all of your stationery items: all types of pens (brush pens, paint pens, gel pens etc.) and even washi tapes if you would like to. That way when you need a certain color palette for your journal page, you can see exactly what that color looks like in your Archer and Olive notebook already.

So today I’ll be showing you guys how I set up my swatch journal, and you can also get an idea of what some of the Archer and Olive Calliograph pens look like on their paper.



Remember that you can save 10% on your Archer & Olive order with my discount code, PLANNEDANDPLANTED10!

Setting Up Your Swatch Journal

1. Make a Cover Page

A notebook is lying open on a dark surface. On the page is the title "Swatch Journal" with some decorative stickers and washi tape. On the desk around the notebook are stationery items.

I like to have a cover page on the first page of all of my journals. In addition to helping set up a theme for the pages, it’s also very practical. I have several different journals I use throughout the year, so having a cover page at the start of each one to “name” the journal is always really important for me!

I kept this cover page simple. I wrote the word “Swatch” in the middle of the page in calligraphy with the wider end of a Calliograph pen. Then I used my alphabet stamps to write in “Journal” right below it. Next up I added some washi tape that matched the color to the left above and below to the right.

Then I drew a fine line border around the edge of the page. Lastly, I added some floral stickers to the top left and bottom right of that border. And there ya have it!


2. Add a Dutch Door Page for Your Swatches

Emily is using some stationery scissors to cut a dutch door into her bullet journal.

Now we flip to the next page, where we will set up the actual swatch pages. Since I have a lot of Calliograph pens (and I’m sure my collection will continue to grow), I knew they wouldn’t all fit on one single spread. To keep them all together with one title, I decided to create a dutch door spread! If you’re unfamiliar with dutch doors in a journal, make sure to check out this blog post for more details. 

On the far right page of the spread I cut a straight line about 7 boxes down, then removed that sliver of paper that I cut. Now I’ve nearly doubled the amount of space I have to swatch these pens, and I won’t have to write the title twice. Win-win!


3. Write a Title

The words Archer and Olive are stamped at the top of a journal page. The word "calliographs" is written in calliography below it.

For the title I went back in with my alphabet stamps to stamp in ‘Archer & Olive’ since that’s the brand name. Then I wrote out ‘Calliographs’ in calligraphy with the wide end of the Calliograph again. It was basically pen-ception. There was a little blank space yet, so I added a few pieces of the same washi from my cover page on each side of the title.


4. Start Swatching!

Choose Your Swatch Type

Emily is swatching her calliograph pens into a notebook titled "Archer and Olive Calliographs"

Since Calliographs are brush pens, I decided to make my swatches these little squiggle marks so I have a sense of how wide and narrow each of the tips can go. But you can make whatever swatch you want. There’s lots of people who make shapes, like a square or heart. Or you could write out a word or the name of the color with the pen itself. The possibilities are limitless! Just remember to try to pick a swatch that showcases the pen as fully as possible.

For more ideas on creative ways you could swatch your pens, check out this blog post.


Most Calliograph pens come in collections of either 5 or 10. For the sets of 5 in my B5 notebook, I divide the page into 3 sections, with one collection for each section in a single row of 5. Then for the collections of 10, I divide the page in two, with 2 rows of 5 for each collection. This may look a little different for a different size journal, and I will switch up the layout for different pens I swatch. But this is what’s working for me for this set!

Collection Titles

A journal page with swatches of Archer and Olive calliograph pens.

I wanted to list the title of each “collection” that the pens are coming from so that I don’t accidentally re-buy a collection that I already have. I stamped the collection title with my alphabet stamps again!

Pen Names

RIght below the swatches I also write the names of each individual pen, or maybe the color code for other types of pens. This part is crucial for me, as it lets me identify which pens are which after the fact. Having a swatch journal is kind of pointless if you can’t easily identity which pen matches which color down the line! Luckily, all of the Archer and Olive Calliographs have pen names already.

If you don't have time to set up a swatch journal...

Have no fear! I know that not everyone has the time or patience to set up a swatch journal like this. If you happen to be one of these people, I created a shortcut for you. I put together this free printable with the names of all of the Calliograph collections and pens available through Archer and Olive as of June 2023. 

There is a box above each name within each collection for you to swatch your pens! This will also help ensure you don't buy multiple sets unless you mean to.

Free printable of Archer and Olive Calliograph Swatches

You can print this page out and glue or tape it right into your journal for quick reference. Keep in mind that if you print it on regular printer paper, the finished color might appear slightly different from Archer & Olive notebook and notepad paper. But it should be fairly close.

Video Tutorial - Swatch Journal

And as always, I've also included a YouTube tutorial for those of you who are visual and auditory learners. 

Happy planning!

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